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Business owners may be able to benefit from the home office deduction

Taxpayers who use their home for business may be eligible to claim a home office deduction. It allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct certain home expenses on their tax return. This can reduce the amount of the taxpayer’s taxable income.

Here are some things to help taxpayers understand the home office deduction and whether they can claim it:

The home office deduction is available to both homeowners and renters.
There are certain expenses taxpayers can deduct. They include mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance, depreciation, and rent.
Taxpayers must meet specific requirements to claim home expenses as a deduction. Even then, the deductible amount of these types of expenses may be limited.
The term “home” for purposes of this deduction:
Includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property.
Also includes structures on the property. These are places like an unattached garage, studio, barn or greenhouse.
Doesn’t include any part of the taxpayer’s property used exclusively as a hotel, motel, inn or similar business.
There are two basic requirements for the taxpayer’s home to qualify as a deduction:
There must be exclusive use of a portion of the home for conducting business on a regularly basis. For example, a taxpayer who uses an extra room to run their business can take a home office deduction only for that extra room so long as it is used both regularly and exclusively in the business.
The home must be the taxpayer’s principal place of business. A taxpayer can also meet this requirement if administrative or management activities are conducted at the home and there is no other location to perform these duties. Therefore, someone who conducts business outside of their home, but also uses their home to conduct business may still qualify for a home office deduction.
Expenses that relate to a separate structure not attached to the home will qualify for a home office deduction. It will qualify only if the structure is used exclusively and regularly for business.
Taxpayers who qualify may choose one of two methods to calculate their home office expense deduction:
The simplified option has a rate of $5 a square foot for business use of the home. The maximum size for this option is 300 square feet. The maximum deduction under this method is $1,500.
When using the regular method, deductions for a home office are based on the percentage of the home devoted to business use. Taxpayers who use a whole room or part of a room for conducting their business need to figure out the percentage of the home used for business activities to deduct indirect expenses. Direct expenses are deducted in full.

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Is Your Home Office a Tax Deduction?

Many individuals have home offices, but are unclear on whether or not they can claim these home offices as tax deductions. The IRS explicitly states that home offices can be deducted from your taxes. However, they are also very clear that this home office can only be used for work-related purposes. It must also be used regularly for work-related purposes (meaning it cannot be a spare room that you happen to do some work in now and then).

Is your home office suitable for an IRS deduction?

If so, then it is worth exploring how to claim the home office on your taxes. Self-employed individuals can do this when they file their tax return. If you are an employee of a business it is necessary in case of an audit to be able to prove that your home office is for the sole benefit of your employer.

Necessary Information When Claiming Home Office Deduction

There are a few necessary steps when claiming your home office. These steps include:

   - Providing the area of the room that is used exclusively for business.
   - Providing the total area of your home.
   - Calculating the percentage of your home which your home office takes up.

You will also need to have on hand your mortgage payment, household expenses, and other similar expenses.

Use Caution When Claiming a Home Office Deduction

You should absolutely claim any eligible home office deductions. Doing so can significantly lower your tax liabilities. Be sure to keep all receipts and other relevant information on hand just in case.

Call us with any questions about claiming your home office as a tax deduction. We’ll be happy to take a look at your situation and see what we can do save you more money.

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