Home office expense: Home Office Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

Home office expense: Home Office Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

Home office expense

The $1,500 maximum for the simplified deduction generally equates to about 35 cents on the dollar for most taxpayers, said Markowitz. This home office needs to be only used for your business — as in, it can’t be a guest room with a desk in it — and you must be able to prove that you need an office for your work. The burden of proof for taking this deduction is on the taxpayer, so if you’re audited, you will have to back up your claim to the IRS. If you use any part of your home for business, you must adjust the basis of your home for any depreciation that was allowable for its business use, even if you did not claim it. Also, you must reduce the gain that can be excluded upon the sale of the home by the amount of depreciation allowable–even if you did not bother to claim it.

  • Oftentimes, you will be able to claim a larger deduction by slogging through these calculations, but the savings may not justify the hassle.
  • That’s because you can depreciate the value of your home office, which could create a tax event later when you sell.
  • If you start or stop using the office during the year, the percentage of time that the office is used will also be a factor.
  • Work with your tax professional to generate various scenarios so you plan not only for this year, but for years down the road.
  • If you work from home, you should know these important tax implications of setting up a home office.

Before you can calculate the dollar amount of your depreciation, however, you will need to know the tax basis of your home. If you don’t claim depreciation, you lose out twice—first, by not lowering your annual tax bill by the largest amount possible and, second, by reducing the amount of gain that you can exclude from income when you sell your home. If you pay for a utility or service that’s not used in your business at all, you can’t deduct any portion of the expense. For instance, if you buy propane fuel that is used only in your kitchen and your business does not involve cooking, no part of the propane bill is deductible.

Tax Calculator: 2022-2023 Refund and Tax Estimator

“The simplified method is my favorite way because most people don’t have the records or enough deductions to make the regular method work,” Burnette said. Typically, he calculates it both ways for new clients to see which option provides the bigger tax break. If the loss occurs only to the home office, treat it as a “direct” expense that is fully deductible.

If the office measures 150 square feet, for example, and the total area of the house is 1,200 square feet, your business percentage would be 12.5%. Making money from your efforts is a prerequisite, but for purposes of this tax break, profit alone isn’t necessarily enough. If you use your den solely to take care of your personal investment portfolio, for example, you can’t claim home office deductions because your activities as an investor don’t qualify as a business.

  • If the loss occurs only to the home office, treat it as a “direct” expense that is fully deductible.
  • In addition, taking the deduction could make it more difficult to sell your home in the future, if you own.
  • If your small business qualifies you for a home office tax deduction, should you be concerned about triggering an audit?
  • But you may be eligible with income reported via Form 1099 as a contractor or self-employed worker.

This includes a place where you greet clients or customers, conduct your business, store inventory, rent out or use as a daycare facility. If you’re an employee working remotely rather than a business owner, you unfortunately don’t qualify for the home office tax deduction (however some states do allow this tax deduction for employees). Prior to the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) passed in 2017, employees could deduct unreimbursed employee business expenses including the home office deduction. However, for tax years 2018 through 2025, these deductions for employee business expenses have been eliminated. As an example, consider a freelance writer who operates their own business out of their home.

This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. With either method, the qualification for the home office deduction is determined each year. Assume you use 40% of your house for a daycare business that operates 12 hours a day, five days a week for 50 weeks of the year. Additionally, the writer can deduct the ink that they use to print contracts out, the full cost of the all-in-one printer that they had to purchase to be able to send those signed contracts in and any industry-related training they complete. Katrina Ávila Munichiello is an experienced editor, writer, fact-checker, and proofreader with more than fourteen years of experience working with print and online publications. “If you’re eligible for it and the government is going to give you the money for it, you should take it,” said Markowitz.

Credits & Deductions

Work with your tax professional to generate various scenarios so you plan not only for this year, but for years down the road. Real estate taxes include the amount of taxes actually paid to the taxing authority on your behalf during the year. This may be different from the amount that your mortgage holder requires you to pay into an escrow account.

Home office expense

An easier calculation is acceptable if the rooms in your home are all about the same size. In that case, you can figure out the business percentage by dividing the number of rooms used in your business by the total number of rooms in the house. Taxpayers who use a home office exclusively to manage rental properties may qualify for home office tax status but as property managers rather than investors. If you’re an employee of another company but also have your own part-time business based in your home, you can pass this test even if you spend much more time at the office where you work as an employee.

Home Expenses Deductions Limited

You can also deduct the cost of bringing a second phone line into your home, if you use the line exclusively for business. Beginning with 2013 tax returns, the IRS began offering a simplified option for claiming the deduction. This new method uses a prescribed rate multiplied by the allowable square footage used in the home. The most exact way to calculate the business percentage of your house is to measure the square footage devoted to your home office as a percentage of the total area of your home.

As a general rule, you can deduct the business percentage of your utility payments for heat and electricity, and for services that pertain to the entire house such as trash collection, security services, and maid or cleaning services. The choice whether to use the simplified deduction, if you’re eligible for it, or to deduct actual expenses depends mainly on which would net you the bigger tax deduction. The biggest roadblock to qualifying for these deductions is that you must use a portion of your home exclusively and regularly for your business.

Did you work from home this year? When you can claim the home-office tax deduction

That could mean a deduction of $1,050 in indirect expenses ($7,000 in expenses, multiplied by the 15% of space used in the home), plus $500 for the direct expense of painting the home office, for a total deduction of $1,550. You can use a studio, garage or barn space as your home office as long as the structure meets the “exclusive and regular use” requirements. The simplified method can make it easier for you to claim the deduction but might not provide you with the biggest deduction. TurboTax makes it easy to determine if you qualify and how much you can write off by asking you simple questions about your unique tax situation.

The Simplified Method

But when using the regular method, it’s important to have documentation to show proof of your deductions. Your workspace must meet certain IRS guidelines to qualify for the deduction, said Rob Burnette, CEO of the Outlook Financial Center. But you may be eligible with income reported via Form 1099 as a contractor or self-employed worker.


• For tax year 2022, the rate for the simplified square footage calculation is $5 per square foot, with a maximum of 300 square feet. There are a variety of expenses that can be deducted when a person works out of their home, whether it be as a remote employee or because they are self-employed. A certified tax specialist can review available deductions and make sure that all items that are being claimed are valid.

Taxes done right for freelancers and gig workers

Other rules apply that limit the filer’s ability to use the simplified method. For example, if you share the space with another person you can’t both deduct the same space. Expenses incurred by a business you conduct in your home are the basis for home office deductions that can lower your tax bill if you are self-employed. “It doesn’t need to be a room with four walls around it,” Sprong said, noting that it could be a designated 200 square feet in your home. But “it would be hard to argue that your kitchen table is exclusively for business,” he added. The deductibility of an expense depends upon whether it benefits just the home office, your entire house including your home office or portions of the house that do not include your home office.