Can you qualify for the home office deduction?

The home office deduction is available when you use part of your home regularly and exclusively as your primary place of business, or for meeting clients.

If you’re an employee who works from home, there’s an additional rule: The exclusive use must be for the convenience of your employer.

In either case, “exclusive” is defined as “all or nothing.” Conduct any personal activities in the space you’ve designated as your office and the deduction is lost.

But satisfy the requirements and you can write off part of the expenses of running your home, including utilities, interest, and property taxes, as a business deduction. That means those costs can directly reduce business income, saving you income tax. If you’re a sole proprietor, the deduction may also reduce self-employment tax. Though the amount you can claim is generally limited to business income, disallowed expenses can be carried forward to future years.

What are the drawbacks? One drawback to taking a home office deduction is the potential for depreciation “recapture” that may apply when you sell your home, potentially reducing the amount of gain you can exclude from income.

Give us a call. We can answer your questions about the tax requirements of a home office deduction in your particular situation.

David Bradsher, CPA