Home Office Deductions 101

If your use of a home office is for your employer’s benefit or because you’re self employed, you may be able to deduct a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities and certain other expenses, as well as the depreciation allocable to the office space. Or you may be able to take the new, simpler, “safe harbor” deduction.

Beginning with 2014 tax returns, taxpayers can use the safe harbor deduction in lieu of calculating, allocating and substantiating actual expenses. Other rules — such as the requirement that the office be used regularly and exclusively for business — still apply. The safe harbor deduction is capped at $1,500 per year, based on $5 per square foot up to a maximum of 300 square feet.

Could home office help you save on taxes?

Also be aware that, for employees, home office expenses are a miscellaneous itemized deduction. This means you’ll enjoy a tax benefit only if these expenses plus your other miscellaneous itemized expenses exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). If, however, you’re self-employed, you can deduct eligible home office expenses against your self-employment income.

Questions about deducting home office expenses? Contact us; we’d be pleased to answer them.

 

Lauren A. Carnes, CPA, MST

About Lauren A. Carnes, CPA, MST

Lauren joined the firm in 1988 and became a principal in 1997. Lauren has extensive experience with corporate and individual tax planning, financial planning and in representation with government agencies. She currently directs our tax department overseeing services in most areas including corporate and individual taxation.



Lauren A. Carnes, CPA, MST
Author: Lauren A. Carnes, CPA, MST
Lauren joined the firm in 1988 and became a principal in 1997. Lauren has extensive experience with corporate and individual tax planning, financial planning and in representation with government agencies. She currently directs our tax department overseeing services in most areas including corporate and individual taxation.