How To Claim Home Office Space On Taxes

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How To Claim Home Office Space On Taxes

How To Claim Home Office Space On Taxes

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Why You Might (finally) Take The Home Office Tax Deduction

Work from home (WFH) tax credits are business expenses you can deduct from your income to reduce your tax bill. But these reductions apply almost exclusively to those who own businesses or have some form of self-employment income, such as freelancers and gig workers. Regular W2 employees generally cannot take these deductions, even if you have transitioned from working in an office to working from home.

Perhaps the most important WFH tax credit is the home office credit, which allows you to reduce your taxable income based on the costs of maintaining your home office. However, there may be other deductions that apply to running a business from home or being self-employed who have certain significant business expenses, from computer equipment to pension contributions.

WFH tax credits work by allowing those with self-employment income to offset parts of their business income against related expenses that are considered “ordinary and necessary” for their work.

How To Claim Home Office Space On Taxes

According to the IRS, “an ordinary expense is one that is customary and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is useful and convenient to your trade or business. An expense need not be necessary to be ‘considered necessary.’ .

Tax Deductions For Your Home Office

For example, if a freelancer receives $50,000 in a given year based on what he charges clients, but also has $10,000 in expenses such as advertising, home office supplies, and the use of a business car, he will only be taxed on the $40,000 (in addition to other types of income, deductions or credits).

For simplicity, assume this person paid tax at a rate of 20% (actual amounts are likely to vary). Instead of paying 20% ​​of $50,000, which would be $10,000, the freelancer would pay 20% of $40,000, which would equal $8,000. So $10,000 in WFH spending reduces your total tax bill by $2. 000 in this scenario.

Quick tip: Remember that WFH expenses are different from tax credits. Having $10,000 in WFH expenses does not mean you owe $10,000 less in total tax. Instead, the amount you are taxed on is reduced by the corresponding amount for the deductions you have claimed.

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which took effect in the 2018 tax year, employees are generally ineligible to receive WFH deductions, even if they have significant expenses not incurred by their employers, they will return them .

Home Office Tax Deduction In 2022

There are some exceptions, such as for “eligible teachers,” who can deduct up to $250 in non-refundable expenses. Otherwise, you must be self-employed or have some kind of self-employment income as a self-employed person to qualify for WFH tax credit.

“Various itemized deductions before 2018 were claimed on Schedule A, but since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, those deductions have really disappeared. So for W2 workers, it’s very difficult to be able to get any kind of [work-related] ] deduction at all,” explains Mark Witte, CPA and CEO of UHY Advisors.

Previously, employees could deduct itemized expenses that amounted to more than 2% of their adjusted gross income. However, the TCJA is only set to last until 2025, so it’s possible that the old rules will come back into play. Some states did not follow the TCJA and still allowed taxpayers to itemize their deductions, including unreimbursed employee expenses, subject to limitations.

How To Claim Home Office Space On Taxes

“Potentially, when it expires, W2 workers could get discounts again. I haven’t seen anything on the horizon to accelerate this deadline,” Witte adds.

Faqs About Home Office Deductions

Claiming WFH deductions doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you use tax software or have the help of a tax professional. Even if you filed your taxes manually, those with self-employment income who file Schedule C can complete line items for various categories of expenses, such as advertising and business insurance. Use Form 8829 to find the allowable expenses for business use of your home.

The most important thing to keep in mind is whether an expense is regular and necessary for your business. Building a gym inside your home office because you want to exercise during the day probably wouldn’t be something you could claim, as it’s not a normal and necessary expense for, say, a real estate agent or an IT consultant. But buying a printer for the home office for use at work can be justifiable.

Taxpayers should keep track of “all possible expenses that are considered reasonable and necessary to run their business and generate income,” Witte says. “If they’re dealing with a financial professional or a tax professional, they can certainly give them their ideas. They can keep a simple Excel spreadsheet, showing all the money they’re spending that they think is related to the business, and then the CPA they can determine what qualifies, or if something has personal use, then they might be able to cover some of those costs.”

Quick Tip: Witte recommends maintaining a separate business bank account. This way, you can easily see the charges coming from your business bank account, instead of going through a mixed account to see what qualifies as a personal and what qualifies as a business order.

Can Work From Home Employees Write Off A Home Office?

The calculation of the WFH deduction may vary somewhat depending on which expenses you wish to deduct. One of the most important, the home office deduction, allows renters and homeowners who regularly and exclusively use part of their home as their principal place of business to reduce their taxable income based on this expense. If you have only used that part of the home for part of the year, you can only deduct expenses incurred during that time.

Other types of expenses, such as home office supplies, may be easier, especially if they are solely for business purposes. In these cases, you can often deduct the full cost of the item. For example, if you spend $100 to make business cards for yourself, you can usually deduct the entire $100.

Regardless of the method used, you cannot claim a home office deduction that exceeds the gross income from the business use of the home less business expenses. Excess amounts can be transferred according to the normal method and cannot be transferred according to the simplified method.

How To Claim Home Office Space On Taxes

Jake Safane is a freelance writer specializing in finance and sustainability. For more than a decade he worked as a journalist and content marketer, including roles as B2B financial reporter and opinion editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit. He is a graduate of Boston University and lives in the Los Angeles area. If you are self-employed and work from home, you may be able to save a few dollars at tax time by using the home office tax credit. You have two options for how to request it, and these options depend on whether you prefer to save time or save money.

Who Can Claim Work From Home Tax Deductions 2023?

1. The complicated way. Fill out IRS Form 8829 – all 44 lines in it. Determine the percentage of your home’s total space devoted to your office, then calculate how much of your home’s total expenses went to it

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