Taking Employee Deductions

Even if you are not the owner of a small business, you may be able to take tax deductions on the business use of your home as an employee. The rules are very similar to those for a small business owner.

1. As you complete your tax return, keep in mind the area of your home must be used as a principal place of business, such as a place for doing paperwork, meeting with clients or working on projects.

2. For you to take the tax deduction, the area must be used for regular and exclusive use, not just once every so often. In other words, you must use it for business purposes often, and it has to be a dedicated space, not a domestic area that you happen to do some work in.

3. You must use your home for the convenience of your employer.

4. You can’t get rent from your employer for the use of a portion of your home to conduct his or her business.

When you deduct home office business expenses, you are actually determining the percentage of your home that you use for business and allocate that portion of the home as a business expense. Other business use of home expenses includes utilities, mortgage interest, depreciation, repairs and insurance. You may take these tax deductions regardless of whether you own your home or rent.

Keep these things in mind to increase your tax deductions if you are eligible to the business use of a home deduction.

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