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Don't overlook your home office

If you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office deduction whether you are self-employed or an employee. Expenses that you may be able to deduct for business use of the home may include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, depreciation, painting, and repairs.

You may claim this deduction for the business use of part of your home only if you use that part regularly and exclusively:

  • As your principal place of business for any trade or business; or
  • As a place to meet or deal with your patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your trade or business.

Generally, the amount you can deduct depends on the percentage of your home that you used for business. Your deduction will be limited if your gross income from your business is less than your total business expenses. The percentage of your home used for business is based on either the total number of rooms or square footage. If you use a separate structure not attached to your home for an exclusive and regular part of your business, you can deduct expenses related to it.

If you are an employee, you have additional requirements to meet. The regular and exclusive business use must be for the convenience of your employer. This means you are not allowed a home-office deduction if your employer does not require you to work at home.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Electing to Expense the Cost of Your Business Assets

    Section 179 deduction limits increase

    The IRS allows taxpayers the option of either depreciating some assets over a specified number of years or deducting all or a portion of the cost in one year. The expense election, commonly referred to as the Section 179 deduction, is made in the year the asset is placed in service. The benefit is a large deduction in the current year that is not reduced even if the asset is placed in service late in the tax year.

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Small Business Quick Tip

  • Employer Provided Education

    Employer-provided education assistance benefits of $5,250 provided under a written plan are excludable from wages. The education doesn't need to be job-related to qualify.
Friday, 23rd March 2018

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Tax Tips Personal

  • Overlooked Employee Business Expenses

    Don't miss out on deductions you are allowed to take

    Unreimbursed employee business expenses are allowed as a miscellaneous itemized deduction provided they exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income when combined with all your other miscellaneous expenses.

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Personal Quick Tip

  • Teacher Expenses

    If you are a teacher who spent your own money for classroom supplies, you can take a deduction for up to $250 of those costs.