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Tax Deduction for Your Home Office

March 18, 2009

People who use a portion of their home for business purposes may be able to take a home office deduction.

In order to claim a business deduction, you must use part of your home for one of the following two reasons:

1. Exclusively and regularly as either: your principal place of business, or as a place to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers in the normal course of your business. Where there is a separate structure not attached to your home, the regular and exclusive use does not need to be your principal place of business as long as the use is in connection with your trade or business.

2. On a regular basis for certain storage use — such as storing inventory or product samples — as rental property, or as a home daycare facility. Generally, the amount you can deduct depends on the percentage of your home that you used for business. Your deduction for certain expenses will be limited if your gross income from your business is less than your total business expenses.

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. There are special rules for qualified daycare providers and for persons storing business inventory or product samples. If you are self-employed, use Form 8829 to figure your home office deduction and report those deductions on line 30 of Schedule C, Form 1040. Different rules apply to claiming the home office deduction if you are an employee. For example, the regular and exclusive business use must be for the convenience of your employer.

For more information see IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home, available at IRS.gov

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