Today it’s becoming more common to work from home. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it from your 2015 taxes.
If you’re an employee, your use of your home office must be for your employer’s convenience, not just your own. If you’re self-employed, generally your home office must be your principal place of business, though there are exceptions.
Whether you’re an employee or self-employed, the space must be used regularly (not just occasionally) and exclusively for business purposes. If, for example, your home office is also a guest bedroom or your children do their homework there, you can’t deduct the expenses associated with that space.
A valuable tax break
If you are eligible, home office tax deductions can be a valuable tax break. 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 office space.
Or you can take the simpler “safe harbor” tax deduction in lieu of calculating, allocating and substantiating actual expenses. 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.
Other 2015 tax deductions
For employees, home office expenses are a miscellaneous itemized tax deduction. This means you’ll enjoy a 2015 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.
Be aware that we’ve covered only a few of the rules and limits here. If you think you may be eligible for the home office tax deduction, contact Miller Kaplan Arase for more information about completing your 2015 taxes. Our team of certified public accountants can help you determine all the tax benefits and deductions you and your business qualify for.
We highly recommend you confer with your Miller Kaplan advisor to understand your specific situation and how this impacts you.