IRS Simplifies Home Office Deduction
The number of home owners who work from home at least one day a week increased nearly 10 percent — from 9.5 million to 13.4 million — between 1999 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. However, only 3.4 million home owners claimed deductions for business use of a home in 2010, according to the IRS.
The IRS recently announced a new safe harbor provision for home office deductions for the 2013 tax year.
“This allows at-home workers the option to simply take a deduction capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet,” FOX Business reported. “The requirement that home office space be exclusively used for business and limitations on income earned from that business still applies, and direct business expenses unrelated to the home (advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees, etc.) are fully deductible.”
“The home office deduction is one of the most misunderstood and abused deductions out there,” says Margaret Munro, a tax consultant, about the changes. “If you have a valid home office, you take the deduction because you shouldn’t be paying tax on money that you’re using for your business.”