10 Common Miscellaneous Expense Deductions

Home Office
Your little home office can be a tidy tax deduction. Ryan McVay/Photodisc/ThinkStock

Ah, the home office. Many have tried to claim it, and many have failed.

That might be kind of an exaggeration. Maybe a more accurate statement would be, "A lot of people wish they could claim it, and sometimes they can." But you have to give people credit for trying: We all want to assume that the closet-sized, windowless room in our house serves a higher purpose than merely storing our extra dining chairs.

But this is no attempt to discourage you. If you can, by all means you should be claiming your home office. You just have to meet a certain criteria for doing it, and that includes using it regularly and exclusively as your principal place of business and as a place to meet with clients or associates. From there, the IRS offers a couple different ways to calculate your deduction: One method requires an algorithm to figure out a prorated amount based on your square footage, while the other "simplified" method offers a flat fee of $5 per square foot (up to $1,500) [source: Eisenberg].

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