10 IRS Rules for the Home Office Deduction

Today, it's easy to take a deduction on your home office. Top Photo Group/ThinkStock

The home office deduction is your golden ring. It makes up for all that miserable time spent toiling after-hours for an unsympathetic boss in your windowless, tiny little den. Sure, you were working overtime with nobody but your dog to impress, but at least you get that sweet tax write-off for your glorified home cubicle.

Unless, of course, you don't get any write-off at all. You don't work there full-time, and you don't really need the office for your job; before you know it, you're not claiming it as a deduction. Which is a real shame, because even though around 26 million Americans have home offices, just 3.4 million claim them on their taxes as a deduction [source: Eisenberg].

So let's get down to business and decide if you qualify for a home office deduction. First up: Can you even take a home office deduction if you're not self-employed?