Don't Forget to Claim It
This brings us to our last rule, which is pretty simple itself: Don't forget to claim your home office deduction if you earn it. While we've wagged a lot of fingers to discourage you from claiming a deduction you don't deserve, the point remains that a lot of people are not taking the home office deduction simply because it seems complicated or makes them fear an audit.
In reality, you should absolutely be comfortable claiming a home office deduction if you meet all the requirements, and it could save you some tax money. Even the IRS has acknowledged that the former actual expense rules were needlessly complicated for most small business owners or self-employed professionals. Adding the simplified deduction was designed to make it easier to claim a home office, so have at it.
Author's Note: 10 IRS Rules for the Home Office Deduction
As a self-employed person, it's pretty easy for me to claim a home office deduction because I don't have to itemize my deductions to do it; it's a business expense. But if itemizing works in your favor, by all means follow the rules and claim the deduction. It's thrilling to write off a portion of that Internet bill.
- Eisenberg, Richard. "Secrets of Claiming a Home-Office Deduction." Forbes. Feb. 8, 2013. (Oct. 4, 2014) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/02/08/secrets-of-claiming-a-home-office-deduction/
- Fishman, Stephan. "The Simplified Home Office Deduction." Nolo. 2014. (Oct. 4, 2014) http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/irs-creates-simplified-home-office-deduction.html
- Fishman, Stephen. "The Simplified Home Office Deduction." Nolo. 2014. (Oct. 4, 2014) http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/irs-creates-simplified-home-office-deduction.html
- IRS. "Home Office Deduction." Oct. 1, 2014. (Oct. 4, 2014) http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
- IRS. "Publication 587." 2013. (Oct. 4, 2014) http://www.irs.gov/publications/p587/index.html
- TurboTax. "The Home Office Deduction." Intuit. 2013. (Oct. 4, 2014) https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Small-Business-Taxes/The-Home-Office-Deduction/INF12067.html
Many Americans don't think about their tax bills until the new year. But there are things you need to do before Dec. 31 if you want to pay less later.