10 IRS Rules for the Home Office Deduction

Meet Clients or Customers
If you're using a space to meet clients and customers, you may be eligible for the deduction. Nyul/iStockphoto/ThinkStock

Here's a fun rule. Even if you primarily work at another location, you can still claim your office -- or even part of your home -- as a deduction if you're regularly meeting with clients, patients, associates, customers -- anybody who's using your services, basically. This sounds terrific, right? Just Skype into a few daily briefings from home, and that home office deduction is yours.

Predictably, it's not that easy. First of all, remember you still have to meet our first two requirements: exclusive and regular use of your home office. When meeting with clients and customers, you have to meet some pretty specific requirements too. They have to be in-person meetings (texting a client from your den isn't cutting it), and your home must be integral for you to conduct business. This might seem confusing, but consider who the IRS is trying to give a break to: people who literally have a professional office in their home. A chiropractor who works from home, for instance, has substantial reason for conducting business there.

In other words, it's not a rule that's generally designed to be met by any yahoo inviting strangers over to buy stuff.