10 IRS Rules for the Home Office Deduction

Percentage of the Home
If you want to get specific, you'll need to figure out how much of your home is being used as an office. innovatedcaptures/iStockphoto/ThinkStock

Now that we've talked about a few rules to claim the home office deduction, it's about time we jump into rules about the deduction itself.

If you're excited to find out the flat fee you can claim as an itemized deduction for your home office, we have some bad news. The actual dollar amount you can claim is wholly dependent on your very specific circumstances -- the IRS doesn't just tell you to subtract $1,000 from your income if you have a home office. There are a couple of ways to do it, but we'll start with the most complicated method.

It's called the "actual expenses" method, and it involves taking the percentage of the home you use for an office and deducting certain expenses based on the percentage. While you could claim some of the solely business-related expenses in full, most of your expenses can only be written off based on the percentage they're used for business. Let's go to the next page to get into a little more detail about how to write off actual expenses.