If You Run A Home-Based Business, Don’t Miss The Home Office Deduction

Vlad Rusz is a CPA. Centaur Digital Corphelps busy business owners manage their accounting systems efficiently.

Business owners have a goal of paying the lowest amount of tax permissible and often have fiduciary responsibilities. Tax planning is the process to reach this goal. One strategy that should be included in your tax plan is the home office deduction.

To take advantage of the home office deduction, you must meet the deduction requirements, choose an allocation method, calculate your expenses, and have the proper documentation. Check your eligibility and learn more about deductions by following these simple steps.

meet the requirements

The IRS has specific requirements for business owners who want to use the home office deduction. The first is that the space should be used exclusively for business. If you are using the living room to watch TV, you cannot deduct the living room as a home office deduction. is to be used for

After meeting these first two requirements, you may also have to meet a profitability test if you are self-employed. This means that home offices cannot be deducted in years when the business has suffered losses. These tests can be difficult to meet in some situations, such as if you own a small apartment, so you may need to adjust your layout or have exclusive use to qualify.

Choose an allocation method

Select an allocation method to calculate the amount of deductible housing costs. Businesses can use the square foot method. Calculate the square footage of your home used for your business, including the square footage used to store inventory and other materials, and divide by the total square footage. If you put an amount in the numerator, put it in the denominator as well.

The second accepted method is the number of rooms method. Divide 1 by the total number of rooms in the house, excluding hallways and bathrooms (because most businesses only use his one room in the house). Any reasonable method of allocating usage percentages between businesses and individuals is permitted. However, if you don’t use the area or number of rooms method, you should be prepared to defend the method.

calculate expenses

To determine the actual amount of the deduction, multiply the allocation rate by household expenses. It is important to include only the cost of the house in this calculation. The home office deduction calculation assigns a portion of your housing costs specifically to your business. Don’t include the cost of an office desk or new computer for your business in this calculation. These are normal business expenses and should be 100% deductible.

The IRS allows shortcuts if you don’t have a lot of expenses or don’t keep records. However, because housing costs are much higher than when the IRS set the standard $5-per-square-foot rate, the simplified method yields a smaller deductible than the actual cost method. There is a possibility.

Ensuring proper documentation

The type of business (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation) determines the nuances of what is deductible and the documentation required to validate the deduction. The partnership must state in the partnership or operating agreement that home office fees are not reimbursed by the partnership. Otherwise, home office expenses incurred by the partner will be reimbursed like any other business expenses.

On the other hand, businesses (both S Corps and C Corps) should have accountable plans that clearly state that home office costs will be reimbursed. Current tax law (TCJA 2018-2025) does not allow corporate owner employees to deduct unpaid employee expenses, so your only option is to use an accountable plan to reimburse this expense. Some business owners choose to rent their home office to their business, which in turn incurs rental fees. However, this method requires the owner to claim the rent amount as income and deduct related expenses.

A home office deduction is a tax-saving strategy that can be used to reduce the amount of tax owed by certain small business owners or sole proprietors. This deduction is especially beneficial for those who use most of their home for business purposes. This is a popular deduction, so make sure you’re eligible, choose the most profitable allocation method, calculate your expenses correctly, and keep the necessary documentation.

The information provided here is not investment, tax, or financial advice. Please consult a qualified professional for advice regarding your specific situation.

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