Office in Home Deduction – By John R. Bullis

Kim Pilant John's Articles

With our economy like it is and with many folks operating a small business from their home, the income tax deduction for “Office in Home” can save some income tax.

Form 1040, Schedule C is where the business income and expenses are reported for owners of a business that is not a partnership or corporation. The net income is subject to two taxes; income tax and self-employment tax.

It is not unusual for the self-employment tax to be a significant amount. Use 15% of net profits as a quick estimate of what that tax might be.

If you use part of your home exclusively and regularly for business, then part of the expenses of the home can be a business deduction for “Office in Home”. That will reduce your income tax and your self-employment tax.

Some folks have worried and not claimed the deduction for “Office in Home” because they think it will cause IRS to audit their return. That deduction is now normal and claimed on many sole owner business individual income tax returns. That deduction does not cause an IRS audit.

The IRS has a good website that allows you to print out forms and instructions. It is <irs.gov>. Then select “forms and instructions” and “form 8829” and “Instructions for Form 8829”.

You will see there is first to enter the area used regularly and exclusively for business. For example, that might be 80 square feet. Then line 2 is the total square feet of your home. That will give a percentage for the business use. If the home is 2,000 square feet in total, then 4% is the business use.

The expenses include the mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, repairs & maintenance, utilities and other expenses as well as depreciation expense on the home. The expenses are then multiplied by the business use percentage to get the deduction for Schedule C, line 30.

If you rent the home, the rent paid is entered and with the other expenses for utilities, repairs, etc. is multiplied by the business use percentage.

If your business has a loss, then the expenses for “Office in Home” are not allowed for that year, but they carry over and can be claimed in the next year with a profit.

If you are entitled to the deduction, go ahead and claim it!

Did you hear, “There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.” Author Unknown