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Getting Comfortable with the Home Office Deduction

Many business owners run their operation partially or entirely out of their home. No matter how often you are conducting business from the same place where you rest your head, you should be aware of the home office deduction and what it takes to qualify.

To qualify for the deduction, you generally must maintain a specific area in your home that you use regularly and exclusively in connection with your business. What’s more, you must use the area as your principal place of business or, if you also conduct business elsewhere, use the area to regularly conduct business, such as meeting clients and handling management and administrative functions. If you’re an employee, your use of the home office must be for your employer’s benefit.

The only option to calculate this tax break used to be the actual expense method. With this method, you deduct a percentage (proportionate to the percentage of square footage used for the home office) of indirect home office expenses, including mortgage interest, property taxes, association fees, insurance premiums, utilities (if you don’t have a separate hookup), security system costs and depreciation (generally over a 39-year period). In addition, you deduct direct expenses, including business-only phone and fax lines, utilities (if you have a separate hookup), office supplies, painting and repairs, and depreciation on office furniture.

But now there’s an easier way to claim the deduction. Under the simplified method, you multiply the square footage of your home office (up to a maximum of 300 square feet) by a fixed rate of $5 per square foot. You can claim up to $1,500 per year using this method. Of course, if your deduction will be larger using the actual expense method, that will save you more tax. Questions? Please give us a call. We would be happy to assist you.

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Columbus Office

Holbrook & Manter
775 Yard Street, Suite 160
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: 614.494.5300

Worthington/Lewis Center Office

100 East Campus View Blvd. Suite 250
Columbus, Ohio 43235
Phone: 614.885.8521

Dublin Office

Holbrook & Manter
545 Metro Place S, Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: 614.766.3696

Marion Office

Holbrook & Manter
181 East Center Street
Marion, OH 43302
Phone: 740.387.8620

Marysville Office

Holbrook & Manter
103 Professional Parkway
Marysville, OH 43040
Phone: 937.644.8175