It is very important for anyone with a home business to understand the regulations governing a home office tax deduction. This has given rise to many audits in the past. In particular, you have to clearly understand the eligibility criteria for the home office tax deduction. There is definitely an advantage in understanding this process. In any event, you can prepare your home business. You can prepare to get back the most possible tax benefits by choosing the proper guidelines.
Understanding America’s home office tax deduction
Many people working from home take advantage of this option. Moreover, they prepare and claim the home office tax deduction from the government. This allows them the possibility to pay less tax on their income. For one thing, they can easily maintain working at home. Besides that, they can maintain the requirements of their home office in a convenient manner. However, the standards governing this arrangement has to be met before claiming such tax benefits.
Understanding the tax deduction requirements
There are three major requirements that you need to satisfy when you claim the home office tax deduction. You will notice that the first requirement is very hard to meet when compared to the other ones. Actually, the IRS will first inquire about the details of the space used. They use this information when determining the eligibility criteria for home office tax deduction.
You need to completely use a home space for your business activities in order to qualify for this. In fact, the space has to be exclusively dedicated for home business. You will not be in a safe position when you only use a small portion of your home for the office. Much less, it can be very hard for you to prove the eligibility when you only use a small corner of a room for business purpose.
The IRS insists that the property should be regularly used for business activities. Also, it has to be exclusively dedicated for office work. In simple terms, this means that you can only indulge in business activities in that location. You should exclusively dedicate the place for office work. Granted, you will not be qualified if you use the printers and other stuff for personal use. You will also have problems qualifying for the tax deduction when you have kids using the computers. For one thing, they may be using them for gaming and other activities.
Along with that, you should also regularly use the space for your home business activities. Say for example, you usually work on your laptop in a car. Then, you will have difficulty in getting eligibility for a tax deduction for a home office. In this case, it can be difficult to claim the home office tax deduction. This is due to the guidelines issued by the authorities with regards to exclusive use of the space.
You can, however, get some exemption in this clause when you operate a daycare center from the home. It is not exclusively dedicated for this business in this situation. But, the home is regularly used for business activities.
The second requirement is based on the reason for which you use the space as your home office. In any case, you can easily meet this requirement when you work from home for your individual business activities. Most often, the regular home businesses will not have any issues with this criteria. They can easily meet this without any issues.
However, this can be difficult to prove if you don’t have any individual home business and work for an employer from your own home. The employer may already be offering you an exclusive place to work. Even so, you may choose to work from home for your comfort. For this reason, it can be difficult to claim the tax deduction when you are usually working for others.
The third requirement is concerned with individuals who run many home businesses. Notably, you have to individually qualify for every business to get a home office tax deduction. It will be necessary to keep excellent expense records when you are having multiple businesses running from home. In particular, you will not be able to take the deduction when you fail to meet the requirement for even one of your businesses.
What deductions do you get?
You can get tax deductions on the area of the property used for business activities. The home office tax deduction is calculated in this manner. Regarding this, you will not get a deduction on the entire space of your home. Say for example, you can only get about 8% credit from the property tax when you have a 1600 sq ft house. At any rate, this is because you only use about 200 sq ft for business activities. However, it is also possible to get credits for utilities along with home expenses in the same manner.
How to arrange the space for getting a deduction?
You need to understand the rules governing a home office tax deduction if you are working from home on a full time basis. By the same token, it is necessary to create a suitable environment that meets all the requirement in an effective manner.
Specifically, you can consider using a partition in the room to indicate that it is exclusively used for business activities. This will help you with taxes when you have a work desk in the family room. In this manner, it becomes easy for any audit to understand that the space is exclusively used for business activities.
In addition, you should maintain the receipts for the purchases like a computer and furniture bought for your office activities. All these account for the home office tax deduction. Indeed, you can present them, if requested, when you file your taxes.