The April 15 deadline to file your 2012 tax returns is fast approaching. If you telecommute or work from home, you may be researching the home office deduction. Before you take the jump and start adding up how much this deduction is going to boost your refund, check out these five home office deduction articles.
The official IRS.gov website is the best place to go for information about all things taxes, including the home office deduction. Last week the IRS published a tax tip dedicated to the topic, including a list of requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the deduction.
“Generally, in order to claim a deduction for a home office, you must use a part of your home exclusively and regularly for business purposes.”
Some experts consider claiming the home office deduction an audit red flag because, in the past, this was an often-abused deduction. “The credit can only be claimed if the home office is your primary place of business and is used exclusively for work. People get into trouble when the IRS suspects they are mixing personal costs with their business costs.”
Not everyone thinks the deduction is an automatic red flag but of course, no one knows for sure. If you qualify for the deduction, take it. According to Forbes, 26 million Americans have home offices but only 3.4 million people take the deduction.
If you think you’re eligible to take the deduction but you’re still on the fence, this article will help you make your decision. The form to take the home office deduction, Form 8829, is 43 lines long. But, the average home office deduction is worth $2,600 according to H&R Block.
The team over at Nolo.com has a great article on claiming the home office tax deduction as well as examples on what qualifies and what doesn’t. “Brook, a lawyer, uses a den in his home to write legal briefs and prepare contracts. He also uses the den for poker games and hosting a book club. Because he uses the den for both business and pleasure, Brook can't claim business deductions for using the den.”
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