US: IRS offers two options for claiming the Home Office Deduction

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The Internal Revenue Service recently reminded small business owners who work from a home office that there are two options for claiming the Home Office Deduction. The Home Office Deduction is often overlooked by small business owners.

The first option for calculating the Home Office Deduction is the Regular Method. This method requires computing the business use of the home by dividing the expenses of operating the home between personal and business use. Direct business expenses are fully deductible and the percentage of the home floor space used for business is assignable to indirect expenses.

The second option, the Simplified Method, reduces the paperwork and recordkeeping burden for small businesses. The simplified method has a prescribed rate of $5 per square foot for business use of the home. There is a maximum allowable deduction available based on up to 300 square feet. Choosing this option requires taxpayers to complete a short worksheet in the tax instructions and entering the result on the tax return. Deductible expenses for business use of a home include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, casualty losses, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance and repairs. In general, expenses for the parts of the home not used for business are not deductible.

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