General Question

hearkat's avatar

What can a person write-off on their taxes if they work from home but are not self-employed?

Asked by hearkat (22862points) February 8th, 2017 from iPhone

When I move, I will be working remotely from my home. My employer is in another state. They will be providing a laptop, a phone and wireless headset, and a single computer monitor.

I will have to buy furniture and office supplies, including a printer; as well as internet and electricity. Another person who does this said the company doesn’t reimburse those things… so can they be written off?

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10 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Keep the receipts for the office furniture and supplies. You likely can also deduct part of your electric bill, internet, and phone. You will estimate what percentage of your house is for your office and then take those percentages for your utilities. Phone and internet you might be able to base off of how much use rather than the space for your office. I’m not sure, ask your accountant.

kritiper's avatar

Your 1040 tax form should/might answer this question, or contact the IRS for information. Usually, you can write off a portion of your household expenses for a home office if certain criteria are met, such as the office being a real office, not a spare bedroom.
Some supplies/furnishings can be written off when they are purchased but not when they are replaced. Like desks, tables, printers, maybe more, maybe less. Again, check with the IRS for specifics.

Coloma's avatar

Coffee? haha

BellaB's avatar

Talk to a tax accountant. It’s worth the small up-front investment.

It’s different here than in the US but it can be amazing what you can write off. Years ago I lived in a triplex. One of the other tenants found out he could write off the rent on the third unit – while Revenue Canada wouldn’t let him write off a portion of the rent on his existing unit. It was silly. They wouldn’t let him write off $150/month but would let him write off $1200/month. He just let the other unit sit empty -which is bad in a lot of ways in a housing market like ours.

jca's avatar

I just googled “IRS deductions working from home” and I got this:

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have worked from home before, but it was many years ago, and the regulations may have changed. When I worked from home, I calculated how much space my office occupied in my home. That percentage was used to calculate how much of my rent I could deduct as well as utilities. It was very complicated. You will probably be able to deduct the cost of anything that is not reimbursed by your employer. You need to talk to a CPA who specializes in taxes in your state.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I would tell NOT to deduct a percentage of you mortgage for the size of the office. A friend of the family did that but when he sold the house, there was a nightmare because the “office area” had a percentage of the sale of the house.
Utilities yes, not the phone or internet because of the of requirement of “exclusive and regular use.”
If you have a dedicated line for use of the office only use can deduct that them.

jca's avatar

Here is another document from the link above. I believe you can research it on your own and get an accurate idea of what the rules are.

BellaB's avatar

The exclusive use part is one of the tricky bits. In some jurisdictions it means that it must be a completely isolated area of the home – never used for anything other than business. Best to confirm with a tax specialist.

kritiper's avatar

I agree with @Tropical_Willie and do not deduct any portion of my home for taxes.

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