General Question

esequeira's avatar

Can I claim my home as my office if I am an independent contractor?

Asked by esequeira (11points) July 7th, 2010

I will be working as an independent contractor next year for a school district in Texas. The commute from my home will be far and I was wondering if I could claim mileage if I make my home my office. I feel that I could make a room in my home an office but I’m not sure if it qualifies as the principal place that I conduct business. I will be going to multiple school sites per week.

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10 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Yes. If you devote a room in your home to an office for your business, it’s a claimable home office.

Austinlad's avatar

Zaku is correct, but with this caveat: The IRS takes a close look at these deductions. I know. So be sure to keep very accurate records including size of the work space compared to the parts of the house not used for work, utility percentage, telepone records, and business supplies. Also keep your check stubs and proof of our contract employers.

jazmina88's avatar

absolutely, you can count mileage.

YARNLADY's avatar

The only home office space you can claim has to be 100% devoted to office, and it cannot be your dining room table or your living room couch.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@jazmina88 Check with your accountant you maybe violating the mileage reg’s. The rule I remember is first job no mileage deduction, second job (not trip or another stop ) fulll deduction for mileage.
Contractors should include mileage in their employers charges. Things like the Social Security self-employment must be paid, they will check that also.

esequeira's avatar

But if I claim my home as an office, I believe I can begin counting mileage from home to the first stop. Right?

laureth's avatar

I believe this will help you.

UScitizen's avatar

The question you have asked has a very complicated answer. It would be foolish to rely on jellies for this. You MUST have a tax professional on board for this answer. By tax professional, I mean someone whom you pay, and will be bound to the advice he gives to you. Furthermore, he will be available to defend you at your audit. Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Code is not intended (by its authors) to be understood by the average businessman.

wgallios's avatar

Claiming a home office is a great way to get audited; pretty big red flag to the IRS.

Also as @YARNLADY said, make sure you use it 100% only for business purposes, and don’t measure the room yourself either, have it officially measured by a third party just to keep things legit incase you do get audited.

But I agree with @UScitizen consult a tax professional for all the dirty details.

perspicacious's avatar

It takes a lot more than that. Get the home office booklet from the IRS.

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