Certain business expenses may be deducted for income tax purposes under IRS regulations. All ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred in the taxable year in carrying on a trade or business may be deducted.
But what if your client uses a home office? What are the rules then? As treated in Tax Facts Online, here are the answers:
If a client uses part of his or her home for a business, they may be able to deduct expenses related to that business use. The IRS has certain requirements to help determine if they qualify for the home office deduction.
Generally, in order to claim a business deduction for a home office, a client must use part of his or her principal residence exclusively and regularly as the principal place of business, or as a place to meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of a business, or in any connection with the trade or business where the business portion of the home is a separate structure not attached to the home.
For certain storage use, rental use or daycare facility use, clients are required to use the property regularly but not exclusively. Note that there are special rules for qualified daycare providers and for persons storing business inventory or product samples.
Normally, the amount that can be deducted depends on the percentage of the home used for business. The deduction for certain expenses will be limited if gross income from the business is less than total business expenses.
If a client is self-employed, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home to calculate the home office deduction, and report those deductions on Form 1040 Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business.
If a client is an employee, additional rules apply for claiming the home office deduction. For example, the regular and exclusive business use must be for the convenience of his or her employer.
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See AdvisorOne’s 22 Days of Tax Planning for 2012 Special Report.