Saturday, December 8, 2007


Tax time will be here before we know it, so I wanted to pass along a tip about claiming a home-office deduction. In the past many have recommended that you not claim a home office because it tended to send up a red flag at the tax office--and you would be more likely to be audited. Fortunately that is no longer true. Since it has become so common to have a home office, even the IRS sees it as an accepted part of business. You can take a home office deduction if you use a room--or portion of a room--as your principal place of business. The space qualifies if it is where you do substantial work, and it is used exclusively and regularly for business. For a writer that means where you do the bulk of your writing. Another change lets you claim additional space if you store books for resale, research materials, or the like somewhere else in your house or garage--even if the space is not used exclusively for business. You can also claim mileage from your home office to other places relevant to your writing, such as to the library, office supply store, post office, etc. The calulation for the deduction can get complicated, so check with your accountant about what and how much you can deduct on your next tax return.

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