The tax break has been expanded, but make sure you know the rules.

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 included a modification of the IRS’s definition of “principal place of business” that will permit a larger number of taxpayers to qualify for the home-office deduction. For tax years beginning after 1998, the deduction will be available for home offices that are used for administrative or management activities related to the taxpayer’s business (for example, billing, maintaining records, ordering supplies, scheduling appointments, creating reports).

Business/Personal Boundaries Home-based businesses, by their very nature, often have less structure. While many consider this to be an advantage, working at home can be a double-edged sword. The lack of structure tends to result in home-based workers putting in more hours than when they did not work at home. Having set office hours and “closing up” at the end of the day will help you balance business and personal matters.

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Tags: business purposes, Business_Finance, home based businesses, home office, itemized deduction, place of business, tax deduction, taxpayer relief act of 1997