Monday, August 3, 2009
Home Office: Neither Reasonable nor Unreasonable.
I'm planning on doing freelance programming from my apartment full time and I'm wondering exactly how much of this I can write off as a home office.
I've got a 1 bedroom with my desk and computer gear in the living room. Can I write off the area of the living room (say 50% of the apt)? What if I also watch TV or have people over in that space?
Am I only allowed to write off the 5% or so that the desk occupies? What if I use the computer for non-programming activities? I guess I am wondering what a reasonable deduction would be...
For home office use there is no reasonable nor unreasonable.
Either using your home for business fits the regs or it doesn't.
The use must be exclusive. In other words you can do nothing in the home office area other than work. That means no friends in to watch TV, no emailing Mom or your girlfriend from your home office computer [everyone breaks that rule].
The area does not have to be an entire room. It can be a small area of one or more rooms.
Here's a more complete explanation of home office expense.