Jared Wilk Group | Weston Real Estate, Wellesley Real Estate, Newton Real Estate


If you work from home either full or part-time, you may want to give the home office deduction a go on your taxes. The problem with this deduction is that it can be tricky. 


Are You Eligible?


Your workspace needs to meet the criteria for business use. You need to use your work space regularly and as your principal place of business. If you don’t work from home as a self-employed individual, your employer must require you to work from home due to a lack of office space or other circumstances. The keywords in this part of the clause are “exclusively, regularly, and must.”


First, you’ll need to calculate the percentage of your home that’s used for business. This means that if your office is 100 square feet and your home is 1,000 square feet, you use 10% of your home for business. If you own the space you’re living in, you can deduct 10% of the mortgage interest that you pay each month. Keep in mind that you can’t double dip either. This means the amount of mortgage interest that you deduct on other parts of your taxes is reduced. If you rent your home, you’d deduct the percentage off of your monthly rental payments. 


Home Office Maintenance


If you own your home, you are able to deduct a portion of your property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and other expenses that are associated with your home office space. These expenses vary because some are direct such as the expense of you painting your office. Others are indirect. Home insurance applies to your entire home, so you would only apply a portion of that to a deduction. For the direct expenses, you are able to deduct the entire cost. 


For the indirect expenses, you’ll go back to applying the percentage of your home that is used for work. This means if we’re working with a 10% figure, you are able to deduct 10% of your utilities, 10% of your home insurance premiums, and so on.


If you rent, you can still deduct many of the same things that homeowners can from your taxes for a home office expenditure. The only thing that you’ll lack as a renter is the ability to write off things like mortgage interest, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. Know that you’ll be able to write off a portion of your renter’s insurance. 


The Complicated Stuff: Depreciation


You are able to depreciate the value of a home office as your home ages. It’s not always necessary to do this, so you should consult your tax professional before you decide to make this type of deduction. Equipment in your office, such as your computer, can be claimed as a depreciation over time as well. 


The important thing when it comes to your home office tax deduction is to do your homework. You don’t want to miss out on important savings!


Most people love the idea of working from home. You have access to whatever food you want for lunch, you decide when to get out of bed, and whether or not it's worth getting dressed for the day. While it does have many benefits, working from home has one huge disadvantage: distractions. Making your home office, living room, or bedroom a productive place to work is difficult, but it can be accomplished. Ultimately, your productivity is a matter of motivating yourself to work. But being in the right environment is still vital to creating a distraction free workplace. Whether you're self-employed, have a hobby that requires a home office, or just need a quiet place to do some paperwork, having a minimal home office can be vital to getting the job done. In this article, we'll cover all the elements needed to creating a simplistic workspace where you'll feel comfortable but still focused enough to work.

Setting the mood

Are you the type of person who works best in a well-lit room or do the lights need to be slightly dimmed? Depending on your preferences, you might want to choose a room that receives a lot of sunlight or convert part of your basement to an office. When it comes to wall and furniture colors, studies have shown that different colors can affect our mood. Depending on the atmosphere you're going for, you might choose white, light grey, or light blue wall colors. Bold colors will probably be too distracting and bright red colors can even be anxiety inducing. Try building a color palette online and deciding which color combinations you would enjoy for the walls of your office.

Avoiding distractions

You want your office to be sparsely decorated and free of distractions like games, phones, food, etc. However, for some people an empty room is even more distracting than a cluttered one. A good way to fill up the room without adding distractions is to incorporate plants and simple artwork. When choosing plants for your office, consider the amount of sunlight the room receives. It's possible to incorporate plant life without having to worry about moving them to receive sunlight. Similarly, there are cacti, succulents, and terrariums that require little upkeep and watering. You don't want to give yourself excuses for not working by telling yourself you need to water the plants.

Setting up your desk

Being productive is all about having a routine. You want your desk to help you stick to that routine. That means it should have everything you need to work and little, if anything, else. Aside from encouraging you to focus on your work, having a cluttered desk can also make it difficult to find what you need like a lost pen or a certain important piece of paper. Once you have your desk set up with what you need, be it a laptop, power cord, lamp, etc., then it's your job to keep it that way and avoid any rubbish from building up.



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