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  • Dennis C. Carroll, Esq.

Can I deduct the part of my house where I work (my home office)?

Yes, but that part of your house must be used exclusively & regularly for your own business. You can either deduct $5 per square foot of your home office or deduct a percentage of home expenses based on home floor space used for business. If you have a 100 square foot office in a 1,000 square foot house, you take 10% of your home expenses.

You can deduct home expenses like taxes, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, and repairs. You cannot deduct expenses for parts of the home not used for your business, like painting a room not used for business.

When you choose to take a percentage of your expenses, instead of $5 per square foot, you will pay a 25% tax if you sell your house for a gain. But a gain isn't always easy to come by. Let's say you buy your house for $100,000 and use it for a home office for 10 years and depreciate it about $5,000. Then you sell the house for $100,000 and pay the closing costs of about $7,500 so you take home $92,500. Well that $92,500 is less than the effect of the depreciation ($100,000 - $5,000 = $95,000). So this is a loss, not a gain; and you won't pay taxes on this sale. Now, instead, if you sell your house for $200,000 and/or use a home office for longer than 10 years, then you may receive a gain on the sale and pay that 25% tax.


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