Information For...

For you and your family
Standard mileage and other information

Forms and Instructions

Individual Tax Return
Instructions for Form 1040
Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Certification
Request for Transcript of Tax Return

 

Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate
Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return
Employers engaged in a trade or business who pay compensation
Installment Agreement Request

Popular For Tax Pros

Amend/Fix Return
Apply for Power of Attorney
Apply for an ITIN
Rules Governing Practice before IRS

Must-Know Tips about the Home Office Deduction

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

IRS Tax Tip 2016-53, April 1, 2016

If you use your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. If you qualify, you can claim the deduction whether you rent or own your home. You may use either the simplified method or the regular method to claim your deduction. Here are six tips that you should know about the home office deduction:

  1. Regular and Exclusive Use. As a general rule, you must use a part of your home regularly and exclusively for business purposes. The part of your home used for business must also be:
    • Your principal place of business, or
    • A place where you meet clients or customers in the normal course of business, or
    • A separate structure not attached to your home. Examples could include a garage or a studio.
       
  2. Simplified Option. If you use the simplified option, multiply the allowable square footage of your office by a rate of $5. The maximum footage allowed is 300 square feet. This option will save you time because it simplifies how you figure and claim the deduction. It will also make it easier for you to keep records. This option does not change the rules for claiming a home office deduction.
     
  3. Regular Method. This method includes certain costs that you paid for your home. For example, if you rent your home, part of the rent you paid may qualify. If you own your home, part of the mortgage interest, taxes and utilities you paid may qualify. The amount you can deduct usually depends on the percentage of your home used for business.
     
  4. Deduction Limit. If your gross income from the business use of your home is less than your expenses, the deduction for some expenses may be limited.
     
  5. Self-Employed. If you are self-employed and choose the regular method, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure the amount you can deduct. You can claim your deduction using either method on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business. See the Schedule C instructions for how to report your deduction.
     
  6. Employees. You must meet additional rules to claim the deduction if you are an employee. For example, your business use must also be for the convenience of your employer. If you qualify, you claim the deduction on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

For more on this topic, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home. You can view, download and print IRS tax forms and publications on IRS.gov/forms anytime.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS YouTube Videos:

  • Home Office Deduction for Daycare Providers (Simplified Method) -- English (Obsolete)
  • Home Office Deduction for Schedule C Filers (Simplified Method) – English (Obsolete)
  • Home Office Deduction for Schedule F, Employee, Partnership Filers (Simplified Method) – English (Obsolete)

Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips