Reposted from @gykconsulting Millions of Americans have been working from home for weeks now as the country tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus — and they're the lucky ones.
A record 10 million people have applied for unemployment benefits in just two weeks, a painful marker of the economic destruction this pandemic has already caused.
Working from home isn't the cake walk it may seem. With kids, spouses, and pets to attend to, it can be chaotic and stressful. But as employees hole up in their homes, many are wondering whether there's a financial upside.
A March 31 tweet posted by CBS News Correspondent Omar Villafranca asks the questions likely on many people's minds: "Had a talk w/a friend, which ended w/questions: Since many news folks are working from home & using their home as a studio, is there some sort of tax write-off? Electricity/internet/use of space? Any tax experts out there? Any WFH tax guru out there? Curious." You can only take a tax deduction if you're self-employed
There is indeed a tax deduction for home offices, but it's only available to self-employed people, Mike Savage, a CPA and the CEO of 1-800Accountant, told Business Insider. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) suspended the home office deduction for employees for tax years 2018 to 2025. "One of the principal requirements of the home office deduction is the space you use for business must be regularly and exclusively used for business," Savage said. "This means you cannot use the space for both business and personal. So, for example, if you use a room for work, that your family uses for personal use as well, it will not qualify." It must also be the principal location of your business.
That's a high bar to meet for many people who don't normally work from home but have been forced to as companies go remote. If you are able to meet those requirements, you may be able to deduct part of the cost of rent, repairs, and utilities, or if you're a homeowner, mortgage interest, depreciation, property tax, and insurance on next year's tax return, Savage said.
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