When the COVID pandemic began, life as we knew it suddenly changed. Many of us had to switch from working in an office away from home to our kitchen tables. As time went on and it became clear we would be working from home for an extended period of time, a better work-from-home setup was necessary.
Some people had an easy time deciding where to establish their home office, while others had to get more creative. Maybe you turned a guest room or “bonus” room into your home office. Or maybe a closet or corner of another room has become your work environment. You probably purchased items to make your office more efficient – desk, chair, monitors, and so on. Now that tax season is here, I bet you’re asking “can I take the home office deduction or write off those expenses on my taxes?” After all, you do use the internet and other utilities when you’re working from home, right?!
The answer depends on your employment situation. If you are an employee who receives a W-2, the answer is no. You are not allowed to take any deduction for a home office or related expenses (at least for federal tax purposes – some states still allow the deduction). However, if you did incur expenses for your home office, we recommend asking your employer if they will reimburse you for those expenses if they haven’t already – since they can write them off.
If you are an independent contractor or business owner, different rules apply. Check out our other article on the home office deduction for the details on when and how to claim the deduction on your taxes.
Still have questions? Send us a quick note on our Start Here page – we’re happy to help.