ask the taxgirl


Taxpayer asks:

Just read your article on Forbes “Working From Home? Your Home Offices Expenses Are Probably Not Tax-Deductible.

Now, it is as my understanding that an employee could still deduct home office if they are REQUIRED by their employer to work from home. My employer shut the doors early in March and required all of us (small business, less than 50 employees) to work from home only, no choice (many of us had to buy a laptop or monitors as well in order to maintain our normal productivity). This may last for as long as four months, maybe more according to my employer. Shouldn’t everyone at my company qualify for the home office and equipment deduction (assuming we meet the other exclusive space requirements)?

Taxgirl says:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, that was the old rule.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA) eliminated the home office deduction altogether for employees from 2018 to 2025. You can confirm this with IRS Publication 587 which states:

Employee expenses for business use of the home no longer allowed. You can no longer claim any miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A, including expenses for using your home as an employee. Miscellaneous itemized deductions are those deductions that would have been subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income limitation.

Now, home office expenses can only be deducted on Schedule C for independent contractors, freelancers, and small business owners (or Schedule F if you farm).

Before you go: be sure to read my disclaimer. Remember, I’m a lawyer and we love disclaimers.
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