If you use part of your home for your business, you may qualify to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. Here are six facts from the IRS to help you determine if you qualify for the home office deduction.

  1. Generally, in order to claim a deduction for a home office, you must use a part of your home exclusively and regularly for business purposes. In addition, the part of your home that you use for business purposes must also be:
    • your principal place of business, or
    • a place where you meet with patients, clients or customers in the normal course of your business, or
    • a separate structure not attached to your home. Examples might include a studio, workshop, garage or barn. In this case, the structure does not have to be your principal place of business or a place where you meet patients, clients or customers.
  2. You do not have to meet the exclusive use test if you use part of your home to store inventory or product samples. The exclusive use test also does not apply if you use part of your home as a daycare facility.
  3. The home office deduction may include part of certain costs that you paid for having a home. For example, a part of the rent or allowable mortgage interest, real estate taxes and utilities could qualify. The amount you can deduct usually depends on the percentage of the home used for business.
  4. The deduction for some expenses is limited if your gross income from the business use of your home is less than your total business expenses.
  5. If you are self-employed, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure the amount you can deduct. Report your deduction on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business.
  6. If you are an employee, you must meet additional rules to claim the deduction. For example, in addition to the above tests, your business use must also be for your employer's convenience.

For more information, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home. It's available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

As you answer simple questions about the use of your home for business, TaxACT will complete Form 8829, Schedule C and Form 1040 for you. Start your tax return now to see if you qualify for the home office deduction.

Use TaxACT DocVault, a free mobile app, throughout the year to track and save related receipts and documents. Then import your images into TaxACT Deluxe to save them with your tax return.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

April 10 Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

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April 15 Household employers
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April 27 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
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April 29 Regular method taxes
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April 30 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2015. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until May 11 to file the return.

April 30 Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.

April 30 Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the first quarter of 2015.

April 30 Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during March.

April 30 Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in March.

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