February 20, 2014
Steve Boultbee, Tax & Business Services Senior Manager, Featured in San Francisco Chronicle Article, "Deducting for a Home Office can be Streamlined this Year."
By Kathleen Pender
It's not often that something in the tax code gets easier, which makes the new simplified home office deduction noteworthy.
Starting with 2013 tax returns, people who work from home have the option of deducting up to $1,500 worth of housing-related expenses in one line on their tax return. Or they can use the old option, which involves filling a complex 43-line form (8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home).
In the Bay Area, where housing costs are so high, the old version will still produce a bigger tax write-off for most people who work full time out of their homes.
Under the hard option, you are entitled to a deduction for depreciation on your dedicated office space. Whether you take this deduction or not, it reduces the cost basis in your home and could increase the tax you pay when you sell your home, says Steve Boultbee, a senior manager with accounting firm Marcum.