My boss lets me work from home. Can I write off my home office?

March 18, 2015 by Dave Du Val, EA
woman on the phone holding baby

Hey Dave,

I am a policy and procedure writer for a Fortune 500 company. Due to my long commute, my boss lets me work from home one day a week. Can I write off my home office?

Gail

 

Gail,

I am happy to hear that you have an accommodating boss. Unfortunately, the IRS is not as considerate when it comes to allowing employees to claim a home office. There are very strict requirements that must be met in order for a W-2 employee to be eligible to claim the home office deduction. Here are the two tests you must pass:

(1) The home office use must be for the employer's convenience (usually because there is no other office space available); and

(2) The home office must be required as a condition of your employment. For this requirement, your employer must be able to verify that there is a substantial business need for requiring you to work from home.

Since you say in your question that you are working from home once a week to give you a break from your long commute, I’m afraid you would not be able to pass either of these tests and, therefore, you would not be eligible to claim a deduction for your home office expenses.

Deductibly Yours,

Dave

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