As a result of both the development of the Internet and changing attitudes among employers, more and more people are able to avoid a physical daily commute by performing their jobs from a home office. Convenience isn’t the only perk telecommuters enjoy, however. Individuals who work from home, no matter what their job title, may be eligible for a number of tax deductions. Telecommuting employees should keep track of:
- Equipment and supplies—Items that are necessary for an employee to complete his or her job and not provided by the employer may be deductible.
- Communication—The cost of a second telephone line in a home may be deductible if the line is used for business communications exclusively. Business-related toll calls from a primary phone line may also be deductible.
- Travel—Even employees who work from home are occasionally required to travel for work. Qualified miles between one’s residence and temporary work locations may be tax deductible. Out-of-town travel expenses, such as mileage, meals, and lodging, also may be deductible.
- Education—Continuing education expenses are deductible if they are necessary for the employee to keep his or her job, maintain the same rate of pay, or acquire essential professional skills.
- Home office—Home office deductions may apply when the office is the primary place from which an employee performs his or her job, or is the setting where the employee meets with customers during the course of business. However, your home office must pass the “convenience of the employer” test (the employer asking you to work from your home rather than vice versa) for the associated expenses to be deductible.
For telecommuting employees, figuring out which of these possible expenses are deductible can be tricky. Don’t hesitate to contact the tax professionals at Pro Tax Resolution if there are any questions regarding which expenses you can deduct. Make the most out of working from home; examine your professional expenses before you file your tax return. Chances are good that you qualify for tax deductions.