Under what conditions could we as consultants write off a home office? Is it justifiable? Would it pass an audit?

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What has everyone been smoking? You make choices where to live, and if you’ve chosen 500+ miles away, you need to bear the cost for your comfy swivel chair

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Ya know, the IRS actually has a publication on this very topic and it is updated every year just for cases like this. OP asked a black and white question, IRS has a black and white answer, everyone else is just trying to get the OP audited for shts and giggles.

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Seems like a no brainier to claim the home office deduction as long as that space in your home is in fact dedicated to being an office (i.e., not also used as a bedroom, family room, etc.)

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Yo most of you seem really confused about what is deductible in general. Just because you ‘made the decision’ doesn’t mean it isn’t deductible. If I have a lawn mower business and decide to buy a more expensive vehicle, that doesn’t mean only the lesser is deductible. Most of your logic is nonsense.

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If important: I don’t go to the office often and live 500+ miles away from my home office. Work from home Fridays, some weekends and the occasional weekday.

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Under the condition that the tax write off benefit will at least pay for having a CPA by your side in the case of an audit. Claiming home offices is one of the trigger factors for an audit with the IRS. Look at IRS guidance to determine whether or not it is in your benefit to claim he deduction (it probably isn't).

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WM is messing with you, OP. This deduction does not apply to any of us.

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Thanks @K1 - I’m removing home office from taxes before filing. I’d pay so much money not to be audited only because I don’t have time to deal with audit even if I’m in the right! I wish the govt would just give me my bill with no guess work. I want to pay it AND never think of it again!!

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@OP I wouldn’t fritter away free money out of FUD. There is a framework, it’s clearly documented, follow it or hire someone to follow it for you. See WM1’s last

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WM - they wouldn’t pay for you to go in the office and they won’t pay for you to travel to a local client either. So if your home office is Chicago and you choose to live in Iowa, you have to pay to go into the office on your own and if you are staffed in Chicago, you don’t get to expense that bc your office is technically Chicago.
The government looks at this as you have an office with the firm. Unless they tell you explicitly to work from home (which 99.9% of consultants will not fit into this category) you cannot claim Home office. Furthermore, if you were to claim Home office, you would only get a percentage of the deduction you were home. Which, for a good majority of consultants, would only be 1/5. Your few hours of catchup work on the weekend doesn’t count in the eyes of the IRS .

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Only thing I've learned from this thread is to never let WM anywhere near my taxes. I can't tell if he's trolling if he seriously believes what he's saying.

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Why do you love 500+ miles from the office? How did you swing that as a consultant?

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Thanks all!! No interest in this deduction given the above discussion. This is the last year we can do it anyhow given 2018 tax code changes. Not worth the risk even if justifiable. Many many thanks.

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My question is why don’t more of us live where we want irrespective of firm office location (of course still within 1 hour of semi-major airport)? If we travel 4 days a week and generally are still working so hard on Fridays (or are exhausted from a heavy week of work and late Thursday night flights) that we don’t make it into the office even if only walking distance, why not let your “home” be where you choose to live?! Lots of firms support this!

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In all seriousness, see: https://www.irs.gov/media/168086

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Does your company had an office within 50 miles? If yes, then you make the decision to work from home

Check the IRS rules OP, if it's a dedicated space used for work only it's deductible

If you do your admin work (logging time, invoicing clients, creating deliverables, etc.) from the home office, and if your working from home is at the request / benefit of your employer (can you produce a letter as proof if requested?), and if the space is exclusively used as a home office, then... draw your own conclusion. See the flowchart I linked.

Saying that "this doesn't apply to any of us" is a gross over-generalization. Would your employer pay your travel expenses to come into the office, given that you live 500 miles away? If so, you working from home benefits the employer and they may be willing to produce a letter to that effect. I would think this especially true if you were hired as a remote employee and have always lived this far away.

Ok WM, you're right that of course it does apply in very limited circumstances to a very small number of people in a major consulting firm. However most people here will read that and think well they must be that exception case because they work from home a lot.

Y'all need to switch firms. We pay for remote employees to come into the office. 😊

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