Any accountant bees out there? Maybe HR bees can help?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

Not sure how tax reform has impacted this so take this with a grain of salt: You can deduct home office expenses, only to the extent they are used for business purposes. Pub 587 covers this, but it may be updated/followed up on with reform. I am a bit rusty because I do corporate tax accounting as my day job. 

The space needs to be used exclusively for work (ie – not your dining room table). The tricky part is that you can’t write off an office that you use post-work to wrap things up after leaving the office. It needs to be an office you are using “at the convenience of your employer” – ie: you work in another state where they don’t have an office for you, so you work remotely from home. It also needs to be your main hub for work – which in your case seems to be the case! 

So yes, I would assume you could deduct the corresponding portion of your bills and expenses. I do not know why HR wouldn’t give you the necessary letter. You can also choose to deduct $5 x office sqft, which is the IRS’s quick calc option for the deduciton if you want to! I would continue to bug HR about it, I would want the letter with my W2 every year. 

 

Post # 3
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

Also all of this is based on federal taxes, I am not sure how California impacts the state tax deduction but I don’t know why it would be impacting your federal tax write off… States can’t override federal law. 

Post # 5
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

Yeah they seem to be giving you the run-around. Your office is definitely qualified and I don’t know what benefit they could possibly be getting (other than being lazy). They can still deduct your internet/home phone and you would be able to deduct your personally incurred expenses, this shouldn’t be such a big deal! Ugh HR. 

Post # 6
Member
1255 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Not sure from the HR standpoint why they wouldn’t give you the letter, but I’m a tax accountant and I can tell you that the home office deduction is among one of the most audited deductions there is. It’s definitely helpful that you only use that room as a home office- probably the flat $5/square foot would’ve been the best way to go. You might still get audited for that though, and I’m assuming the letter from your employer would be needed to verify. 

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