This is an excerpt from my book Business Tips and Taxes for Writers
Business use of the home is a business deduction, but only if the office portion of your home is used regularly and exclusively for business.
An office cannot be used for writing and used by the kids for homework and be eligible for the deduction. Many authors may regularly use their office, but find the exclusive requirement to be difficult to meet and therefore do not take the business use of the home deduction.
True Story: I have worked from my home office for ten years, but have never taken the business use of the home deduction because my daughters and husband also use my office. On the other hand, my neighbor, Ed, is a salesman with an office devoted solely to his work. His family uses a separate laptop in the family room for homework and personal e-mail. Ed is entitled to a business use of the home deduction, while I am not.
Order Business Tips and Taxes for Writers here
Carol Topp, CPA