How picky is the home office deduction?

January 23rd, 2012 → 8:40 am @

This may seem like a really stupid question, but the exclusive use of space for a home office deduction, does that mean that the business owner can’t do any personal business in that space, like make personal phone calls, do personal things on the computer/internet, have personal files in the area, pay personal bills, etc?

Pam D


Here’s some advice from the TurboTax website:


“The rule doesn’t mean you’re forbidden to make a personal phone call from the office, or that you have to rush outside whenever a family member needs a moment of your time. Although individual IRS auditors may be more or less strict on this point, some advisors say you meet the spirit of the exclusive-use test as long as personal activities invade the home office no more than they would be permitted at an office building.”


Additionally, the Nolo website  states this:


Exclusive use. Exclusive use means that you use a portion of your home only for business. If you use a room of your home for your business and also for personal purposes, you don’t meet the exclusive use test. However, you can set aside a portion of a larger room to be used only for business, as long as your personal activities don’t stray into it.


I hope that helps,


Carol Topp, CPA

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One Comment → “How picky is the home office deduction?”

  1. […] “IRS simplifies home office deduction”-If you have a specific place in your house that is used exclusively for your business (e.g. a space only used to store your books) then you may qualify for a home office deduction. Read this post to learn more about how to qualify for the home office deduction and the new simplified method for calculating the value of that deduction. Learn more about this particular deduction through these other posts: “The Writers Home Office Deduction,” and “How picky is the home office deduction.”  […]