Working from home? Don’t expect a tax break

W-2 employees can’t deduct home office expenses

SAN ANTONIO – Working from has been taxing enough. But what about that new desk or chair you bought, or maybe a faster internet connection, printer, or a ring light for all of those Zoom meetings? Could you deduct those expenses on your federal taxes?

“Unfortunately, if you are an employee only, that is not something you can deduct,” said Jose Garcia, CPA and owner of Mission Tax and Financial.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated home office deductions and replaced them with a fatter standard deduction.

But some people can write off their home office expenses. Those who are self-employed, independent contractors or working in the gig economy can deduct qualified expenses.

“Then, you may be able to deduct that part of the house that you use exclusively for office or administrative work for your self-employment,” Garcia said.

It must be your main place of doing business and used only for business, not your kitchen where you plop your laptop.

There are different options for claiming those deductions spelled out by the IRS. There are also separate rules for day cares operated from homes.

For the rest of the work-from-home population, there is another way to try to recoup expenses.

“What I suggest is try to negotiate something with your employer and see what options they provide to you,” Garcia said.

Filing a tax return? Here’s what you need to know this year.


About the Authors: