More people have been working from home this year, due to the pandemic. However, home office expenses are not deductible if you are an employee. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the deduction for miscellaneous itemized deductions, and as a result, eliminated the ability to deduct unreimbursed employee business expenses.
If you have been working from home as a self-employed individual, and you meet certain criteria for a home office, you would be entitled to deduct a portion of expenses incurred for using your home as a workplace. To qualify, the home office area must be used exclusively for business and it must be a separate room. For example, working at the kitchen table does not qualify as a home office. In my home, I have converted a bedroom into an office and I do not use it for personal reasons, so it qualifies. And, personally, I use the simplified method to calculate my home office deduction. It’s easy and I don’t have to keep records to substantiate the deduction. Multiply $5 times the square footage of the home office and you have your deduction, up to a 300 square foot office. The maximum deduction using the simplified method would be $1,500.