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10 Taxes You Can Write Off When You Work From Home

Read Time: 5 min

Legislators have added several provisions to the tax code over the years to lessen the impact of the additional expenses that self-employed taxpayers must bear to operate their businesses. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) self-employed tax deductions underwent several changes beginning with the 2018 tax year. 

Some of these modifications are permanent, while others are only temporary and will end in 2025. This deduction is extremely advantageous for owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, specific trusts, estates, and limited liability organizations (LLCs). Taxpayers who qualify may deduct up to 20% of their QBI. The net sum of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, and loss from a qualified trade or business constitutes a pass-QBI. 

It is crucial to remember that tax laws are continually evolving, and these clauses could be changed or extended before 2025. It is vital to study the most popular self-employed taxes and deductions to inform you of any necessary adjustments to your quarterly estimated tax payments. 10 of them are as follows:

1. Deduction For Self-Employment Taxes:

The Medicare and Social Security taxes that independent contractors must pay are the self-employment tax. This covers sole proprietors, independent contractors, and freelancers. 15.3 percent of self-employment income is taxed, with 12.4 percent going to Social Security and 2.9 percent to Medicare.

The self-employment tax is split between employers and employees. Each pays a 7.65% commission. Those who work entirely for themselves are responsible for both payments. An additional Medicare tax rate of 0.9 percent will be applied if income exceeds a specific threshold.

The income thresholds for additional Medicare tax apply to your total salary, benefits, self-employment income, and self-employment income alone. Therefore, if you earn $100,000 from self-employment and your spouse earns $160,000 from work, you will be required to pay an additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax on the $10,000 that your joint income exceeds the $250,000 cap. 

2. Home Office Tax Break:

One of the trickier deductions is the one for a home office. In other words, whether you own it or rent it, the cost of any workspace that you frequently and only use for your business can be written off as a home office expense.

However, you should be ready to defend your deduction in the event of an IRS audit since you are essentially operating on the honor system. Suppose you are needed to give this information to verify your deduction, which employs the square footage of your workspace in its computation. In that case, one way to do this is to draw a diagram of your workspace with precise measurements.

3. Deduction For Internet And Phone Bills:

Deduction For Internet And Phone Bills

You can still write off the business portion of your phone, fax, and Internet costs whether or not you claim the home office deduction. It’s important only to deduct costs directly relevant to your business. For instance, you may write off the expenditures of maintaining an online presence for your company.

You shouldn’t remove your whole monthly expense for both personal and business use if you only have one phone line. The IRS states, “Even if you have an office in your house, you cannot deduct the cost of basic local telephone service (including any taxes) for the first telephone line you have in your home.”

However, you can write off the full expense of long-distance business calls or a second phone line set up for your company.

4. Deduction For Health Insurance Premiums:

You can deduct all of your health, dental, and qualified long-term care (LTC) insurance premiums if you are self-employed, pay your health insurance premiums, and are not qualified to join a plan via your spouse’s work.

Even if they aren’t considered dependents for tax purposes, you can still deduct the premiums you paid to cover your spouse, your dependents, and any children under the age of 27 at the end of the year. Use the Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction Worksheet in IRS Publication 535 to calculate the deduction.

5. Meals Deduction:

Lunch is a tax-deductible business cost when you travel for business, attend a business conference, or entertain a client. Under the circumstances, the meal cannot be extravagant. In the past, you could only claim a deduction equal to 50% of the actual cost of the meal if you kept your receipts or 50% of the standard meal allowance if you kept track of the date, location, and business purpose of your trip but not your actual meal receipts. Because of this, the desk lunch is regrettably not tax-deductible.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, H.R. 133, Temporary authorization of a full deduction for business lunches, has modified the deduction, though. The measure temporarily permits a 100% business expense deduction for meals (instead of the current 50%) as long as the expense is for food or beverages served by a restaurant. This clause will take effect for expenses spent after December 31, 2020, and will last through the end of 2022.

6. Travel Deduction:

Travel Deduction

Business travel must be longer than an ordinary workday, necessitate relaxation or sleep, and occur outside the approximate vicinity of your tax home to be eligible for a tax deduction. In addition, a trip must be for a clearly defined business objective before you leave home and involve actual business activity while traveling, such as meeting with clients, acquiring new skills directly connected to your line of work, or seeking new clients.

7. Vehicles Use Deduction:

Your expenses for any drives you make while operating a business vehicle are tax-deductible. Don’t try to pass off personal automobile trips as business ones, and make sure you keep thorough records of each trip’s time, distance, and destination.

Your actual expenses or the IRS-established standard mileage rate might be used to assess your deduction. In 2021 and 2022, the usual mileage rates are 56 cents and 58.5 cents, respectively. Record your business mileage and the dates on which you traveled. Then, multiply the usual mileage rate by the business miles you log annually.

8. Deduction For Interest:

A bank’s interest charges on business loans are deductible business expenses for tax purposes. If a loan is utilized for business and personal expenses, the business interest expense is divided according to how the loan funds are used.

If not all of the loan is used for business-related purposes, you will need to keep track of the money’s distribution for different purposes. When you use your credit card for personal expenditures, you cannot deduct the interest from your taxes; however, when you use it for business expenses, you may.

9. Deduction For Publications And Subscriptions:

Tax deductions for supplies and materials include the price of specialist periodicals, journals, and books directly connected to your line of work.

For instance, a daily newspaper wouldn’t be detailed enough to qualify as a business expense. If you own a restaurant, you could deduct the cost of your subscription to Nation’s Restaurant News. A high-end personal chef could purchase Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine boxed set for several hundred dollars as a book.

10. Education Tax Credit:

Any education-related costs you wish to write off must be connected to preserving or enhancing your abilities for your current business. In contrast to a course on how to teach yoga, attending a course on real estate investment analysis to brush up on your knowledge would be tax-deductible if you were a real estate consultant.


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