The coronavirus has forced nearly everyone to make adjustments to their day to day lives. Working in particular has changed quite a bit as employees are working from home in record numbers. With tax season approaching, you can find comfort in the fact that your efforts to shift your work from in- person to virtual are not for nothing. Here’s a look at the tax write- offs you may be able to claim while working from home.
If you’re doing a lot of commuting for your job, make sure you’re keeping track of your mileage. According to an article written for turbotax.intuit.com, “If you use your personal vehicle for business travel, or pay for meals and lodging out of your own pocket, those expenses might qualify for a tax deduction. You cannot deduct any expenses that your employer reimburses, of course. If you employer reimburses only a portion of the standard business mileage rate, you can deduct the excess amount per mile.”
Did you know that having a dedicated home office space might qualify you for an additional tax write-off? This specifically applies to people who work for themselves. You cannot take this particular deduction when working for someone else. You may also qualify for tax deductions that involve office supplies as well. While you can request tax write-offs, in this particular scenario, it’s a much better idea to go directly to your boss. An article written by Jeanne Sahadi for cnn.com states, “Your best bet, no matter where you live, is simply to ask if your employer will reimburse you directly for your home office expenses, because a tax deduction would only reduce your tax bill by a fraction of what you spent, said Susan Allen, senior manager for Tax Practice & Ethics at the American Institute of CPAs.” Don’t be afraid to ask for additional funds from your employer. If the responsibility for purchasing basic supplies needed to complete your work is falling on you, talk to your boss about how they can help.
If you’re using your phone heavily in order to do your job, you might be able to write some or all of your phone bill off for tax purposes. If this is the primary way your employer or clients get ahold of you, you can classify it as your business phone. Make sure to talk to a tax professional to discuss whether this write- off is an option for you.
You may also be able to write off the cost of your internet bill as well. If you’re working from home and spending a lot of time working on your computer, there’s a chance you can get reimbursed for the cost of Wi-Fi. Once again, this is a cost that you shouldn’t be solely responsible for bearing.
In order to find out if you qualify for any other ‘work from home’ write-offs, contact a tax professional.