While some view the home-office deduction as audit bait, you’ll withstand any IRS scrutiny if you know and follow the home-office deduction rules. In this Special Report, we’ll explain those rules in plain English and show you how to earn bigger and better deductions without getting off the living room couch.

Home-office rules: the basics

Whether you’re a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker, you can deduct your home office expenses if you use part of your home “regularly and exclusively” as either:

1. Your principal place of doing business; or

2. A place to meet or deal with clients, customers or patients in the normal course of business. Also, you can deduct expenses attributable to a detached structure—such as a garage or shed—that’s used in connection with your business (e.g., to store inventory).

Finally, if you’re an employee, the home office must be used for the convenience of the employer, not of the employee.

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