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Quick tax fix for working at home

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in Small Business Tax

Q. I work out of my house as a sole proprietor. If I have the house painted and have other repairs made, can I deduct any part of the cost? Manchester, N.H.

A. Yes, assuming that you qualify for home-office deductions. For starters, you can fully deduct direct costs such as painting the office itself or fixing one of the windows. In addition, you may deduct a percentage of “indirect costs” attributable to the entire home, such as insurance, utilities, trash removal and the like. For instance, if you use 10 percent of the home as an office, write off 10 percent of the indirect expenses. Tip: The percentage is generally based on the business space’s square footage divided by the home’s entire square footage or the number of office rooms divided by the total number of rooms.

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