There may be a silver lining when told to do work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is because you will get tax relief. E-workers or staff working from home can get a tax free daily amount by their employers for paying electricity and other costs.
As COVID-19 has pushed people to accept work from home, it comes with its set of costs. However, the good news is that you can now claim tax relief to help you deal with those expenses.
Millions of Americans have been working from home during this pandemic. They are keeping in touch with their workmates and colleagues through Zoom conferences and more. At the same time, they are also paying for utilities and internet charges for this work.
You may wonder if you can seek tax relief for work from home. Well, don’t have your hopes too high right at the start. Self-employed people can write off some home office expenses. Several individuals were enjoying home-office deduction just before the pandemic.
However, the Tax Act of 2017 removed several individual tax breaks like home-office deductions for individuals.
Before you claim tax deductions, ensure you meet the criteria that have been set out by the IRS, or you may face additional penalties. Here are some tax tips for working from home employees.
Take Into Account Home Office Deductions
Several employees work from home since it is convenient for their employer. For instance, a salesperson that lives in a different state from his company headquarters may need to work from home rather than his company paying him to rent an office. Consider the house rent exemption under income tax act.
If you are using your home for business purposes, you may deduct a small portion of your home-related expenses. These include property taxes, mortgage interest, homeowners insurance, and more.
Related Article: What Should You Know About Taxes During COVID-19 Crisis?
Keep A Tab On Travel Expenses
If you use your car for business travel or if you are paying for meals and lodging out of your pocket, you can include it in the tax deductions.
You can’t deduct any expenses your employer reimburses. If your employer reimbursed just a small portion, make deductions from the excess.
Keep Track Of Deductions And Limitations
If you don’t itemize deductions, you can’t deduct reimbursed employee expenses. Additionally, employee expense is part of the miscellaneous deductions. It also means an amount greater than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income may get deducted.
For instance, if your adjusted gross income is around $100,000 and the total miscellaneous deductions are $4500, you can have deductions of $2400. So, 2% of $100,000 is $2000, it’s the amount over which you claim the deductible.
If you are working from home and planning to reduce your exposure to COVID-19, never expect to write off the cost on your taxes for 2020. If you have no idea how to go about it, hiring a tax account Los Angeles can be of help.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put into effect in 2018, place miscellaneous itemized deductions in a jittery situation. Let us see what you can make out of this situation and if you at all make the cut for tax deductions.
Self-employed individuals and independent contractors in Los Angeles need to meet two requirements to walk away with home-office deduction.
First, you need to exclusively and regularly use the home office for conducting business. You cannot occasionally set up the laptop in a garden and claim it to be your workplace and look for reimbursement of your additional costs.
Moreover, if there isn’t a proper designated place for use as a home office, you cannot count it. You cannot use the home-office space for anything else.
Second, the office needs to be your real place of business. It means you must use your home office properly for working, including meeting clients, doing administrative works, etc.
Three Suggestions For Help
If you are thinking of getting something out of being working from home, ensure you keep these suggestions in mind always.
- Self-employed workers are eligible- if you are self-employed, you can expect tax deduction and relief in Los Angeles. But if you are an employee, you cannot expect to write off the expenses.
- Make it your official home office- you cannot set up your couch anywhere and claim it to be your home office. Ensure you have a properly designated area of your house for business or work.
- Keep records handy- after you have set aside the office space in your home, ensure you track your expenses, well. Save the receipts and consider using proper software for streamlining all records.
- Finally, these are some of the things you must know about when looking for a tax claim. You cannot expect to get tax deductions if you don’t follow all rules.
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