Home Office Calling

The Economy has changed the way many people work.  Instead of commuting to a place of business many millions of people are now working out of their homes.  Here are a few of the reasons:

  • Companies have down-size their office space – 2 or more workers may share the same office work area on a rotating basis.  While one works in the office the other works from home, switching off on some sort of schedule
  • Workers have had to search farther from home to find work – working from home for part of the time allows them to work in one city while living in another
  • The cost of housing in some parts of the country has forced workers into commutes of up to 2 hours each way to work.  Computers and advances in video conferencing has allowed many of these people to work out of their homes for a portion of their work week
  • The recession has left many people without a job.  Some of these unemployed people have opted to start their own businesses operating out of their homes

If you find yourself among those in need of a home office, how do you get started?  Here are some points to consider:

  • Are you planning to pursue an income tax deduction?  If so, you need to follow the rules.  Check out the links posted below.  You may also want to consult with a tax attorney or accountant
  • How much space will you need?  A Home Office need not take up a lot of space, but thinking through the space issue will help you with deciding on location
  • Will you need a separate phone and/or fax line?
  • Do you need to add wiring for equipment or internet/email?
  • If your need is simply for an office, you should not have zoning ordinance problems with your locale municipality.  If you are planning to run a business out of your home, you probably will not be able to legally have additional employees working out of your home.

Your needs for equipment (computer, printer, etc.) will be dictated by your job.  That and your storage needs should be easy to determine.

Where should you locate the office?  Here are some choices:

  • Basement
  • Unused bedroom
  • Unused dining or living room
  • Den or library

Here are a few additional needs to consider:

  • Will your work space give you the privacy you need from the rest of the family?
  • Will your work space give your family the privacy it needs from your work?
  • Make sure you define your work and non-work times or you will find them running together
  • Provide adequate lighting
  • Give consideration to comfort, both your desk and especially your chair

Lastly give your work area a personal touch as you would give your office at your place of business.  Many of these suggestions are easy to implement, but if you need help be sure to call a qualified Remodeler. 

IRS Tax Tip – Home Office Deduction


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