Working from home has been an emerging trend in recent years. It’s a policy that offers incredible flexibility and productivity as per the latest statistics. However, amidst the comfort of home offices, it’s crucial to stay vigilant about potential tax surprises that could lurk in the shadows. In this month’s blog, we’ll help you navigate the tax system and show you how to keep tax surprises as unwelcome guests.

Understanding Home Office Deduction Rules

You may have heard that taking the home office deduction sends a red flag to the IRS and raises your chances of being audited. So first, let’s see if you’re qualified or not for a tax deduction.

  1. If you’re an employer: Your home office must be used exclusively for work, and it should be your primary place of business. Keep meticulous records of your home office expenses, like utilities, internet, and maintenance, to maximize your deductions when tax season rolls around.
  2. If you’re an employee: You unfortunately don’t qualify for the home office tax deduction (some states do allow this tax deduction for employees). Before the TCJA, employees were allowed to deduct taxes, but, starting from the tax years 2018 through 2025, these deductions have been removed.
  3. If you’re self-employed: If you’re a self-employed taxpayer, you’re qualified for these write-offs. The IRS permits you to subtract 50% of your entire self-employment tax from your tax filing.

Track and Document Expenses Thoroughly

When it comes to taxes, documentation is your best friend. Whether it’s equipment purchases, software subscriptions, or office supplies, keep detailed records of your expenses. These records not only help you claim legitimate deductions but also serve as a robust defense in case of an audit.

Related: Learn more about when to consider a financial audit for your startup here.

Review Your Payroll Withholding

Remote work might affect your tax withholding, especially if your employer is located in a different state. Consult with your HR department to make sure your payroll withholding aligns with your current work situation. Adjustments may be necessary to avoid overpaying or underpaying taxes.

Consult a Tax Professional

When in doubt, seek professional advice. A tax professional can provide personalized guidance based on your unique situation, ensuring that you’re taking advantage of all available opportunities while avoiding potential pitfalls. The investment in their expertise can pay off in the long run.

Related: learn more about why it’s crucial to hire a tax expert here.


At MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC, we are here to help you stay informed and proactive, ensuring that your work-from-home experience remains financially smooth and rewarding. We will uncover industry-specific deductions for more tax breaks and file your taxes for you. Contact us today at (956) 997-0067 or visit our website to learn more about our services.