As a real estate investor, you might wonder if you can take advantage of the home office deduction. This is a tax benefit that allows you to deduct a portion of your home expenses as business expenses, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, repairs, and depreciation.
Another tax benefit of having a home office is that it can increase your vehicle deduction. This is because you can deduct the mileage from your home office to your rental properties as business travel, instead of commuting. Commuting expenses are not deductible, but business travel is. This can make a big difference in your tax bill, especially if you have multiple rental properties or travel long distances.
The good news is that you can claim the home office deduction as a real estate investor, as long as you meet certain criteria. The first criteria is that your rental activity must rise to the level of a trade or business. This means that you must have regular and continuous involvement with your rental activities.
The IRS also requires that you use your home office regularly and exclusively for your real estate business, and that your home office is your principal place of business.
To claim the home office deduction, you need to keep track of your home expenses and the square footage of your home office. You can choose between two methods to calculate your home office deduction: the simplified method or the regular method. The simplified method allows you to deduct $5 per square foot of your home office, up to 300 square feet. The regular method requires you to allocate your home expenses based on the percentage of your home used for business.
The home office deduction can be a valuable tax benefit for real estate investors, but it also comes with some rules and limitations. You should consult with a tax professional before claiming it, and make sure you have proper documentation to support it in case of an audit.