Youre filing your first federal tax return as a home business owner, and naturally want to take the home office deductions to which you are entitled. What you most definitely do not want to do is take a home office deduction to which you are not entitled, so you need to understand the difference.
The number one rule about qualifying for a home office deduction is that whichever part of your home you use as a home office must only be used by you and must only be used as a home office.
A Home Office, And Nothing But A Home Office
In other words, if your home office is in the den and you use it as a home office ten hours a day, but then flip the computer into game mode, or turn on the TV to watch the Tonight Show, bye-bye home office deduction.
The exception is that if your computer area in the den is used for nothing expect you home business–no games, kids in chat rooms, or listening to MLB–you can get a home office deduction equivalent to the cost of keeping that much of your den, say a space 4x 6–operational.
If you and your spouse each have a home business and use the same office, bye-bye home office deduction for both of...