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IRS Simplifies Home Office Tax Deductions

Four requirements for ministers' eligibility.

IRS Simplifies Home Office Tax Deductions

Earlier this year the IRS announced a simplified "safe harbor" that taxpayers can use to compute a tax deduction for the business use of their home. According to IRS data, about 3.5 million taxpayers claim a deduction for the business use of their home (commonly referred to as the home office deduction).

The new optional deduction, capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet, will reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on taxpayers by an estimated 1.6 million hours annually.

"This is a common-sense rule to provide taxpayers an easier way to calculate and claim the home office deduction," said Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller. "The IRS continues to look for similar ways to combat complexity and encourages people to look at this option as they consider tax planning in 2013."

The new option provides eligible ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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  • April 1, 2013