Next Tax Season | Work From Home? It Pays Off At Tax Time

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birdflyingTime to plan for next tax season.  If you keep records, schedule appointments and carry on other such activities from your home office, some common home-office expenses, such as utilities, insurance, repairs, cleaning and depreciation, may qualify for a deduction, even if you do the actual work in another location. Be aware, however, any depreciation claimed after May 6, 1997, will be taxed at 25% if the residence is sold for a gain, whether or not the property has been converted to personal use.

Starting in 2013, there is a simplified home office deduction calculation to bypass maintaining detailed expense records. Simply deduct $5 for every square foot of home office space used, up to a maximum of 300 square feet or $1,500. This simplified expense is recorded on Schedule C rather than Form 8829 which allows you to separately deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.

TAX TIP: If you (or your family) use your home office for non-business purposes, it cannot be claimed on your tax return. To claim home-office deductions, the space must be used exclusively for business purposes.

BONU$ ARTICLE

PROPERTY LOSSES

Disasters Hurt: Get What You Deserve At Tax Time


If you lost property due to an accident, storm, fire, flood, drought or other unforeseen occurrence, you may not have to report insurance proceeds if you use the proceeds to replace the property within a specified time. Additionally, if the home was located in a federally declared disaster area, you can claim the loss on your tax return in the year of the loss (2015) or for the preceding year.

TAX TIP: Local and state property taxes may also be abated in some cases. Consult IRS Publication 547 “Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts” to find out more.

We are here to help.  Just let us know.  910-202-3607 or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: #Taxes, Home Office, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

HOMEWORK Design A Home Office That Really Works For You

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So you’ve read and heard about telecommuting and now you have the chance to trade in your drive to work for working at home. Or maybe you just want a place in your home where you can write the great American novel. It all starts with a home office, well planned out and well furnished.Before you head to the furniture store and plop down a week’s salary or more, do some research — on yourself. How do you work? Do you like a roomy environment, or do you like to have everything within arm’s reach? These work characteristics can make a big difference in what type of space you carve out and the style of furniture you select.

Location
Consider your workspace. Is it a spare bedroom or part of the family room? Perhaps you can convert a little-used dining room into an office. As you look for space, consider how much furniture it can hold and don’t forget to measure the doors to ensure the furniture you select will fit through them.

Of course, you want to consider budget, too. You could spend as little as a few hundred dollars or up to several thousand. Figure-up a reasonable budget and stick to it. If your budget is tight, consider buying used furniture and equipment.

Desks
Because the desk is the hub of any office, it’s a good idea to select it first. Look for ample surface space for equipment and activity, as well as enough drawers or shelves for supplies, frequently used resources and active files.

For as little as $100, you’ll find a variety of easy-to-assemble modular desk kits made of pressed board and laminate. Or you might rather pay a couple of thousand dollars for a traditional solid-wood desk or a high-quality wood armoire with power strips already installed. Take a test drive of the best candidates at your local office-furniture supply store.

Chairs
The more time you plan to spend at your desk, the better your chair should be. Look for chairs that contour to your body and give you a solid feeling of support as you labor over the desk area. Consider lumbar support, tilting and the chair’s ease of movement. And don’t forget to provide a chair or two for occasional visitors.

Storage
Storage units range from traditional wood cabinets with file folders and tabs to contemporary rolling plastic organizers. Again, select a system that offers the capacity and ease of use you need to work the way you want.

Connectivity
Consider how much electronic equipment you’ll need and where it should be located. Are there enough wall sockets? Does your space have more than one outlet for connecting a phone, fax machine or computer? It may be time to upgrade your Internet access by having a broadband system, such as DSL or cable, installed.

You may also want to consider a home computer network. After upgrading over the years, many families are finding themselves with several computers. For a few hundred dollars, you could put together a home network that lets the kids work and surf on one computer, puts a family-organizer system in the kitchen and leaves you alone with your own system in the office, all the while sharing system resources such as printers.

Comfort
Finally, take a look at your space ergonomically. Place your computer monitor in the right place and at the proper angle to reduce neck strain. Make sure nearby windows won’t be spilling light directly across your monitor’s screen. Are your desk and chair set at the proper height to reduce arm and wrist strain when working with mouse and keyboard?

A well-structured home office can be a wonderful addition to your home and provide you with yet another selling point in the future.

Categories: Home Office, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC


Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.