Ohio

A Simplified Home Office Deduction

Do you work at home or have a home-based business? If so, you should be aware that the IRS has created a simpler option for calculating the deduction for the business use of your home. The new option makes recordkeeping easier because, instead of maintaining records of specific home office expenses, you can use a standard rate per square foot. The rate is $5 per square foot (up to a maximum of 300 sq. feet or $1,500) for qualifying business use space in place of taking a pro rata percentage of items such as mortgage interest, taxes and repairs.

Keep in mind there are good and bad aspects to this “simpler” method. The new method gives you back your full interest and tax deduction on schedule A, but you will lose your depreciation and loss carryover deductions. Of course, you must still use your home office regularly and exclusively for business. This may be a welcome relief for some taxpayers, but it might not be the best choice for others. Is it the right choice for you? Please contact us for answers to your financial questions.

WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO PAY A GIFT TAX?

People are sometimes surprised to learn that the IRS regulates gifts over a certain size. 

As a donor, you are responsible for reporting the gift if it exceeds $14,000 and paying the gift tax if you have given more than $5.45 million in cash or property (over a lifetime). Regardless of the amount, you cannot deduct a gift as you could with a charitable donation.
As a recipient, you do not need to include the gift as part of your taxable income. However, if you receive property other than cash, you will need to determine the cost basis at the time of the transfer to have the proper value in case you dispose of it later.