Must-Know Tips about the Home Office Deduction

If you use your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. If you qualify, you can claim the deduction whether you rent or own your home. You may use either the simplified method or the regular method to claim your deduction. Here are six tips that you should know about the home office deduction:

1. Regular and Exclusive Use. As a general rule, you must use a part of your home regularly and exclusively for business purposes. The part of your home used for business must also be:

  • Your principal place of business, or
  • A place where you meet clients or customers in the normal course of business, or
  • A separate structure not attached to your home. Examples could include a garage or a studio.

2. Simplified Option. If you use the simplified option, multiply the allowable square footage of your office by a rate of $5. The maximum footage allowed is 300 square feet. This option will save you time because it simplifies how you figure and claim the deduction. It will also make it easier for you to keep records. This option does not change the rules for claiming a home office deduction.

3. Regular Method. This method includes certain costs that you paid for your home. For example, if you rent your home, part of the rent you paid may qualify. If you own your home, part of the mortgage interest, taxes and utilities you paid may qualify. The amount you can deduct usually depends on the percentage of your home used for business.

4. Deduction Limit. If your gross income from the business use of your home is less than your expenses, the deduction for some expenses may be limited.

5. Self-Employed. If you are self-employed and choose the regular method, useForm 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure the amount you can deduct. You can claim your deduction using either method on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business. See the Schedule C instructions for how to report your deduction.

6. Employees. You must meet additional rules to claim the deduction if you are an employee. For example, your business use must also be for the convenience of your employer. If you qualify, you claim the deduction on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

For more on this topic, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home. You can view, download and print IRS tax forms and publications on IRS.gov/formsanytime.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS YouTube Videos:

  • Home Office Deduction for Daycare Providers (Simplified Method) –English
  • Home Office Deduction for Schedule C Filers (Simplified Method)English
  • Home Office Deduction for Schedule F, Employee, Partnership Filers (Simplified Method)English
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What to Do if You Get a Letter about the Premium Tax Credit

More IRS tax tips-

Some taxpayers will be receiving an IRS letter about the premium tax credit; this letter is also known as a 12C letter. Be sure to read your letter carefully and respond timely. Here are answers to questions you may have about this letter.

Why am I getting this letter?

The IRS sent you this letter because the Marketplace notified us that they made advance payments of the premium tax credit on your behalf to your or your family’s insurance company last year.

  • You also received this letter because – when you filed your individual 2015 tax return – you didn’t reconcile the advance payments of the premium tax credit. To reconcile, you use Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to compare the advance payments with the amount of your credit. Filing your tax return without including Form 8962 will delay your refund and prevent you from receiving advance credit payments in future years.

What do I need to do now?

  • You must respond to the letter, even if you disagree with the information in it. If you disagree, send the IRS a letter explaining what you think is in error.
  • If you received this letter, but didn’t enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace, you must let the IRS know.
  • The letter outlines the information you should provide in your response, which includes:
    • A copy of the Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, that your Marketplace sent earlier this year
    • A completed Form 8962
    • The second page of your tax return, which includes the “Tax and Credits” and “Payments” sections, showing the necessary corrections and your signature. You must complete either the line for “excess advance premium tax credit repayment” or the line for “net premium tax credit.”
  • If you originally filed a Form 1040EZ tax return, you must transfer the information from your Form 1040EZ to a Form 1040A and include it with your response to the 12C letter.

Is there anything else I need to know?

  • If you need your Form 1095-A, you should contact your Marketplacedirectly. The IRS does not issue and cannot provide that information to you.
  • Do not file a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Once you respond to the letter, the IRS uses the information you provide to process your tax return.
  • You can mail or fax your response. Be sure to include a copy of the letter with your response. Use the mailing address and fax number in the letter to respond.
  • For more information about the health care law and the premium tax credit, visit IRS.gov/aca for more information.

Interactive Tools Help You Understand Health Care Law’s Effect on Your Taxes

The Interactive Tax Assistant tool is an online resource that can answer a wide range of your tax questions. When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, they can answer questions such as:

This interview tool will help you determine if you are eligible for the premium tax credit.

This interview tool will help you determine if you are eligible for an exemption or if you must make an individual shared responsibility payment with your return.

The Interactive Tax Assistant takes you through a series of questions; conclusions are based on your responses. When using the tool, you get the same answers as if you’d called and spoken with an IRS representative on the phone. You can print out the answers for your records.

Find answers to your questions about the health care law and filing your 2015 income tax return on IRS.gov/aca.

What to Do if You Don’t Receive Your Health Care Information Forms

This year, you may receive one or more forms that provide information about your 2015 health coverage; these forms are 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. The IRS does not issue these forms and cannot provide you with a copy of any of these forms.

This tip provides guidance about what you should do if you are expecting to receive any of these forms, but do not have them by the time you are ready to file your tax return.

Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, provides you with information about your 2015 health care coverage if you or someone in your family enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace should have furnished Form 1095-A to you by February 1, 2016.

  • If you were expecting a form and did not get one, you should contact your Marketplace. Visit your Marketplace’s website to find out the steps you need to follow to get a copy of your Form 1095-A online. The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-A.
  • You should wait to file your 2015 income tax return until you receive this form.
  • Filing before you receive this form may delay your refund.  You need the information from Form 1095-A to complete Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit and file it with your tax return.
  • You can find more information about your Form 1095-A from theMarketplace.

Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, provides you with information about your health care coverage if you, your spouse or your dependents enrolled in coverage through an insurance provider or self-insured employer last year. Coverage providers should furnish Form 1095-B to you by March 31, 2016.

  • For questions about your Form 1095-B, contact the coverage provider. See line 18 of the Form 1095-B for a contact number. The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-B.
  • You might not receive a Form 1095-B by the time you are ready to file your 2015 tax return, and it is not necessary to wait for it to file.
  • The information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, and you, however you can prepare and file your return using other information about your health insurance.

Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance, provides you with information about the health coverage offered by your employer.  In some cases, it may also provide information about whether you enrolled in this coverage. Employers that are required to issue Form 1095-C should furnish it to you by March 31, 2016.

  • For questions about your Form 1095-C, contact your employer. See line 10 of Form 1095-C for a contact number. The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-C.
  • You might not receive a Form 1095-C by the time you are ready to file your 2015 tax return, and it is not necessary to wait for it to file.
  • The information on these forms may assist in preparing a return. However you can prepare and file your return using other information about your health insurance.

Do not attach any Forms 1095 to your tax return.  Keep the health care information forms with your tax records.

For more information on these forms, see our Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals.

Health Coverage Form 1095-B- What to do with it

Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, provides you with information about your health care coverage if you, your spouse or your dependents enrolled in coverage through an insurance provider or self-insured employer last year.

Here are the answers to questions you’re asking about Form 1095-B:

Will I get a Form 1095-B?

  • You will receive Form 1095-B – which is a new form this year – from your insurance provider if you had insurance for you or your family members.
  • The term “health insurance providers” includes insurance companies, some self-insured employers, and government agencies that run Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP.
  • You are likely to get more than one form if:
    • You had coverage from more than one provider
    • You changed coverage or employers during the year
    • If different members of your family received coverage from different providers

How do I use the information on my Form 1095-B?

  • This form provides information about your health coverage, including who was covered, and when the coverage was in effect.
  • If Form 1095-B, Part IV, Column (d), shows coverage for you and everyone in your family for the entire year, you can simply check the full-year coverage box on your tax return.
  • If you did not have coverage for the entire year, use Form 1095-B, Part IV, Column (e), to determine the months when you or your family members had coverage. If there were months that you did not have coverage, you should determine if you qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If not, you must make an individual shared responsibility payment.
  • You are not required to file a tax return solely because you received a Form 1095-B if you are otherwise not required to file a tax return.
  • Do not attach Form 1095-B to your tax return – keep it with your tax records.

What if I don’t get my Form 1095-B?

  • You might not receive a Form 1095-B by the time you are ready to file your 2015 tax return, and it is not necessary to wait for it to file.
  • The information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, and you, however you can prepare and file your return using other information about your health insurance.
  • The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-B. For questions about your Form 1095-B, contact the coverage provider. See line 18 of the Form 1095-B for a contact number.

Depending upon your circumstances, you might also receive Forms 1095-A and1095-C. For information on these forms, see our Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals.

Here’s What You Need to Do with Your Form 1095-A

Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, provides you with information about your health care coverage if you or someone in your family enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Here are the answers to questions you’re asking about Form 1095-A:

Will I get a Form 1095-A?

  • The Marketplace will send you a Form 1095-A if you, your spouse or a dependent enrolled in coverage for 2015. Most individuals did not enroll in Marketplace coverage and will not receive this form.
  • The Marketplace may send you more than one Form 1095-A if any of these apply:
    • Members of your household were not all enrolled in the same health plan
    • You updated your family information during the year
    • You switched plans during the year
    • You had family members enrolled in different states
  • The Form 1095-A is not new, but some people may receive it for the first time this year.

How do I use the information on my Form 1095-A?

  • This form provides information about your Marketplace coverage, including the names of covered individuals and which months they were covered last year.
  • Use the information from Form 1095-A to complete Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, and reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit or – if you are eligible – to claim the premium tax credit on your tax return.
  • If you received advance payments, which are shown on lines 21-33 of Form 1095-A, you must file a tax return, and include Form 8962, even if you are not otherwise required to file a return.  Filing your return without reconciling your advance payments will delay your refund and may affect future advance credit payments.
  • If Form 1095-A, Part II shows coverage for you and everyone in your family for the entire year, you can simply check the full-year coverage box on your tax return to satisfy the individual shared responsibility provision.
  • If there were months that you did not have coverage, you should determine if you qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If not, you must make an individual shared responsibility payment.
  • Do not attach Form 1095-A to your tax return – keep it with your tax records.

What if I don’t get my Form 1095-A?

  • If you are expecting to receive a Form 1095-A, you should wait to file your 2015 income tax return until you receive this form.  Filing before you receive this form may delay your refund.
  • The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-A. If you are expecting a form and do not get one, you should contact your Marketplace. Visit your Marketplace’s website to find out the steps you need to follow to get a copy of your Form 1095-A online.
  • You can find more information about your Form 1095-A from the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Depending upon your circumstances, you might also receive Forms 1095-B and1095-C. For information on these forms, see our Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals.

Here’s What You Need to Do with Your Form 1095-C

This year, you may receive one or more forms that provide information about your 2015 health coverage.  These forms are 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. This tip is part of a series provided by the IRS that answers your questions about these forms.

Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance, provides you with information about the health coverage offered by your employer.  In some cases, it may also provide information about whether you enrolled in this coverage.

Here are the answers to questions you’re asking about Form 1095-C:

Will I get a Form 1095-C?

  • You will receive a Form 1095-C – which is a new form this year – if you were a full time employee working for an applicable large employer last year. An applicable larger employer is generally an employer with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees.
  • Even if you were not a full time employee, you will receive form 1095-C if your employer offered self-insured coverage and you or a family member enrolled in that coverage.
  • You might get more than one Form 1095-C if you worked for more than one applicable large employer last year.

How do I use the information on my Form 1095-C?

  • This form provides you with information about the health coverage offered by your employer and, in some cases, about whether you enrolled in this coverage.
  • If you enrolled in a health plan through the Marketplace, the information in Part II of Form 1095-C could help determine if you’re eligible for the premium tax credit. If you did not enroll in a health plan through the Marketplace, this information is not relevant to you.
  • If there is information in Part III of Form 1095-C, review this information to determine if there are months when you or your family members did not have coverage. If there are months you did not have coverage, you should determine if you qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If not, you must make an individual shared responsibility payment.
  • You are not required to file a tax return solely because you received a Form 1095-C if you are otherwise not required to file a tax return.
  • Do not attach Form 1095-C to your tax return – keep it with your tax records.

What if I don’t get my Form 1095-C?

  • You might not receive a Form 1095-C by the time you are ready to file your 2015 tax return, and it is not necessary to wait for it to file.
  • The information on these forms may assist in preparing a return.  However, you can prepare and file your return using other information about your health insurance.
  • The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-C. For questions about your Form 1095-C, contact your employer. See line 10 of Form 1095-C for a contact number.

Depending upon your circumstances, you might also receive Forms 1095-A and1095-B. For information on these forms, see our Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals.