* * *
"Bruce Freeman, The Small Business Professor, is a most valued and enthusiastic guest contributor to the business segment of our radio show dealing with the challenges facing today's entrepreneurs. His practical and insightful advice has served to enhance our ability, as broadcasters, to help business owners move ahead in their various fields of endeavor. ....Thank you, Bruce."
"I've been working with patients for almost 10 years as a Chiropractic Physician. I'm always looking for new ways to increase awareness of the valuable clinical services provided at my centers. Bruce Freeman has given me insightful ideas to assist in my marketing efforts. I rely on his 'Ask the Small Business Professor' column to keep me abreast of new trends and developments in the field. I couldn't ask for a more knowledgeable and capable advisor as my companies move forward into providing nationwide healthcare for patients."
"The Small Business Professor is a site that should be bookmarked by every entrepreneur. In today's business environment, it is difficult to gather information and obtain answers to the myriad of questions that face business owners. Bruce Freeman's 'Ask the Small Business Professor' column is an excellent resource that provides guidance, up-to-the-minute information, mentoring, and more."
"I find the column inspiring and helpful to me in running my own small business."
"'Ask the Small Business Professor' is a must read for small business owners looking for free expert business advice. Using a Q&A format, Bruce Freeman covers important small business topics weekly by bringing in recognized experts on subjects including accounting, legal issues, trademarks marketing and sales. Don't miss it!"
Claiming a Home Office Tax Deduction
Dear Professor Bruce:
I run my business out of my home. I use one of the rooms as my office. Friends have told me that this could easily raise "red flag" at the IRS even if it legitimate.
Your friends may mean well but unless they are qualified to give financial or tax advice (or medical or legal advice), I would thank them for their interest and move on.
Office in home reporting can be confusing. So your first year or so in business, consider establishing a relationship with a tax professional who can guide you through filing your business returns.
According to Eva Rosenberg, EA, publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of Small Business Taxes Made Easy, there are several instances where a home office deduction is appropriate.
- Your home office is your only place of business.
- Your place of business does not have room for you to handle your administration and business issues (like a Laundromat with no office space).
- You regularly meet with customers or clients at your home office.
- You store merchandise or inventory in a specific part of your home or property.
In addition, there are three main limitations.
- You don't use any area of your home exclusively for business. For instance, you work at your dining room table after the family goes to bed - but during the day, it's where the family eats or meets.
- You have a shop or office elsewhere, with files and space - you just prefer to work at home. For instance, you sell real estate and your main office location is an office or cubicle in your broker's facility.
- Your business never really turns a profit - well, then you don't really have a business do you? You have a hobby. So you won't be able to deduct your office in home expenses.
The IRS is looking for those people who abuse the system. So, if you're double-dipping, or making up expenses, you're asking for trouble. But understand that the IRS is not looking to go after the honest taxpaying citizen. If you really run your business from home, you're entitled to use the deduction.
For further information, you may contact Eva Rosenberg at www.taxmama.com.
Consider establishing a relationship with a tax professional who can guide you through filing your business returns.