How Working from Home Affects Taxes

How Working from Home Affects Taxes

The pandemic led to a large number of professionals working from home instead of their office space. Many may be wondering how this will affect their taxes and if they’ll get a tax break.

The general thinking could be leaning towards you getting a break as an employee working from home, but that may not be the case. Tax breaks of the sort ended with the 2017 tax cuts with little exemptions. This means employees who don’t get reimbursed for their expenses by their employers can’t claim those expenses the way they used to. It’s more complex If you are self-employed and there are rules to be mindful of. You can still deduct a home office and some other expenses related to working from home, but want to ensure you are following the guidelines. It helps to speak with an accountant to get more clarity, but here is some helpful information:

What Can I Claim On My Taxes Working from Home?

Employee

You are not supposed to deduct your expenses when you work from home as an employee if your taxes, social security and medicare are deducted from your paycheck. Prior to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the United States Congress, employees could deduct expenses like mileage, home office supplies, work outfits and more. The IRS now tends to qualify remote employee expenses of that manner as “miscellaneous itemized deductions” and since 2018 itemized deductions can only be taken if they exceed the standardized deductions. 

Self Employed 

Self employed professionals and business owners can still deduct for their office, meals, mileage supplies, marketing and more. Expenses you get in regards to working from home are tax deductible. It’s important to note that the expenses need to be exclusive to the business’s operations. A space used as an office by day and bedroom any other time would likely not be compliant. The space being used needs to be exclusively used for your business. 

Tax Breaks Due to Covid-19?

There aren’t currently any special tax breaks for those working from home due to the pandemic. You can however count on a good accountant to ensure you get any tax breaks related to the pandemic if there are changes in the future. 

In conclusion, the changes to the tax laws with regards to working from home may be confusing as time goes on. Having a professional assist you with your finances as an employee or business owner can make a difference. Accountant’s like us here at Motl Accounting are mostly aware of these changes and can help you get the most out of your taxes. 

If you need to know more about what you can claim on your taxes, contact a professional at We’ve helped several individuals, families and businesses with getting the most they deserve out of their taxes.

Benefits of Paying Taxes Quarterly

Benefits of Paying Taxes Quarterly

Many individuals are familiar with filling out W-4 forms provided by their employers to file taxes. Business owners, self employed individuals and contractors however don’t fill out traditional W-4 forms. They are professionals who might receive income without taxes taken out right away and are therefore expected to make payments quarterly. According to the IRS, you are expected to make quarterly estimated tax payments if the following apply.

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  • You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)

Simply put, if you know you are going to owe a good amount of money, it’s beneficial to pay your estimated taxes. Here are a few reasons why.

Penalties

No one likes penalties and paying your taxes each quarter prevents that. Per the IRS if you owe over $1,000 you could be penalized for underpayment of your taxes. Knowing the exact figure could be challenging and hiring an accountant could help in estimating how much your payments should be. Your accountant should have all the right numbers and processes in place to give a figure to pay that should prevent you from underpaying your taxes.

Tax Bill

Paying your taxes quarterly let’s you avoid the potential surprise of a larger tax bill during tax season. Not paying could lead to having a large and unexpected bill at tax season. Paying your taxes quarterly can give you peace of mind knowing you aren’t likely to get an unexpected bill. This might be a task to deal with every quarter due to the nature of your business and how busy you are. If that’s the case, consider hiring an accountant who can assist you. For all you know, the cost of paying penalties could be more than what an accountant might charge to help you.

Efficiency 

Paying your estimated taxes each quarter should give a good overview of your books and less stress in managing your accounting. This is where a bookkeeper comes in handy as they can provide insights on your accounting through the year. Tax season is less of a headache when you’ve been managing your books and making quarterly payments throughout the year. 

In conclusion, the benefits to paying your estimated quarterly taxes can make life easier and provide you peace of mind. Quarterly taxes are typically due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15, for the current calendar year. Most accountants and bookkeepers are aware of these dates and should work with you to get your payments in on time as needed. 

Want to know more about how accountants and bookkeepers can help with your taxes and grow your business? Contact one of our professionals here at Motl Accounting. We assist businesses and individuals with their accounting needs and look forward to assisting you.