Unfortunately, home office expenses incurred while working as an employee are not currently deductible. The reason: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act temporarily suspended the itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee business expenses.
The news is better if you are self-employed. You will be eligible for a home office deduction provided you can satisfy certain requirements. The deduction is generally limited to income from the business, and excess expenses may be carried over to the next year.
Direct expenses are costs that apply only to your home office. The cost of painting your home office is an example of a direct expense. Indirect expenses include expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, maintenance, and homeowners insurance. You can deduct only the business portion of your indirect expenses. These expenses are typically allocated between business and personal use based on square footage.
If you prefer not to keep track of your expenses, there’s a simplified method that allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct $5 for each square foot of office space, up to a maximum of 300 square feet. When the simplified method is used, qualified mortgage interest and property taxes are separately deductible as itemized deductions.