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taxmap/pubs/p587-000.htm#en_us_publink1000226286
Publication 587

Business Use of Your Home

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(Including Use by Daycare Providers)

Future Developments(p1)


For the latest information about developments related to Publication 587, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub587.

Reminders(p1)


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Photographs of missing children.(p1)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

taxmap/pubs/p587-000.htm#en_us_publink1000270126Introduction

The purpose of this publication is to provide information on figuring and claiming the deduction for business use of your home. The term "home" includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, or similar property which provides basic living accommodations. It also includes structures on the property, such as an unattached garage, studio, barn, or greenhouse. However, it does not include any part of your property used exclusively as a hotel, motel, inn, or similar establishment.
This publication includes information on the following.
The rules in this publication apply to individuals.
If you need information on deductions for renting out your property, see Publication 527, Residential Rental Property.
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Comments and suggestions.(p2)

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We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Individual and Specialty Forms and Publications Branch
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224


We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at taxforms@irs.gov. Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. You can also send us comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs/. Select "Comment on Tax Forms and Publications" under "More Information."
Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
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Ordering forms and publications.(p2)
Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613


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Tax questions.(p2)
If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

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Useful items

You may want to see:


Publications
 523 Selling Your Home
 551 Basis of Assets
 583 Starting a Business and Keeping Records
 946 How To Depreciate Property
Forms (and Instructions)
 Schedule C (Form 1040): Profit or Loss from Business
 2106 : Employee Business Expenses
 2106-EZ : Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
 4562 : Depreciation and Amortization
 8829 : Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

See How To Get Tax Help, near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms.
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Qualifying for a Deduction(p2)

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Generally, you cannot deduct items related to your home, such as mortgage interest and real estate taxes, as business expenses. However, you may be able to deduct expenses related to the business use of part of your home if you meet specific requirements. Even then, your deduction may be limited. Use this section and Figure A, later, to decide if you can deduct expenses for the business use of your home.
To qualify to deduct expenses for business use of your home, you must use part of your home:
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Additional tests for employee use.(p2)

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If you are an employee and you use a part of your home for business, you may qualify for a deduction for its business use. You must meet the tests discussed earlier plus: If the use of the home office is merely appropriate and helpful, you cannot deduct expenses for the business use of your home.
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Exclusive Use(p3)

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To qualify under the exclusive use test, you must use a specific area of your home only for your trade or business. The area used for business can be a room or other separately identifiable space. The space does not need to be marked off by a permanent partition.
You do not meet the requirements of the exclusive use test if you use the area in question both for business and for personal purposes.
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Example.(p3)

You are an attorney and use a den in your home to write legal briefs and prepare clients' tax returns. Your family also uses the den for recreation. The den is not used exclusively in your trade or business, so you cannot claim a deduction for the business use of the den.
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Exceptions to Exclusive Use(p3)

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You do not have to meet the exclusive use test if either of the following applies.
Note. With the exception of these two uses, any portion of the home used for business purposes must meet the exclusive use test.
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Storage of inventory or product samples.(p3)

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If you use part of your home for storage of inventory or product samples, you can deduct expenses for the business use of your home without meeting the exclusive use test. However, you must meet all the following tests.
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Example.(p3)

Your home is the only fixed location of your business of selling mechanics' tools at retail. You regularly use half of your basement for storage of inventory and product samples. You sometimes use the area for personal purposes. The expenses for the storage space are deductible even though you do not use this part of your basement exclusively for business.
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Regular Use(p3)

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To qualify under the regular use test, you must use a specific area of your home for business on a regular basis. Incidental or occasional business use is not regular use. You must consider all facts and circumstances in determining whether your use is on a regular basis.
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Trade or Business Use(p3)

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To qualify under the trade-or-business-use test, you must use part of your home in connection with a trade or business. If you use your home for a profit-seeking activity that is not a trade or business, you cannot take a deduction for its business use.
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Example.(p3)

You use part of your home exclusively and regularly to read financial periodicals and reports, clip bond coupons, and carry out similar activities related to your own investments. You do not make investments as a broker or dealer. So, your activities are not part of a trade or business and you cannot take a deduction for the business use of your home.
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Principal Place of Business(p3)

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You can have more than one business location, including your home, for a single trade or business. To qualify to deduct the expenses for the business use of your home under the principal place of business test, your home must be your principal place of business for that trade or business. To determine whether your home is your principal place of business, you must consider:
Your home office will qualify as your principal place of business if you meet the following requirements.
If, after considering your business locations, your home cannot be identified as your principal place of business, you cannot deduct home office expenses. However, see the later discussions under Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers and Separate Structure for other ways to qualify to deduct home office expenses.
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Administrative or management activities.(p4)

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There are many activities that are administrative or managerial in nature. The following are a few examples.
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Administrative or management activities performed at other locations.(p4)

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The following activities performed by you or others will not disqualify your home office from being your principal place of business.
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Example 1.(p4)

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John is a self-employed plumber. Most of John's time is spent at customers' homes and offices installing and repairing plumbing. He has a small office in his home that he uses exclusively and regularly for the administrative or management activities of his business, such as phoning customers, ordering supplies, and keeping his books.
John writes up estimates and records of work completed at his customers' premises. He does not conduct any substantial administrative or management activities at any fixed location other than his home office. John does not do his own billing. He uses a local bookkeeping service to bill his customers.
John's home office qualifies as his principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. He uses the home office for the administrative or managerial activities of his plumbing business and he has no other fixed location where he conducts these administrative or managerial activities. His choice to have his billing done by another company does not disqualify his home office from being his principal place of business. He meets all the qualifications, including principal place of business, so he can deduct expenses (to the extent of the deduction limit, explained later) for the business use of his home.
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Example 2.(p5)

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Pamela is a self-employed sales representative for several different product lines. She has an office in her home that she uses exclusively and regularly to set up appointments and write up orders and other reports for the companies whose products she sells. She occasionally writes up orders and sets up appointments from her hotel room when she is away on business overnight.
Pamela's business is selling products to customers at various locations throughout her territory. To make these sales, she regularly visits customers to explain the available products and take orders.
Pamela's home office qualifies as her principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. She conducts administrative or management activities there and she has no other fixed location where she conducts substantial administrative or management activities. The fact that she conducts some administrative or management activities in her hotel room (not a fixed location) does not disqualify her home office from being her principal place of business. She meets all the qualifications, including principal place of business, so she can deduct expenses (to the extent of the deduction limit, explained later) for the business use of her home.
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Example 3.(p5)

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Paul is a self-employed anesthesiologist. He spends the majority of his time administering anesthesia and postoperative care in three local hospitals. One of the hospitals provides him with a small shared office where he could conduct administrative or management activities.
Paul very rarely uses the office the hospital provides. He uses a room in his home that he has converted to an office. He uses this room exclusively and regularly to conduct all the following activities.
Paul's home office qualifies as his principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. He conducts administrative or management activities for his business as an anesthesiologist there and he has no other fixed location where he conducts substantial administrative or management activities for this business. His choice to use his home office instead of the one provided by the hospital does not disqualify his home office from being his principal place of business. His performance of substantial nonadministrative or nonmanagement activities at fixed locations outside his home also does not disqualify his home office from being his principal place of business. He meets all the qualifications, including principal place of business, so he can deduct expenses (to the extent of the deduction limit, explained later) for the business use of his home.
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Example 4.(p5)

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Kathleen is employed as a teacher. She is required to teach and meet with students at the school and to grade papers and tests. The school provides her with a small office where she can work on her lesson plans, grade papers and tests, and meet with parents and students. The school does not require her to work at home.
Kathleen prefers to use the office she has set up in her home and does not use the one provided by the school. She uses this home office exclusively and regularly for the administrative duties of her teaching job.
Kathleen must meet the convenience-of-the-employer test, even if her home qualifies as her principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. Her employer provides her with an office and does not require her to work at home, so she does not meet the convenience-of-the-employer test and cannot claim a deduction for the business use of her home.
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More Than One Trade or Business(p5)

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The same home office can be the principal place of business for two or more separate business activities. Whether your home office is the principal place of business for more than one business activity must be determined separately for each of your trade or business activities. You must use the home office exclusively and regularly for one or more of the following purposes.
You can use your home office for more than one business activity, but you cannot use it for any nonbusiness (i.e., personal) activities.
If you are an employee, any use of the home office in connection with your employment must be for the convenience of your employer. See Rental to employer, later, if you rent part of your home to your employer.
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Example.(p6)

Tracy White is employed as a teacher. Her principal place of work is the school, which provides her office space to do her school work. She also has a mail order jewelry business. All her work in the jewelry business is done in her home office and the office is used exclusively for that business. If she meets all the other tests, she can deduct expenses for the business use of her home for the jewelry business.
If Tracy also uses the office for work related to her teaching, she must meet the exclusive use test for both businesses to qualify for the deduction. As an employee, Tracy must also meet the convenience-of-the-employer test to qualify for the deduction. She does not meet this test for her work as a teacher, so she cannot claim a deduction for the business use of her home for either activity.
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Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers(p6)

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If you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in your home in the normal course of your business, even though you also carry on business at another location, you can deduct your expenses for the part of your home used exclusively and regularly for business if you meet both the following tests.
Doctors, dentists, attorneys, and other professionals who maintain offices in their homes generally will meet this requirement.
Using your home for occasional meetings and telephone calls will not qualify you to deduct expenses for the business use of your home.
The part of your home you use exclusively and regularly to meet patients, clients, or customers does not have to be your principal place of business.
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Example.(p6)

June Quill, a self-employed attorney, works 3 days a week in her city office. She works 2 days a week in her home office used only for business. She regularly meets clients there. Her home office qualifies for a business deduction because she meets clients there in the normal course of her business.
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Separate Structure(p6)

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You can deduct expenses for a separate free-standing structure, such as a studio, workshop, garage, or barn, if you use it exclusively and regularly for your business. The structure does not have to be your principal place of business or a place where you meet patients, clients, or customers.
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Example.(p6)

John Berry operates a floral shop in town. He grows the plants for his shop in a greenhouse behind his home. He uses the greenhouse exclusively and regularly in his business, so he can deduct the expenses for its use, subject to the deduction limit, explained later.