An interesting message from the IRS showed up in my e-mail box this morning, a tip on taking the home office deduction.
The e-mail itself wasn't so unusual. I get tons of cyber communication every day
And this particular one from the IRS didn't offer anything shocking or new. It was simply the standard tax-time reminder to home-based workers about what to do and not to do when it comes to taking this deduction:
- Allowable expenses, such as a portion of your real estate taxes, mortgage interest or rent, utilities, insurance, depreciation and repairs.
- Forms to file, including Schedule C to report your business income or loss and Form 8829 to figure your home office write-off.
- Requirements to meet, like making sure that the part of your home you claim is used regularly and exclusively for your professional purposes.
But I did find the timing intriguing.
The IRS advice comes just a few days after the indictment of one of its own for allegedly running a fake business from his home to evade taxes.
And the icing on the coincidental e-mail cake: One of the suggested additional reading items was Publication 4035, a brochure "to help taxpayers recognize home-based business tax avoidance schemes."