The rules allowing a taxpayer to claim the home office deduction have been loosened, beginning January 1,1999. No longer does the home office need to be the ”principal place of business” for the taxpayer. The home office test can now be satisfied if the taxpayer uses the home office for “administration or management activities” and there is no other fixed location in which the taxpayer performs such activities for his or her practice.
The home office still must be used exclusively for business purposes to qualify. This will allow more taxpayers, including small business owners who conduct business outside of their office, but use their home to perform administrative tasks, to qualify for the home office deduction.