EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 27, 2013

Home-office tax break gets easier to compute


“It’s taken off in the past 10 years, no doubt about it,” he said. “Telecommuting is very popular.”

In addition, he said, many people who lost their jobs during the 2007-09 recession started home-based businesses. Typically, he said, his clients deduct from $500 to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of their home offices.

Psychotherapist Loren Gelberg-Goff, who sees patients in a 144-square-foot office in her River Edge, N.J., home, said she welcomes the idea of simplifying her paperwork.

“Every year I go through my receipts to see what I paid (on housing) and give the total numbers to my accountant,” said Gelberg-Goff, who has had a home office for 25 years. Because her accountant does the calculation, she said, she doesn’t know what the deduction is worth.

The new option, she said, “would probably save time,” though she said she’d have to check with her accountant to see if it makes financial sense.

Caryn Starr-Gates, who runs a marketing firm out of her Fair Lawn, N.J., colonial, also said she’d be curious to see how the simplified deduction might work for her and her husband, Larry Gates, who operates a music recording studio out of the home’s basement. As it stands now, the two give their accountant their yearly household bills and let him figure out how to handle the home offices.


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