I am working on a 1099-MISC as a consultant to a tech company. As an independent contractor, I decide the locations from where I provide my services.

Most of the time, I am on site at the business location, however I perform a lot of my work from my home office. To commute from my home office to the business office I use the subway.

Is there a way I can deduct rent and subway card costs on my taxes, or claim them as a business expense? If so, what are the ways in which you establish the amount of time you spend at home and how much of your income is made from the home office?

I also use the subway card for personal reasons, if it's possible to deduct it or claim it as a business expense, how do I establish how much of it is business use? Do I simply come up with a proportion of total commuting time spent for business?

Lastly, my contract mentions that I will work a maximum of 25 hours a week with them. Does this have anything to do with taxes, what if I personally spend more than 25 hours working on related projects for this contract, can I still say that those are hours spent at my home office working, therefore these are hours during which rent is my business expense?

  • Sorry, your side question is off-topic on this site, as we do not allow software recommendation questions. You may want to try that question on Software Recommendations. – Ben Miller Feb 28 at 0:19
  • You need to look at the instructions for Schedule C (business income) and Form 8829 (business use of home). Basically, you can deduct rent for the portion of your home you use exclusively for business. So if you have a 1000 sq ft apartment, and your office is 200 sq ft, you can deduct 20% of your rent and other expenses such as utilities. You can also deduct travel expenses if it's to someplace that isn't your main place of work. While I've only deducted car expenses, I imagine subway costs would be similar: just keep records. – jamesqf Feb 28 at 2:18
  • @jamesqf Thank you, I'll look at those forms carefully. Do you know if my home being my main place of work would mean that I can treat commuting from home to the company's office as a business expense? – Mike Feb 28 at 2:50
  • @Mike: I think - I'm just going by my own experience - that it might depend on how often you commute, and how regularly. For example, I deducted travel expenses to meet with clients once or twice a month. – jamesqf Feb 28 at 19:10
  • @jamesqf Please do not answer questions in the comments.. Yes, even if it is not a complete answer. Yes, even if you aren't sure of your answer. – Ben Miller Mar 1 at 13:55

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