Like many of us, I found myself making basically zero use of company-provided office space for the final eight months of 2020, and instead using various places in my home as an "office".

I'm a salaried employee, not a contractor.

Having never worked from home before, I'm unfamiliar with what, if any, tax implications this may have. Where should I start looking for information?

I know there's a "home office deduction", but don't know anything about what's required to claim it, or what expenses it covers (mortgage, insurance, internet, etc.).

Are there any other major tax implications of this unexpected shift in my work location?

  • Don't forget unfortunately it's only self-employed people who can subtract business expenses (such as an office) from their profit to determine their income. (Note too that indeed there is often huge confusion between "deductions" and {for self-employed} business expenses.)
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


The two main points for the home office deduction that will apply to most people are:

  • Employees are not eligible to claim the home office deduction. (This was changed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act starting in 2018)
  • There must be exclusive use of a portion of the home for conducting business on a regular basis. For example, a taxpayer who uses an extra room to run their business can take a home office deduction only for that extra room so long as it is used both regularly and exclusively in the business.

In simple terms, the space must be your main place of business (i.e. not work you do for an employer from home) and must be used regularly and exclusively for business. If you use a den for self-employment work during the day but watch movies there at night, it would not qualify.

More details can be found on the IRS Site

  • Note this is a TCJA change; through 2017 employees could deduct unreimbursed and 'necessary' home office expenses over 2%AGI floor, which is why you can find many older webpages, including some here on Stack, saying you can. Like many (not all) TCJA changes this is scheduled to revert to the previous rules in 2026, but Congress has plenty of time to change that. Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 4:22

As an employee, you are not eligible. The deduction was eliminated for employees in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

However, some states do allow you to deduct home office expenses that you weren't able to use on your federal tax return.

I believe this list of states that allow the deduction is still current: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania

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