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I have a side income that takes a lot of time. Part of how I find time for this is to outsource some of my own household chores - such as lawn mowing.

Can I deduct the lawn mowing costs and other household services as a business expense? If not, is there some other way I can get some financial credit for this?

My side gig is run off of a single-person LLC.

43

No, you can't claim personal expenses as business expenses.

What is the alternative to paying someone to do your chores? Letting the chores go undone.

How does it affect your business if your household chores go undone? It doesn't; it only affects your personal life--that's why they are personal expenses.

  • 6
    he should be able to deduct a portion of that. it is landscaping for your office. if you can write off portions of your home for business use, you should be able to do this on a limited basis. E.g., if you have a maid clean your office, you can deduct that portion. You can deduct a portion of the utilities based on the square footage of the office (or, in recent years, take a flat $5 per sq ft deduction which is nice). Consult a tax professional. – ps2goat Feb 9 '17 at 20:49
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    @ps2goat Consult a tax professional is excellent advice. – Nathan L Feb 9 '17 at 20:51
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    @ps2goat Although be aware the IRS has a pretty strict definition of what constitutes an office if it's part of the home. – Laconic Droid Feb 9 '17 at 20:53
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    @Michael You need to stay alive to run your business. And, actually, your business is more effective if you're happy and healthy. So every single cent you spend is a business expense, right? The IRS clearly isn't going to buy arguments of this kind, or nobody would be paying any tax at all. – David Richerby Feb 10 '17 at 8:26
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    "it only affects your personal life" - incorrect. Indirectly affecting is affecting as well. Of course, this changes nothing about the answer to the actual question, but it does render (IMHO) your rationalization invalid. – Jasper Feb 10 '17 at 12:53
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Yes and no.

You can not claim the maid service cleaning your "home" but you can cleaning your "office" or your office's facilities.

For example, If you have a mother-in-law suite in the back that you converted to an office, AND you have a maid service cleaning just that, THEN you should be able to claim the expense.

Another example would be if you have a room in your house set aside as an office (careful here) AND your maid services charges $20 per room, you should be able to claim that $20.

Another example; if you have a maid service that charges you $100 to clean your house, AND you have a dedicated office in that house, THEN you may be claim a portion of your expenses as a business expense.

HOWEVER!!!! This can be very subject to your situation. For example, your much more likely to meet the criteria if you have clients in your office. Much less likely if your the only person using the office.

Also you need to be aware that what the IRS allows you to call an office is not as clear cut as it seems.

Your best bet is to ask a tax consultant.

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    My country (non USA ) has similar laws: room must be dedicated to office use and nothing else and be equipped for the job and nothing else (you can't use your living room, for example). The percentage of the floor area is used for expenses. If my office is 10sqm/100sqm of house then 10% of my house expenses (cleaning, etc) applicable to the office too are deductible. The USA probably has something similar. – user40750 Feb 10 '17 at 11:27
  • @stanri that's more or less the case here, but one caveat is that the home office square footage must be for the exclusive use of your business: you can't have an office in your family room. – Jared Smith Feb 10 '17 at 19:20
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    Or a family in your office room. A spare bedroom is usually a good bet though. – coteyr Feb 10 '17 at 19:23

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