The Real Cost of a Home Office

By Yvette Romero - 2012-02-09T15:31:59Z

Photograph by George Doyle/Getty Images

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The Office

Your office can be a separate room or simply an empty corner of a room. The key, says Keith Hall of the National Association for the Self-Employed, is that you use it regularly and exclusively for work and that everything inside it relates to work. (So no kids' toys stored under your desk, for example.) One perk: A home office can reduce your taxes. Hall says to measure the space, find what percent it is of your total home and use that number to determine the business part of expenses such as home repairs, heating bills and mortgage interest. That amount may be eligible for a home office deduction, depending on your deduction limit, determined by IRS rules.