Business Use of Home Office

“Exclusive” Use of Home Office May be Less Than Perfect

A recent tax court case sheds a little light on how flexible the “exclusive business use” requirement for a home office deduction can be.

In a rare taxpayer victory in tax court, taxpayer Lauren Miller, who admitted to occasionally using portions of her home office space for non-business purposes, was successful in defending against dis-allowance of her home office deduction.  After analyzing the layout of her apartment, the business use of the home office, the court ruled that she was entitled to deduct one-third of her apartment rent and cleaning service charges for the year.

Although this is a tax court summary decision in a case involving less than $50,000 and is not to be treated as precedent for any other case, taxpayer’s victory hints that if facts and circumstances warrant, minor, “de minimis”, personal use of a home office will not cause failure of the entire deduction.

This case is available on line at


Mark S Gleason CPA

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