home office tax issues

This past year was the first year that I was fortunate enough to work from my home. Working from my home has been a wonderful change for both personal and professional reasons. The only thing that caused a slight issue was the tax filing changes that I had to endure. The office in my home was now considered a tax deduction. I had to get some help learning how to deduct the things that are allowed on my federal taxes. If you are new to working from home and have a home office, this blog can help you learn what you need to know before tax time rolls around.

Have A Tax Question? 5 Steps To Getting It Resolved With The IRS


Filing income taxes is rarely enjoyable, but the real fear for most taxpayers is what to do if they need help during the filing process or afterward. Whether it's a tax question, a letter from the IRS, or a change in your life circumstances, it's a moment most people dread. But, you can successfully meet the challenge if you know where and how to get help with your taxes. Here are five steps to finding what you need.

Tax Preparer. One of the best reasons to hire help doing your taxes is to have that help available when you have questions or receive a notice. Your accountant or tax preparer should be your first line of defense, so be sure to choose one who is available -- preferably in person -- all year long. Enrolled Agents and accountants can often handle many tasks for you, including representing you before the IRS itself. 

IRS Website. If you have a simple question or you did your taxes yourself, your first stop should be to visit the IRS website. This website -- available in six languages, including Spanish -- has sections for taxpayers' questions related to subjects like:

  • How to pay an amount due
  • Where to get or download forms
  • How to determine if you're eligible for popular credits
  • How to decide who can be claimed as a dependent
  • What are business expenses
  • How to apply for an ITIN
  • What to do in the event of identity theft
  • How to check the status of a refund

If you can't easily find a section that answers your question, type a key word or two into the search box at the top of each website page. 

IRS Phone Assistance. If you're still unable to find an answer while browsing the IRS website, you can call them for live assistance at 800-829-1040. Have handy any tax documents you have -- especially any relevant tax returns and backup documentation -- and any notice you received in the mail. There are large automated phone trees at this number, so it may take some persistence and waiting to reach a person who can help. Schedule ample time for the call and keep calm through the process. 

Local Offices. You can find out the location of your nearest IRS office on the website. However, a change in the operation of offices means that you generally must first make an appointment to speak with an agent at any office. Call the IRS to schedule a time. 

Taxpayer Advocate. If you -- or your accountant -- has exhausted the standard methods of getting answers, it may be time to apply for resolution with the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Download Form 911 to apply for assistance. Be sure to detail the efforts you've made to resolve the issue. Be aware that resolution through the TAS could take some time, so -- once again -- be patient. 

Whether your question or problem with your taxes is large or small, by following these steps, you'll be in the best position to find the right answer as quickly and stress-free as possible. For assistance, talk to a professional like Kenneth L Lahner CPA.


18 January 2017