Write It Off Right

Gail Penha is a home-based business owner who takes the proper deductions

regularly meet with customers. If you conduct the most important activities for the business (including administrative functions) in your home office and spend most of your time there, you may qualify for a deduction. Taking the home-office deduction doesn’t require that you only work at home, as with a plumber or salesperson.

Separate structure: If you have a separate structure that is used exclusively for your business, such as a house painter’s shed, expenses related to that structure may be deductible even if you don’t have a home office.

Since IRS rules are not crystal clear and each home setup is different, seek a tax professional by getting a recommendation from someone you trust or by using Websites such as FindLaw to locate a tax attorney in your area. (To find out more about home-based business deductions, see “Give Me a [Tax] Break” www. blackenterprise.com/ExclusivesekOpen.asp?id=166.) Take the deduction, but make sure you’re entitled to it and make sure it’s done right.

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