PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Many people working from home are spending money out of pocket for supplies, cell phones and improved internet speed.
Dan Talbert and his wife have two children, but with his kids doing at-home learning and his wife working out of the house in health care, working from home can be difficult.
“You’re juggling an elephant and a chainsaw, and now, let’s take a stick of dynamite in there and here you go,” Talbert said. “Good luck. And then trying to work, forget about it. It’s crazy.”
Talbert is one of many people working from home since March. Certified public accountant Francine Cameron, the owner of Cameron Professional Services Group, says accountants are waiting to see if Congress will change tax laws to allow more people to claim deductions for a home office.
“What we’re hoping is that the IRS and folks who make the rules, tax laws, that they do change and give everybody an opportunity to deduct all those expenses that we’re incurring and not because we want to, but because you’d have to in order to continue to work,” said Cameron.
Cameron says current rules say a home office can be deducted only if it’s used exclusively for work. So for someone who is using a living room as an office too, that would not be deductible. But Congress may change that.
Aside from that, anyone who pays out of pocket for expenses like computers, printer ink and paper, even cell phone data and WiFi, it’s worth keeping track of that.
“What I’m encouraging everybody to do is to start now and save all those receipts you have. And then at the end of the year, when you do get your statements, look at those statements and try to determine if it might be for certain vendors … just different places that you are incurring expenses,” Cameron said.
If you usually file a W-2 form, you’ll likely need a letter from your employer stating that you were required to work from home.