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ikariangurl
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

 
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AmyC
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

While the federal does not allow the deduction, the state of NY does allow employee expenses. It sounds like you qualify! You were told to work from home, you win. Your employer may have used words like, stay home if possible. Any strong wording of preference, which was the case for so many.  Claim those expenses!

Yes, you set up an office, you use it, you are entitled to claim it. Enjoy!

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14 Replies
ReneeM7122
Level 9

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

It depends whether you itemize or take the standard deduction.

 

If you have employee expenses to deduct, you report them on Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, which you attach to your Form 1040 (when you use TurboTax, we’ll fill in all the right forms for you). The deductible expenses from Form 2106 are entered on your Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

If you do not itemize your deductions, you cannot deduct unreimbursed employee expenses. In addition, employee expenses are part of the miscellaneous deductions, and subject to a 2 percent floor. This means that only those amounts that are greater than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income can be deducted. For example, if your adjusted gross income is $100,000 and your total miscellaneous deductions are $4,500, you can deduct only $2,500 —2 percent of $100,000 is $2,000, and the amount over that is deductible.

 

Here's a TurboTax article with more information.

 

It used to be simpler.  Unfortunately, for employees who now telework from home due to COVID,  the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated deductible expenses tied to maintaining a home office )without the need to itemize). Independent contractors (non-employees) may take a home office deduction on Schedule C.

 

States follow federal guidelines, so what happens on your 1040 flows to your New York tax return.  This includes credits and deductions.

ikariangurl
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

Hi Renee,

 

Thank you so much for answering my question! Just to clarify: When I am in the "Job Expenses for W-2 Income" and the question comes up about "Home Office" am I entitled to fill out this section if I am working from home for the past year due to COVID-19? I do all my work-related business from home and in an area of my home that is only used for work. Would this count? I have taken on many expenses due to this, but I am unsure if I qualify to fill out the "Home Office" part since I am not self-employed. As you mentioned, if I do not fill this out then my state taxes (NY) will not allow me any credits or deductions. 

 

Thank you for clarifying and for your help!

AmyC
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

I think you should be able to claim the employee expenses for home office. Is it regular, exclusive, main place of business, yes to all. As for the office, is it for the employer's convenience? With Covid, maybe it is. They did not want you coming to work.

 

The state of NY does allow you to claim employee expenses under the old federal rules from 2017. Here is a link to NY website 2020 New York itemized deductions - Department of Taxation ... You can click on  Employee Expenses and verify your different expenses with the law.

 

This gets filled out in the federal section to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ikariangurl
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

Thank you Amy! 

 

I was told to work from home by my employer due to COVID, our office is not conducive due to COVID guidelines and health regulations. Therefore, I've been working from home for the past year. I had to set up a home office specifically for this purpose and conduct all business from here. Would this count as a "home office" under "job-related expenses"?

 

Again, I stress that I am not self-employed but the employers highly suggest we do not come into the office since COVID. Adding extra expenses to my home, supplies and bills. 

 

Thanks again for clarifying, I just want to make sure I am actually eligible and not going to be red flagged for an audit due to this!

AmyC
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

While the federal does not allow the deduction, the state of NY does allow employee expenses. It sounds like you qualify! You were told to work from home, you win. Your employer may have used words like, stay home if possible. Any strong wording of preference, which was the case for so many.  Claim those expenses!

Yes, you set up an office, you use it, you are entitled to claim it. Enjoy!

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Anna7271
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

How can I find out if Ohio allows for the home office deduction? I have been working from home save about 3 months since March of 2020. 

AnnetteB6
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

Ohio does not allow a deduction for unreimbursed employee business expenses.  Therefore, there is not a deduction for claiming a home office as a W-2 employee if you are filing an Ohio tax return.

 

@Anna7271

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georgia-tarnesby
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

Regarding possible claiming home office to benefit on NY return:-

1)  I rent my home. That is far and away the largest or only expense .  Can I deduct the part of the rent that covers the 1/4 of my home , a separate room , that I use only as an office during Covid ( we were told not to come into the office ). Even though before Covid I had the same home and rent to pay but used that room as a spare room.  ?  If yes should I be cautious and only deduct 5/7 of the rent attributed to the room since there are five working days in a week

2)Most of my friends in my position with accountants did not expense home office and one was told “ you already deduct property tax at NY state level ….”  I was getting worried as to why I seem to be the only one among our friends who felt deducting home office would be very valuable and now I’m thinking it is because I am the only one of our group who rents in the city and with the rent of over $5000 a month being able to deduct 1/4 of that would be extremely valuable. In contrast for those who own deduct property taxes there is not much more to deduct really ?  Is that a reasonable conclusion   ?

in short seems to me for someone who pays high rent deducting the appropriate portion of rent that covers a separate room used as an office is almost the most valuable aspect of home office deduction   Can you comment and confirm if so doing is allowed given the room was there and rent to be paid before Covid when I did not deduct it of course! 

ErnieS0
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

New York does allow a deduction for employee job expenses @georgia-tarnesby. Working from home if your office was closed due to Covid-19 is an ordinary and necessary business expense so you would be able to close a home office.

 

TurboTax will give you the better of the NY standard or itemized deductions so even if you claim a home office, you may not make out better. But it’s worth a try.

 

  • Type 2106 in Search in the upper right
  • Select Jump to 2016
  • Say YES to Do you have any expenses from one of these professions or situations?
  • Enter your occupation
  • On the screen Does your work involve any of these professions or situations? choose None of these professions or situations apply
  • On the screen Do any of these less common situations apply to your Job work? choose None of these apply
  • Enter your expenses

What if I’m audited?

You don’t need proof, but if you get audited, NY will want a letter from your employer stating all of the following:

 

  • a home office is necessary for your employment
  • office space is not available at their location

Note: You can claim a deduction for a home office only if you use that part of your home regularly and exclusively as your principal place of business. You cannot claim a home office for occasional or incidental use. The regular and exclusive use must be for the convenience of your employer and not just appropriate and helpful in your job.

 

Checklists for acceptable proof of itemized deductions

georgia-tarnesby
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

@ErnieS0  HELP - or anyone else who reads this.  Your response does not answer my question which is: im an employee forced to work from home due to covid.  I rent my apartment- expensive at ~$6000 per month.  I set aside a room as an office for covid work from home.  On my NY State return can i deduct a portion of the rent as a home office expense?  I see no guidance on this anywhere.  Of course I paid rent prior to covid so this is not an incremental expense, but I have set aside and set up one room as an office because of covid.  Please advise.

georgia-tarnesby
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

@AmyC   DESPERATE for an expert to opine on following.  Im clear that NY allows home office deduction.  I was forced to work at home becuase of covid and set up a roon (about 1/4 of the apartment I rent) as a home office.  The main expense Id love to deduct is a share of the rent (total rent $6000 per month) so that could be very valuable as a deduction.  Is one allowed to deduct that share of rent even though prior to covid that room was used as a spare room and the rent was paid of course anyway.  ie does the expense have to be incremental caused by working at home (eg more electricity or heating use) .  I see nothing written on this  Please advise

 

LeonardS
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

For federal tax filing, you can not deduct home office expenses as an employee.  This deduction was eliminated for tax years 2018 -2025 by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017  However you may deduct home office expenses on your New York state tax return

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georgia-tarnesby
Level 2

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

@LeonardS  thanks but you have not addressed my specific question.  Specifically can RENT one is paying for the apartment be deducted- ie a portion of the RENT proportional to room used as office? And if yes WHERE does not enter that specifically.  

PattiF
Expert Alumni

I believe working at home due to COVID19 doesn't allow you to use the home office deduction, correct? Yet, I heard NY State residences can, is this true? How do I file?

Rent can be deducted as an expense for a home office. Enter your information in the program and your deduction for the home office will be calculated. This information is entered on Form 2106 for Unreimbursed Employee Expenses. I just accessed this in TurboTax CD/Download by typing in 2106 in search as @ErnieSO said yesterday.

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