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jeffrey-davis4
Returning Member

Is a federal employee designated as a “remote” employee eligible to use their home office as a tax-deductible expense?

Since COVID started, my federal government employment status has been changed to “Remote”.  Basically, my designated work location is my private residence. Is a federal employee designated as a “remote” employee eligible to use their home office as a tax-deductible expense?

The USDA defines “Remote” work as an arrangement under which an employee is scheduled to perform work within or outside the local commuting area of an agency worksite and is not expected to report to an agency worksite on a regular and recurring basis. The employee provides their own workspace to accomplish their day-to-day work and the work location is usually the employee’s residence. The size of the workspace must be adequate to allow for effective and efficient work and provide reliable telephonic and internet connectivity as well as access to all the necessary agency systems and tools needed to accomplish the work. A remote worksite must also conform to safety requirements and must acknowledge adherence to all safety protocols.

Example. An employee’s agency worksite is Washington, DC, and they are approved to work remotely out of their home in Baltimore, MD. The employee’s official duty station is now Baltimore (not Washington, DC), they work from their home, and they do not report to the agency worksite on a regular and recurring basis. The big difference between a remote worker and teleworker is the remote worker works from their home 100% of the time and their official duty station is their home vs. a teleworker would be required to report to the agency worksite at least 2 times per pay period and their official duty station is the agency worksite.

1 Reply
JaredS_CPA
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

Is a federal employee designated as a “remote” employee eligible to use their home office as a tax-deductible expense?

Hello jeffrey-davis4,

Thank you for participating in the Ask the Expert event. I hear and understand your question. From what you share in your question, the debate is not whether you are a designated a remote or tele-worker for purposes of the home office deduction. The question is whether or not you are a W-2 or 1099 employee. Up through 2017, W-2 employees were able to take the home office deduction if they worked for home. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 that deduction has been eliminated through 2025. So, it may come back, but right now while you are a federal W-2 employee that deduction is not available to you. However, it may still be available to you as a deduction on your state return. Here are two articles TurboTax and the IRS that may be helpful.

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