KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Working from Home? Here’s What You Can Claim on Your Taxes

Apr 6, 2020, 5:47 PM | Updated: 8:19 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah – For weeks now, thousands of Utahns have worked from home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. During that time, many have had to buy equipment, supplies and upgrades to power their home workspaces.

Those expenses can add up, but tax experts said you are in for a disappointment if you were expecting to write off the cost on next year’s taxes.

“That is no longer deductible,” said Brian Horne of Affordable Tax & Accounting.

Whether you bought a computer, an ergonomic chair or upgraded your internet to a higher speed to handle all the videoconferencing – employees forced to work from home full-time cannot deduct any of that.

Now, those deductions used to be an option – up until the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted in 2017.

Many Utahns have had to buy equipment, supplies and upgrades to power their home workspaces during the pandemic.

“That is all gone,” explained Horne. “So, as of that tax overhaul in 2018, that used to go on the itemized deductions. It no longer exists.”

It still exists for your boss. He or she can write-off your home expenses — if they reimburse you.

“Your employer does not have to reimburse you. They are allowed to reimburse you and if they do, they can write it off,” Horne said.

If you are self-employed, a home office tax deduction is still available, with two big catches. Your home has to be your regular place of business and your workspace in your home has to be set aside for business only – no personal use.


Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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Gephardt: Working from Home? Here’s What You Can Claim on Your Taxes