In an attempt to reduce the administrative, recordkeeping, and compliance burdens of taxpayers, the IRS has offered a safe harbor method to compute the allowable deduction for the business-use portion of the home. The safe harbor method is effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013.
Under the safe harbor method, the taxpayer multiplies the allowable square footage of the home office by the prescribed rate of $5.00. The allowable square footage for business use cannot exceed 300 square feet; thus, the maximum allowable home office deduction under the safe harbor method is $1,500. The safe harbor deduction, cannot exceed the business income for the year reduced by business expenses unrelated to the dwelling unit. Any taxpayer using the safe harbor method may not carry over any disallowed safe harbor deductions to the next year.