Your Cookies are Disabled! NationalNotary.org sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

4 Tips For Notaries Claiming Home Office Tax Deductions

Updated 1-9-23 for 2022 tax year. April is fast approaching and Notaries want to get the most out of their 2021 tax returns. The Notary Bulletin asked Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block, for tips for those claiming a home office deduction for the 2021 tax year.

This is general information only, and every person’s tax situation can differ when it comes to general Notary tax tips and mileage deductions. If you have specific questions about your tax situation, contact the IRS or your tax advisor.

Reminder: Starting in 2018, the home office deduction is available only to self-employed taxpayers. The deduction cannot be claimed by employees because the overall deduction for employee business expenses is not available. Although many employees had to work from home for all or part of 2022 because of the pandemic, there are no changes to the law. That is, the itemized deduction for employee business expenses is still unavailable.

What are the most important steps Notaries should follow when claiming a home office deduction? 

In order to claim the deduction, your home office must be used regularly and exclusively for business purposes. You must designate either a separate room in the house or an area of a room that will be devoted solely to your trade or business.

There are some exceptions to the “exclusive” test for an area used to store inventory, for instance, and also for areas used for day care businesses.

A simplified “safe harbor” option allows you to deduct $5 per square foot to a maximum of 300 square feet (maximum deduction $1,500) without extensive recordkeeping. Extensive recordkeeping is not required for the safe harbor option, but the maximum $1,500 deduction is designated for a larger room (about 20' x 15'). If your home office is smaller, the deduction is smaller too.

What records should Notaries keep related to home office deductions?

The home office deduction allows you to claim as business expenses a portion of both deductible expenses, such as mortgage interest and real estate taxes, and otherwise nondeductible personal expenses including utilities, home insurance, repairs and depreciation. You must keep all statements and receipts to substantiate these claims.

Where is the home office deduction claimed?

Self-employed taxpayers report the expense on Schedule C, line 30. Taxpayers using the safe harbor method metnioned above can use a worksheet in the Schedule C instructions to calculate the deduction. Those not using the safe harbor must also complete Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to calculate the deduction.  

How will recent tax law changes impact self-employed taxpayers with a home office deduction?

There are no specific changes to the home office deduction. Note that the itemized deduction for mortgage insurance premiums (PMI) expired at the end of 2021. Although the premiums are no longer treated as mortgage interest, for Notaries who calculate the actual home office deduction (i.e. don’t use the safe harbor), a portion of PMI allocated to the home office deduction would still be available.

For other 2022 changes affecting self-employed taxpayers see the “What’s new?” section of the Schedule C instructions. Since taxes change year-over-year consider using a tax professional experienced in small business returns.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources:

Notary Gadget

 ​

View All: Notary News

7 Comments

Add your comment

Judy Taylor

28 Feb 2016

What about miles driven? If I have a permanent notary sign in my car window with my phone number, am I allowed to claim all the mileage in my state as advertising?

National Notary Association

29 Feb 2016

Hello. For more information about claiming mileage deductions, please see our article "A Notary's Guide For Claiming Mileage Deductions At Tax Time": https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/02/notary-guide-mileage-deductions-tax

Chuck Alexander

12 Mar 2018

Thank You for lnformtion on Notary tax credit.

LM

10 Feb 2020

Can you claim a home office deduction if you are working from home meet all the requirements but are renting not buying?

National Notary Association

11 Feb 2020

Hello. You would need to contact a tax professional or the IRS to answer this question.

Curt Kuhl

24 Oct 2022

good articles.. would like to know your opinion on deduction for life insurance for self imployed using a home office.

National notary Association

24 Oct 2022

Hello. You would need to contact your insurance provider directly to answer any questions on that topic.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.

Close