Other Tax Questions
Questions and comments on other topics covered in Fairmark.com, such as UTMA accounts, and any tax questions that don't fit our other categories.
Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Barefootwoman, April 19, 2017 01:47PM
I have decided to retire early. This involves downsizing and leaving the area. I need to work several more months before eligibility for retirement benefits, but I want to downsize before then.

My employer does not provide me with any designated office space. I am primarily a teleworker (although occasionally I am required to attend meetings on the employer's site).

I am contemplating that for these final months, I will live in an extended stay hotel, in order to still be available in the area for any meetings. My employer will not reimburse for any of these expenses.

I understand the rules regarding the use of a home office in a home or apartment and related deductions, but would a hotel situation be different? would it still be a square footage based expense situation or does the fact that I don't have a lease or mortage or ownership matter, even though the expenses are real?

Re: Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Spirit Rider, April 20, 2017 12:05AM
How are you going to meet the exclusive use rule in an extended stay hotel?

At most you have a separate bedroom and bath. The living area and eating areas are usually open. You are going to find that the IRS will be very skeptical that any of this is an exclusive use room.

You have to eat, sleep, relieve yourself and have time off.

Re: Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Drewremedy, April 21, 2017 01:28AM
I would think that with attention to detai in setting up an exclusive use work station area that you could deduct same , perhaps 30% by square footage .

NOte with attention to details, to work some modest time after relocation for a new employer may allow for deduction of all your moving costs ..it's in the regs and based on time on new job not salary ..so even a token job might qualify ....check out the options .

Re: Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Barefootwoman, April 21, 2017 04:26PM

Thank you for the replies.

The remote assignment is with the same employer, so I don't think moving expenses would apply..maybe I should double check that.

Most extended stay hotel rooms involve suites with a separate room, although I note that now the IRS does not require a physical wall, only an area used exclusively for the home office.

I think I can meet the test of regular use and exclusive use (particularly the argument is strengthened by a separate room in the suite)...it's just that my situation is not typical.

It could matter that my employer requires that I work within a certain mileage radius of the organization headquarters, regardless of whether I work remotely (anywhere) or use a temporary workstation at headquarters.

It could also matter that at that time, I will be giving up any other home - at that time, I will have no other homes or apartments or dwellings - only a hotel room.
So, bottom line is my employer is not providing me with space and I have to provide my own space, it's just a matter of lease arrangements...which should be irrelevant? I know I am biased toward wanting my expenses to be recognized. I would not include any expenses for weekend or holiday periods. Currently, those deducting for space in a home or apartment are not likely to be backing out those days from their expense calculations? Anyway, again, thanks for the comments.

Re: Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Barefootwoman, April 21, 2017 04:29PM

Another thought...I have not read of the IRS disallowing home office expenses for those dwelling in urban type one room studio apartments.

Something I should research further. Again, thanks.

Re: Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Drewremedy, April 21, 2017 09:55PM
IF you have a separate room exclusively devoted to home office think you are on right track to deduct 100% of same 7 days a week....

I meant deductible relocation expenses in context of if you retire and move 1000 miles away ..and just happen to work for some new employer there even for a modest time ..the rules are pretty darn liberal as to pdeductions of moving expenses...just read them ahead of time .

Re: Business/Office Expenses while Mobile
Posted by: Art, April 22, 2017 08:33PM
An office in the home can surely include rented space. It need only be an area, not an entire room, used regularly and exclusively as a home office.

Under the simplified rules, you need only specify the area and expense at $5/sq ft. That flows from form 8829 to form 2106 to 1040/Sch A Misc Unreimbursed employee business expenses.

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