2013 Home Office Deductions

Many homeowners know that having an office in the house can be a deduction under certain circumstances. Traditionally, if something gets red-flagged for audit of a homeowner’s deductions, it is the one for a home office. Yet, if deducted correctly, it can be as safe a deduction as the more typical ones. Homeowners can deduct a percentage of their mortgage, utilities and home repairs in direct proportion to the amount of their home that is set aside as office space.

For this deduction to work, here are a few guidelines when deducting your home office expenses on your tax return:

·         It must be your principal place of business (the main place where you get most of your work done)

·         It must be used exclusively for business (No TVs, no video games, no craft corner.)

·         It must be regularly used for business

·         The size and use claimed needs to be realistic. Six hundred square feet in a 1200 square-foot house may not be realistic.

As of 2013, the IRS has simplified the method of computing business use of your home. The standard method used previously had been complex easily misunderstood by small business owners that felt it was too burdensome and problematic. Also, a reason for the reputation of the deductible has as an audit-magnet. The IRS claims the new simplified option can “significantly reduce recordkeeping burden by allowing a qualified taxpayer to multiply a prescribed rate by the allowable square footage of the office” in lieu of determining actual expenses. For a full explanation of tax deductions for your home office refer to Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home .

As a homeowner using this new option, you will not be able to depreciate the part of the home you use in your business. Yet, if you are a homeowner who itemizes your deductions, you can still claim mortgage interest, real estate taxes and any casualty losses on their home on Schedule A.

If you use the simplified option, you can write off $5.00 per square foot up to 300 square feet of home-office space. If your home office is more than 300 square feet, or if you want to take a depreciation deduction for the office space, then you will want to use the standard option. And, if you still want to depreciate the office space in your home, you will need to continue to use the standard option for such detailed calculations.

Be aware, when you sell your house, you will have to pay back any depreciation you took and it’s taxed at around 25%. Since the ‘90s, federal tax law has permitted homeowners to exclude from tax up to $250,000 per person in profits from the sale of a personal residence that has been lived in for at least two of the five years prior to its use. However, the space or room in your home that you dedicated to business use and depreciated must be “recaptured” when you sell as it does not qualify for the home sale tax exclusion.

The new home office deduction is simpler but smaller. However, as we’ve seen above, the added savings from keeping the additional records and claiming depreciation may not be worth the effort to hold out for the larger portion from the standard method. The home office deduction is easier to claim for the 2013 calendar year, but you won’t be able to use the simplification until you fill out your tax return in 2014.

Seaside and 30a Thanksgiving & Christmas Extravaganza

Enjoy seasonal festivities at Seaside and 30a this Thanksgiving holiday!

Seaside 30a Welcome Sign


Every Christmas Story Every Told – Seaside Repertory Theatre

Christmas comes but once a year and so does the “sneak peek” holiday performance of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” performed by the Seaside Repertory Theatre.  Grab a mug of hot cocoa, sugar cookie and enjoy two opportunities to see the show.  Wednesday, November 21st at 2pm at The WaterColor Marina Amphitheatre for free! Or Saturday, November 24th at 1pm at The Seaside Repertory Theatre for only $10.  Tickets are available at the seasiderep.org 12:30 the day of the show or at Amavida coffee or by calling 231-0733.

The production officially opens at 7:30pm, Dec. 6th –Dec 29th (Thursdays through Saturdays). Tickets are $12.50 (students) and $25 (adults) and can be purchased at seasiderep.org, at the door the night of the show, or at Amavida coffee or by calling 231-0733.

Bundle up the family – this is a hilarious production you will not want to miss!

Seaside Holiday Celebrations
Bring a blanket and enjoy the Holiday movie, ELF, under the Stars at the Seaside Amphitheater – Nov. 23 at 7pm and Nov 24 at 4pm.  Seaside’s Annual holiday parade starts at 4pm with the annual tree lighting at 5pm.  Santa and Mrs. Claus along with face painting, caroling and many town festivities start from 5-8pm.

Seaside 30a Beach Pavillion


Artists at Gulf Place Holiday Open House
November 23 & 24 at 10am-6pm join the artists at Gulf Place and enjoy an art show, live music, food and lots of holiday cheer!  Raku firing, kids art and jewelry making are a few workshops taking place both days.  Don’t miss your opportunity to capture a photo with Santa on Saturday at 11am-1pm.

Rosemary Beach

Kick off your holiday at Rosemary Beach with the Inaugural 30A 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run on November 22. Cottages for kids tours and raffle/auction continue November 22-24. Tree lighting, breakfast with Santa, a bocce tournament, a holiday market and merchant open houses all start Nov 23-24.

Alys Beach
Bring an unwrapped children’s gift and donate to the local Angel Tree Program while decorating cookies with Santa on November 23 from 10am-12pm.

Old Florida Holiday & Winter Market at WaterColor
You will feel like you’re in a winter wonderland November 24, 5pm-9pm, falling snow, horse-drawn carriage rides around Cerulean Park, bonfires complete with s’mores, pictures with Santa Claus, live music, luminaries around the park, beautiful lighting of the Town Center and Christmas tree, and of course a Winter Market full of Christmas gifts for all ages!