How To Calculate The Home Office Deduction
You have two choices for calculating your home office deduction: the standard method or the simplified option, and you dont have to use the same method every year. The standard method requires you to calculate your actual home office expenses and keep detailed records in the event of an audit.
The simplified option lets you multiply an IRS-determined rate by your home office square footage. To use the simplified option, your home office must not be larger than 300 square feet and you cannot deduct depreciation or home-related itemized deductions.
The simplified option is a clear choice if youre pressed for time or cant pull together good records of your deductible home office expenses. However, because the simplified option is calculated as $5 per square foot, with a maximum of 300 square feet, the most youll be able to deduct is $1,500.
If you want to make sure youre claiming the largest home office deduction youre entitled to, youll want to calculate the deduction using both the regular and simplified methods. If you choose the standard method, calculate the deduction using IRS form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.
How Do I File Health Insurance Costs Paid For Myself And My Family
Once you confirm you are eligible to file, you’ll need to know where to deduct health insurance premiums for self-employed tax purposes.
The most direct way to claim your health insurance premium costs is to apply them as a deduction to your total gross income. When you take these deductions, the result is called your adjusted gross income, or AGI. Basically, your AGI is your gross income minus allowable adjustments, such as student loan interest or health savings account contributions. In summary:
Gross income – adjustments = AGI
Applying your premiums as an income adjustment provides two benefits:
- Your total tax liability is based on your AGI. If you use the insurance premiums to lower your AGI, you may have a lower tax debt.
- You can claim 100% of your eligible health insurance premiums as an income deduction.
If you don’t submit all your paid premiums as an income deduction, you can include the remaining costs with your other itemized medical expenses. You would have to do this, for example, if your health insurance premiums exceeded your business income. Keep in mind that if you combine premiums with your other itemized medical costs, you can use only 10% of your total eligible health-related expenses including premiums beginning with the 2021 tax year.
Qualifying For Marketplace Savings
To get a premium tax credit or reduction of your out-of-pocket costs, youll need to provide an estimate of your household income to the Marketplace for the year youre getting coverage. This can be challenging for business owners whose income may vary. You should provide your best estimate. Talk to your tax professional for advice on how to estimate your household income.
If you qualify for a premium tax credit and/or reduction of your out-of-pocket costs and your expected household income changes during the year, you should return to the Marketplace and update your estimated income as soon as possible. At the end of the year, if you make more than what you reported to the Marketplace, you may have to pay back some or all of the premium tax credits that you received in advance. If you make less, you could get additional premium tax credits when you file your taxes.
Also Check: How Much Is Health Insurance Usually
Deducting Health Insurance Your Business Provides You As A Business Expense
Joe, a successful financial consultant, hires his wife, Martha, to work as his employee assistant. He pays her $25,000 per year and provides her with a health insurance policy. This covers both of them and their two children. The annual policy premiums are $10,000. Joe may deduct the $10,000 as a business expense for his consulting practice. He may deduct the 10,000 not only from his $100,000 income for income tax purposes but also from his self-employment income as well. He saves $4,500 in federal and state taxes by taking this deduction. If you do this and you’re self-employed, do not take the health insurance deduction for self-employed people. You’re betterâÃÂ® off deducting all your health insurance premiums as a business expense.
How To Claim The Deduction If You’re Self
If you have self-employment income, you can take the deduction for health insurance expenses incurred for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. Self-employment income is reported on Schedule F if you’re a farmer or Schedule C for other sole proprietors. General partners in partnerships and actively participating members in LLCs that are treated as partnerships can claim the deduction if they have any self-employed income, as can employees of S-corporations who own 2 percent or more of the corporation’s stock.
You May Like: What Is A Good Cheap Health Insurance
Health Insurance Premiums And Total Household Resources
Some qualified paid health insurance premiums may be deducted from income when calculating the homestead property tax and other credits allowed on the Michigan income tax return.
Pre-Tax Deduction An amount excluded from income tax. Pre-tax deductions reduce your taxable income. They are deducted from your income before taxes, so you are not taxed on that money.
Post-Tax Deduction An amount deducted after the tax is deducted. Post-tax deductions do not reduce your federal, State and Medicare tax liability. They are deducted from your income after taxes, so you are taxed on that money.
Total Household Resources Total household resources includes all income received by all household members during the year, including income that might be exempt from adjusted gross income. Net losses from business activity may not be used to reduce total household resources. For a listing of income sources to include in total household resources, view Income and Deductible Items .
POST TAX HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS
Post-tax premiums paid for any of the following types of health insurance plans may be deducted to compute applicable credits:
Post-tax Medicare premiums that are paid out of your pocket may be deducted to compute applicable credits. This applies to the following types of coverage:
How To Find Self
There are lots of companies that offer self-employed health insurance plans, so you have a lot of options. Healthcare.gov is a great place to start. Its the federal governments official online health insurance marketplace. You can shop hundreds of plans on the site and each has a wide variety of coverage options. Some states also have their own health insurance exchanges, so residents of certain states have even more options.
You have to answer some questions about your health and living arrangements in order to receive a quote. In most instances, you have to provide your family size, annual income, and other relevant information. Once you submit this info, the marketplace will search for suitable plans that meet your requirements. When you see a plan that fits your needs, you can enroll entirely online. Many of these websites have tools to help you compare plans, and some can even tell you if you qualify for government aid programs!
There are also hundreds of private exchanges that sell self-employed health insurance. Most of these websites earn a commission for every user they signup, so theyre usually free to use. Search for self-employed health insurance and youll immediately see dozens of options. If youre involved in a trade organization or union, you can usually find information about insurance plans through them too.
You May Like: What Is Average Cost Of Health Insurance For A Family
Internet And Phone Bills
Regardless of whether you claim the home office deduction, you can deduct the business portion of your phone, fax, and internet expenses. The key is to deduct only the expenses directly related to your business. For example, you could deduct the internet-related costs of running a website for your business.
If you have just one phone line, you shouldn’t deduct your entire monthly bill, which includes both personal and business use. According to the IRS website, “You cant deduct the cost of basic local telephone service for the first telephone line you have in your home, even if you have an office in your home.” However, you can deduct 100% of the additional cost of long-distance business calls or the cost of a second phone line dedicated solely to your business.
When Your Health Insurance Is Probably Not Tax Deductible
There are several circumstances under which you are not eligible to use the self-employed health insurance deduction, including the following:
- If you didnât pay for your health insurance
- If your employer pays for your health insurance premiums
- If you received a subsidy to purchase health insurance on the exchange through the Affordable Care Act, the subsidy that lowered the cost of your premium cannot be deducted.
- If you paid for health insurance with pre-tax money
- If you donât itemize your tax deductions
- If you are on COBRA insurance after leaving a job
Letâs look at an example. Letâs say you are working as a real estate agent full-time in January and purchase your own health insurance. Then, in June, you take on a full-time role in sales for another company and continue to do real estate on the side. You become eligible for an employer-sponsored health insurance plan at your new job, but do not enroll because you want to remain covered under your own insurance. You would only be able to take a deduction for premiums paid in January through May. Even though you chose not to enroll in your companyâs health insurance plan in June, you became eligible. Once the new plan becomes an option, you can no longer deduct your premiums.
Read Also: How Much Does Health Insurance Cost In Ct
Medical Expenses Deduction And Cobra
Your COBRA premiums do qualify for the medical and dental expenses deduction. This deduction encompasses a much wider range of health care costs, including not only your COBRA deductible premiums, but also your out-of-pocket costs for checkups, preventive care, treatment, prescriptions and surgery. You can also include the costs of qualifying expenses for your spouse and dependents.
Unlike the self-employed health insurance deduction, which you can claim on top of the standard deduction, you can only claim the medical expenses deduction if you itemize. Using these methods, you can ensure that your COBRA deductible is reinforced with additional tax deduction opportunities.
Who Can Claim A Self
Before you start filling out tax forms, youll want to confirm that you and your business are eligible for the self-employed health insurance deduction. To qualify for the deduction, you and your business must:
Meet the definition of self-employed. According to the IRS, you are self-employed if you:
- Carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor.
- Are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business.
- Are otherwise in business for yourself .
Show a net profit for the tax year.
- You must show a net profit, and you may deduct only as much as you earn from the business for which the insurance was set up.
Not be eligible for an employer-sponsored medical or LTC plan.
- Even if you dont join, you cannot claim self-employed health premiums for any months you were eligible for an employer plan.
You May Like: What Is A Health Insurance Plan
How Do You Calculate Your Self Employed Health Insurance Deduction
Contrary to what you may think when youâre thinking about the self-employed health insurance deduction, there is no set limit to how much the deduction is. A lot of times when it comes to taxes, people think there are set amounts or percentages that define everything. But that isnât always the case
For example, as a self-employed person, you might be used to paying both income taxes as well as self-employment taxes. Both of those numbers are set percentages, right? Of course, there are different tax brackets and such, but itâs all just a percentage. But when you go to take the self-employed health insurance deduction, it isnât a percentage or an amount.
The maximum amount that you can deduct is the full amount that you paid for health insurance premiums. But the deduction cannot exceed the total net profit of how much you brought in as income during the year through your self-employment. And if you lost money during the year, you are unable to deduct anything at all. If that seems a little confusing, letâs run through a detailed example to make it crystal clear.
Do Aca Tax Credits Make Health Insurance More Affordable For The Self
Thanks to the ACA, federal tax credits obtained via the exchanges are helping many families subsidize the purchase of individual health insurance. The tax credits are great for the self-employed, who had to foot the entire bill for their health insurance prior to 2014. Employees who get employer-sponsored health insurance typically enjoy a substantial subsidy in the form of pre-tax premiums and employer contributions to the premium. The ACA makes similar subsidies available for many self-employed people.
The tax credits are available to households with incomes of at least 100% of the federal poverty level but not more than 400 percent of FPL, as long as the enrollees do not have access to Medicaid or employer-sponsored health insurance that is considered affordable . For coverage effective in 2021, the 2019 poverty level is used, and the upper annual income threshold for subsidy eligibility is $51,040 for a single individual and $122,720 for a family of five .
The relatively high income limits mean that premium tax credits are widely available: of the more than 10.5 million people who had effectuated coverage with private health plans through the exchanges as of 2020, about 86 percent qualified for premium tax credits. Nationwide, the average premium subsidy in 2020 was $491 per month .
Read Also: Which Part Time Jobs Offer Health Insurance
How Do I Qualify For The Self
You can qualify for the self-employed health insurance deduction if you are self-employed and not eligible for any other health insurance plan. So if you have another job that offers you health insurance or your spouses employer can cover you, you wont be able to take this deduction, even if you didnt enroll in the other insurance plan. Eligibility is month-by-month, so you can only claim the deduction for the months when you qualify. This deduction and the eligibility rules also apply to those who are partners or LLC members.
In addition, you cant deduct more than what you earn from your business during that tax year. If your premiums were more than your income, you can claim up to the income amount as your self-employed health insurance deduction, and you may be able to claim the excess as medical expenses in your Schedule A. If you had a tax loss for the year, you wont be able to claim this deduction.
How Does The Self
Self-employed contractors tend to ask for a higher pay rate than employees. This is due to their self-employment overheadtheir financial responsibility to cover the full cost of benefits that employers usually cover for their employees, including medical insurance premiums.
When consulting on a fair pay rate for contract work, estimating these factors helps provide a more accurate idea of the contractors true overhead for medical insurance:
Estimate the average monthly premium for private health insurance.
Estimate the maximum deduction the contractor can take .
Estimate the payroll tax the contractor will pay .
Determine how much the self-employed health insurance deduction will deduct from the payroll tax obligation based on the contract length and intended pay rate.
Also Check: When Does A Company Have To Offer Health Insurance
What Policies Are Eligible
The entire cost of premiums paid for medical insurance, dental insurance, and long-term care insurance are deductible for policies that cover you, your spouse, your dependents, or adult children who have not reached the age 27 as of the last day of the tax year. If you’re self-employed and pay supplemental Medicare premiums, such as for Part B coverage, you can deduct these premiums as well. The policy can be in the name of your business if you don’t operate under your own name.
Starting Your Own Plan
If you do decide to start your own health insurance plan under your self-employed trade or business name, such as when your COBRA coverage has run out or if you’ve decided to switch for the tax deduction, you can deduct your premiums as an adjustment to income. This means you don’t have to give up your standard deduction.
You can also include the premiums paid for your spouse, dependents and children under 27 at the end of the year. However, you can’t deduct the premiums for any month that you could have been covered under an employer plan, such as your spouse’s company plan. In addition, your deduction can’t exceed your self-employment income for the year.
Also Check: Can Grandparents Add Grandchildren To Health Insurance
What Is The Self
As a self-employed person, you work for yourself. Thereâs no employer to cover the cost of your health coverageâwhich means that youâre on the hook for paying for your own health insurance out of pocket.
And while the Affordable Care Act certainly aimed to lower the cost of health insurance for buyers shopping for a health insurance plan on the individual market, thereâs no denying that health insurance coverage for many self-employed individuals is prohibitively expensiveâand covering the cost of monthly health care insurance premiums can still put a major financial strain on many independently employed people.
Luckily, there are ways to mitigate those costsâincluding the self-employed health insurance deduction.
Plan Must Be Established Under A Trade Or Business
To qualify for the SEHD, a taxpayer must have a health plan established under a trade or business.
- For a sole proprietor, the plan can be established in the name of the business or in the owners individual name.
- For a partnership, the policy can be in the name of the partnership or in the name of the partner.
- If the partnership pays the premiums, the partnership deducts the payment and reports the amounts paid to the partner on the K-1 as a guaranteed payment. If the partner pays the premium, the partnership must reimburse the partner for the premium and include the reimbursement as a guaranteed payment.
Recommended Reading: What Do I Need To Know About Health Insurance