RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Housing to Pick Up Steam

March 25, 2015 12:24 am

Much of the economic activity expected at the beginning of 2015 should shift into the second quarter, with growth strengthening in coming quarters, reports Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group. Despite downside risks, upbeat labor market conditions and positive consumer and business fundamentals should push growth to 2.8 percent this year.

"We continue to expect the economy to drag housing upward as we move into the second quarter,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae chief economist. “The economy is getting a boost from the strong employment numbers we’ve seen last year and at the start of 2015. When this employment growth partners with income growth and consumers experience a rise in their personal household income, we should see a similar boost in the housing sector.

“Overall, we expect an improving 2015 with continued economic growth bringing housing above 2014 levels,” adds Duncan.

Source: Fannie Mae

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Claim the Home Office Deduction

March 25, 2015 12:24 am

Taxpayers with home-based businesses filing their 2014 federal income tax returns can choose a simplified method for claiming the deduction for business use of a home, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Nearly 3.4 million taxpayers claimed the home office deduction in tax year 2012, totaling more than $10 billion in deduction.

Normally, home-based businesses are required to fill out a 43-line form (Form 8829) often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions. Instead, taxpayers choosing the simplified method need only complete a short worksheet in the tax instructions and enter the result on their tax return. Self-employed individuals claim the home office deduction on Schedule C, Line 30; farmers claim it on Schedule F, Line 32; and eligible employees claim it on Schedule A, Line 21.

Introduced in tax year 2013, the optional deduction is designed to reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden for small businesses. The optional deduction is capped at $1,500 per year, based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet.

Though homeowners using the simplified method cannot depreciate the portion of their home used in a trade or business, they can claim allowable mortgage interest, real estate taxes and casualty losses on the home as itemized deductions on Schedule A. These deductions need not be allocated between personal and business use, as is required under the regular method.

Business expenses unrelated to the home, such as advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees, are still fully deductible. Long-standing restrictions on the home office deduction, such as the requirement that a home office be used regularly and exclusively for business and the limit tied to the income derived from the particular business, still apply under the simplified method.

Source: IRS.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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