Can I write off my Zoom camera as a work expense? Not so fast say some experts!

If you've been working from home during the pandemic you may have had to buy a chair or a desk or even a webcam for Zoom. Now many Americans are asking "can I write that off as a work expense?"
Tax Preparation
Posted at 4:54 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 19:54:46-05

(KERO) — If you've been working from home during the pandemic you may have had to buy a chair or a desk or even a webcam for Zoom. Now many Americans are asking "can I write that off as a work expense?"

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a massive work-from-home experiment on the world. All of the sudden, people started buying desks and office chairs like never before.

I'm not an expert, but we talked to lots of them, and asked: Can workers deduct work-from-home expenses?

"In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed. And at that time, individuals who are employees are no longer able to take this as a deduction," said Kemberley Washington, tax analyst with Forbes Advisor.

Tax Time

Tax Time

1:20 PM, Oct 04, 2018

Due to that change in President Trump's signature tax law, only contractors can make deductions for home office supplies. So if you're an employee who's been working remotely since the pandemic began, you'll have to pay for those expenses out of pocket. But there may be a loophole for you.

"If in fact, you are an employee working at home and you have a side gig or a separate business, or your spouse or someone on your tax return has a home office business, then they would in fact be able to deduct the home office deduction," said Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt.

And, the Trump-era deduction rule isn't permanent - so the write-off could eventually come back.

"The Tax Cuts and Job Act suspended the business use of the Home Office deduction from 2018 through 2025," said Rhonda Collins, director of tax content and government relations at the National Association of Tax Professionals.

For more information on the 2020 tax season, visit our special Tax Time section.

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If you’re wondering how you’re affected, not to worry, we have your back. We’re doing the work to make sure our products are up to date and that you can use them to file your taxes with complete confidence.

That said, many folks are wondering what’s in the bill and how it might affect them. Here’s a recap of some of the major tax provisions in the new tax bill and how they may impact you.

Increased Standard Deduction: The new tax law nearly doubles the standard deduction amount. Single taxpayers will see their standard deductions jump from $6,350 for 2017 taxes to $12,000 for 2018 taxes (the ones you file in 2019). Married couples filing jointly see an increase from $12,700 to $24,000. These increases mean that fewer people will have to itemize. Today, roughly 30% of taxpayers itemize. Under the new law, this percentage is expected to decrease.

Increased Child Tax Credit: For, families with children the Child Tax Credit is doubled from $1,000 per child to $2,000. In addition, the amount that is refundable grows from $1,100 to $1,400. The bill also adds a new, non-refundable credit of $500 for dependents other than children. Finally, it raises the income threshold at which these benefits phase out from $110,000 for a married couple to $400,000.

Personal and Dependent Exemptions: The bill eliminates the personal and dependent exemptions which were $4,050 for 2017 and increased to $4,150 in 2018. State and local taxes/Home mortgages: The bill limits the amount of state and local property, income, and sales taxes that can be deducted to $10,000. In the past, these taxes have generally been fully tax deductible. The bill also caps the amount of mortgage indebtedness on new home purchases on which interest can be deducted at $750,000 down from $1,000,000 in current law.

Health Care: The bill eliminates the tax penalty for not having health insurance after December 31, 2018. It also temporarily lowers the floor above which out-of-pocket medical expenses can be deducted from the current law floor of 10% to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018. So for 2018, you can deduct medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income as opposed to the higher 10%.

Fastax Has You Covered

Don’t worry about memorizing these tax changes the majority of which are for 2018 taxes that you file in 2019. Fastax has you covered and will be up to date with the latest tax laws. Call us for tax help at 661 493-8512