Question by Sixpack: Problem with working from a home office and taxes/ employer?
My employer a couple years back decided to cut costs and close our office/warehouse and send everyone home to work. I am a salaried employee and I receive a W2. My employer does not pay me a cent towards operating my home office. The only things they do pay for is a portion of my internet bill/ additional phone line (which is paid using a corp. Amex card). If I need office supplies like ink or paper, then that too goes on the Amex card which gets billed and paid by them. When I did my taxes last year the state of Pennsylvania (Revenue Dept) asked for a letter from my employer stating that they don’t pay towards the deductions I was claiming on my taxes. I asked HR a couple of times for this letter, so far nothing. I called again last week and I was told “Ummm, yeah, the accountants said they didn’t think that would be such a good idea”. I asked, actual accountants or the ladies in accounting? I was told actual accountants. He didn’t say more than that. I said I would send him the letter from the state. He replied, well maybe doing that would warm these accountants hearts up enough to produce that letter I asked for. UGH!!! What are they trying to pull? I need that money from my return ($ 500), and I don’t need this issue to arise when I do last years taxes next week!!
As I did w/ my federal return, I deducted for the portion of my house (by percentage) for the home office. I only based that deduction on mortgage interest, electric bill, etc. My federal return wasn’t kicked back, as my state return was. All I asked from my employer was for a letter stating they only pay for a portion of my internet bill, and the additional phone line I had to get installed when I began working from home. Again, only those two things and the occasional office supplies get paid with my corporate card. My tax returns don’t even reflect these costs, since I bill them direct to the company. This letter I received stated: A portion/or all of your unreimbursed employee expenses were disallowed. Expenses not related to business or expenses incurred for the personal convenience of the employee/partner/shareholder cannot be deducted from compensation. Then some crap about meals and lodging that are excessive, which don’t apply to me since I don’t deduct any of that, all of tha
Answer by the tax lady
Ask for a copy of the expense reimbursement policy. It should show that nothing is being reimbursed in your situation. If they refuse (or the policy is unclear), SUBMIT an expense report with your expenses on it and see if they will pay–when they refuse, you will have proof for the IRS/STATE. Save photocopies of everything.
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