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Can I take a home office deduction while moving frequently?

Los Angeles, CA |

I run my own business, and typically take a home office deduction.

Over the next year, I plan to move frequently, rather than having a conventional 12-month lease. For example, I will live in NYC for a few months, San Francisco for a few months, Hawaii for a few months etc. I will be doing this for fun, but will be working the whole time, from each of these short-term rentals (computer-type work). Can I take the home-office deduction in each case? Do I need to document anything aside from the receipts?

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Attorney answers 2


You may want to read IRS Publication 587 - "Business Use of Your Home" - to see whether you can deduct use of your home office under the circumstances you described. Here's the link:


You have a bigger problem in that you will need to do a lot of partial state returns for every locale in which you are located.

Depending upon the general use of the short term locales, you may want to explore whether or not you are renting a "home" or an "office", but the "deductibility is in the details". Study the IRS rules, and apply the ACTUAL USE of the premises to the rules.

I would document the leases, the use of the premises, whether client equipment is stored there, whether the premises are physically located next to the businesses you serve and all other aspects and motivations for the varying locations and rentals. It might also be to your advantage if you can cause the person whom you contract with to provide accommodation on their premises and for their convenience.

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Curt Harrington
Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal

Electrical-Chemical-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney
(562) 594-9784
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