Can You Take the Home Office Deduction? Probably Not

If you work from home, you may be wondering if you can deduct costs related to your home office — a part of your mortgage payment or rent, for example. But unfortunately the U.S. tax law in this area doesn’t recognize the work-life blend that most home workers practice. If you mix business and personal activities in your home office, you can’t take the deduction.
The Wall Street Journal reports that most people eligible for this potentially lucrative deduction probably don’t take it:

“It is questionable whether most taxpayers who are eligible to take the deduction actually do so,” IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said in a report to Congress last week. She urged lawmakers to offer taxpayers a simpler, optional method of calculating the home-office deduction. [subscription required]

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From the Field: Joshua Porter, Social Web App Designer

Joshua PorterJoshua Porter runs a design and consulting company that focuses on designing social web applications. He left full-time employment this summer to found Bokardo Design and now works out of his home office. Josh blogs at Bokardo.

Describe your job/career

In August of this year I founded a design and consulting company called Bokardo Design. I focus exclusively on designing social web applications doing interface design, evaluation, and strategic consulting. The types of problems I help clients with are things like:

1) “we launched our web app and nobody is using it” 2) “we see the promise of social features, but don’t know where to start”. 3) “we have a great feature set but are having trouble generating interest and motivation”

So, basically, I’m a social psychologist in designer clothing. 🙂

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Monday Morning Vid-Biz Headlines

China’s Tudou Garners $19 million, venture capital investment lead by Capitol Today and General Catalyst Partners for the the site with 40 million viewers and a new ad platform. (release, earlier report here)

Kulabyte and On2 New Releases; the two digital video encoding platforms touting multi-core server support for increased speed and flexibility. (release, release)

NBC Digital to Add Features, including a site-wide social network, more “360” features for hits The Office and Heroes and streaming episodes of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. (email release)

Networks and YouTube Keeping Eye on Veoh, according to a profile in the grey lady, with concerns about piracy and lost ad impressions among critics of the site and VeohTV. (NY Times, NY Times Bits)

Andy Samberg Gets Glossy Treatment, with a magazine feature detailing his rise from internerd to the big screen. (New York Magazine)

Good Live-Streaming P2P Roundup; though Om thinks live is lame here are some places to do it. (TechCrunch)

iPods help doctors hear hearts

A study published Sunday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology showed that a doctor’s ability to detect a heart problem was doubled after listening to heart sounds on an iPod.

Nearly 150 medical students listened to the five most frequent heart murmurs on an iPod 400 times in a single, 90-minute session for the study. That session improved the rate of detection by stethoscope from 40 to 80 percent among generalists.

The study was done by Temple University cardiologist Michael Barrett, who said the ability to detect heart anomalies is essential to finding a range of cardiac problems and can reduce the number of unnecessary tests like echocardiograms and stress tests.

Does anyone still think the iPod’s audio quality isn’t good enough?