Exceptions to the In-Home Exclusive Use Rule

You may be able to deduct the business expenses for that part of your home even if you use the same space for non-business purposes.

To qualify for this exception to the exclusive use rule, you must meet both of the following requirements. 

  1. You must be in the trade or business of providing daycare for children, persons age 65 or older, or persons who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.
  2. You must have applied for, been granted, or be exempt from having, a license, certification, registration, or approval as a daycare center or as a family or group daycare home under state law. You do not meet this requirement if your application was rejected or your license or other authorization was revoked. 

A room that is available for use throughout each business day and that you regularly use in your business is considered to be used for daycare throughout each business day. You do not have to keep records to show the specific hours the area was used for business. You can use the area occasionally  for personal reasons. However, a room you use only occasionally for business does not qualify for the deduction. 

To find the percentage of time you actually use your home for business, compare the total time used for business to the total time that part of your home can be used for all purposes. You can compare the hours of business use in a week with the number of hours in a week (168). Or you can compare the hours of business use for the year with the number of hours in the year (8,784 in 2012).

If you started or stopped using your home for daycare in 2012, you must prorate the number of hours based on the number of days the home was available for daycare.

Source: IRS Publication 587

Pat Michael, www.childcaretaxspecialists.com and www.us-taxlaws.com