Tracking and Counting Hours

What Hours Can You Count When You Are Away From Home?

We’ve written about keeping track of your hours ( but what about the hours you spend on business activities away from your home such as shopping for toys, picking up and dropping off children (if you offer that) or even attending seminars and workshops?

Answer – You can’t count them. 

But what if you are taking the children off-site for a field trip?  Can those hours be counted or do you need to deduct them? While the IRS has not made an specific statement on “field trips”, if you are caring for children from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. that is 12 hours and that is the number of hours you should count – that includes the off-site park time.

Simply said – when you are away from your home you are not “using” your home. They mean it in the literal sense – not walking on/wearing out your carpets, using furniture or appliances, or even using your utilities for business purposes. While you are still using electricity and gas while you are away, but not specifically for your business. Your home is considered personal use at all times-  unless you can show it is specifically used for your business¹.  

We encourage you to use our checklist and crib sheet for keeping tight track of your hours. You can download the cribsheet PDF here.

You can download the Before/After Table here