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I provide a room in my home as an office. The office is used for sermon preparation even though the church provides me an office at the church. Can I claim expenses for this office as business expenses?

The necessity of an office in the home will be questioned closely by the IRS because the church provides an office on the premises of the church. Further, since the total cost to provide the home is used in computing the exempt housing allowance, home office deductions for taxes, insurance, mortgage interest, etc., would be duplications. Itemized deductions are allowable for mortgage interest and taxes.

Dan Busby is a certified public accountant, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), and the author of the Zondervan Clergy Tax & Financial Guide.