If you have no taxable income, should you claim the home-office tax deduction?

Answer: yes. Even with no taxable income, you have two for-sure tax benefits from the home office, and you likely have a third benefit.

By claiming your home office as your principal place of business when you have no business income for the year or perhaps a business loss for the year, you gain three tax benefits:

  1. Your Schedule C-denied home-office deductions that produced no tax benefits this year carry over to next year, where they offset your business income.
  2. You no longer commute from your home to business stops. Instead, all such trips produce business mileage.
  3. Any business loss apart from the home office can create a net operating loss that you can apply against next year’s taxes.