Meet the college professor who lost his war with the Internal Revenue Service but who may have won an important battle for others.
The latest development in the home office deduction front involves a college professor who lost his war with the Internal Revenue Service but who may have won an important battle for others.
Professor George Weightman used a portion of his bedroom as his home office. He wrote, did research, prepared lectures, and graded papers in a specific area, furnished with a desk, chair, and some other office equipment. His bed and dresser were in another part of the room.
Professor Weightman was denied a home office deduction, because his work space did not meet the requirement that "a portion of the dwelling unit [be] used exclusively and on a regular basis as the taxpayer's principal place of business." The court ruled that the college was the professor's principal place of business.
Although he lost the case, he did win a point by arguing that the two areas, one for work, one for sleep, were separate and distinct even though they were not separated by a wall or partition. On that point the court agreed, overruling the IRS claim that without physical separation there could be no "exclusivity (1981-301)."
Home office users, even without separate rooms, take note.