A key tax deduction for telecommuters is gone. How to ease the loss

You also could ask your company if you can become an independent contractor. However, even if your employer agreed, you’d have to weigh the loss of benefits that can come with being a full-time employee — say, health insurance, vacation time or access to a retirement plan — with that move.

Additionally, you’d have to pay self-employment taxes, which means picking up the share of Medicare and Social Security taxes that your company pays on your behalf, said Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM’s National Tax Office in Washington.

And if you think of setting up a side gig simply so you can funnel your home-office expenses through that, you need to be sure it’s a valid business in case the IRS comes calling.

“If you do set up a side gig and it doesn’t have a legitimate business purpose, that’s tax evasion,” Weston said.

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