May I count the hours I am shopping or driving in my time-space percentage calculation?
No. You must be physically in your home. The time-space percentage calculation is a way of measuring how much of the home is used by your business. You may count the time playing outside in your yard.
May I use my time-space percentage to calculate my food deductions?
No. The time-space percentage has nothing to do with the consumption of food.
May I claim the food I eat while caring for the children?
No. According to Publication 587 Business Use of Your Home (1997 edition), “You can never deduct the cost of food consumed by your family.”
What should I do if I lose a receipt or forget to get one when I purchase something?
As soon as you realize you don’t have a receipt, take these steps to reconstruct your records: Save any check stubs or credit card bills, take a picture of the item, and create a receipt with all the relevant information. It is not acceptable to write out 150 “new” receipts on December 31.
With each parent, I write on Form W-10 how much they paid me for the year. Does this protect me from a parent who is thinking about claiming more on their Form 2441?
Not always. It is best to have the parent sign Form W-10 and keep a copy for your own records.