Until 2012, as a small-business owner working from home, you had to figure out the ratio of your office space to the entire area of your home, then use that to measure what you could deduct for rent, utilities, and other expenses -- a hassle.
Starting in 2013, you'll have an easier option: Deduct $5 per square foot of space, up to $1,500.
What hasn't changed is the strict IRS definition of "office."
As CPA Andrew Newman of Davis, Calif., notes: "You can't have the same space be an office and a play area for kids."
How to avoid catching the attention of the IRS.