The Internal Revenue Service allows certain deductions to be made on your taxable income if you use your home as a principle place of business. These deductions can include a portion of your real-estate taxes, mortgage payments, and utility expenses. But before you can claim a home office deduction, you must provide proof to the Internal Revenue Service that your home office is the main place you conduct your business and meet regularly with clients and customers. You must also prove that it's used exclusively for business purposes. Any use of your home office for reasons other than business automatically cancels your eligibility for this deduction. It's best to consult the tax code for specific rules before proceeding, as this area of tax deduction often involves several restrictions. Generally, you can expect the rules to be the same whether you're self-employed or an employee working at home. Employees, however, must prove that they're required to work at home. For more information on home-office deductions, consult a tax advisor or call the toll-free number for federal tax information and assistance at 1-800-829-1040.