What hoops must you jump through to deduct a legit home office?
Well, first your home office must be your primary place of business for a specific business of yours. Either you spend more time in your home office than your away from home office, or you make your home office an administrative and/or management office. Do not do admin./mgmt. work in your non-home office.
Second, the part of your home that you use as an office must be used exclusively for business purposes. No personal time can be spent in the area. You cannot watch personal TV shows, sleep, store personal items, play computer games, or answer personal email. If your computer is a laptop that is easily moved, the computer can have games and personal email on it. Otherwise, beware of the Tax Man!
Sidenote: If you have a corporation, use the reimbursement method for your home office. Otherwise, you are not getting any tax benefit from the office.
You can set aside a portion of a room as your home office. This makes it easier to qualify the space as a deductible home office. I suggest taking a picture of your home office for future reference.
Third, you must use the space regularly. The tax courts have agreed that once a week is regular enough.