Can You Claim House Expenses if You are Not Married?


House expenses are a major business deduction for family child care providers.

They include: property tax, mortgage interest, house insurance, house depreciation, utilities and house repairs.

You must apply your Time-Space Percentage to these expenses, but after doing so they still represent thousands of dollars of deductions. (House expenses are claimed on IRS Form 8829 Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.)

If you are married you can claim these deductions as long as either your name or your spouse’s name is on the deed.

But, if you are unmarried the answer is different.

If you unmarried you cannot claim certain house expenses unless you have an ownership interest in the home. These expenses are: property tax, mortgage interest, house insurance and house depreciation.

Update: If you married a same sex partner, you can claim these house expenses on your federal tax return after the federal government recognized same sex marriages in 2013.

If you are unmarried you could claim the business portion of utilities and house repairs if you can show that you (not your significant other) paid for them. In the same way you could claim other expenses for your business (food, toys, supplies, etc.) if you can show that you paid for them.

If you are married (including same sex marriages), you can deduct all expenses regardless of which spouse paid for them.

You can claim expenses for the entire year as a married couple as long as you are married as of December 31st of that year. So, it’s not too late to go out and get married! Your wallet will thank you.

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Categories: Deductions, Record Keeping & Taxes

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10 replies

  1. Of course, if you are not married, and the hosue title is in your name, you can take all available deductions…

  2. Quite right.

  3. If you are not married but renting (with both names on the lease) can you claim utilities and such? Would the utilities have to be in my name or do I just need proof that I paid them?

  4. Since both your names are on the rental agreement, you can claim utilities, rent, etc. The utilities don’t have to be in your name as long as you can show you paid them.

  5. Thank you for answering me.

  6. Residing with my boyfriend. He used his bank account to pay the rent and utilities so, after reading above I believe that I can not claim any of these since it wasn’t taken directly out of my own (separate) bank account. Is this correct? I would like to know so that I don’t loose out on this next year if this is how it works. (I can then fix the problem by paying out of my checking account instead of having him do it?)

  7. If you are not married to the owner of the home you can only deduct house expenses that you are legally obligated to pay. If your name is on the water bill then you can deduct a portion of the cost. If your boyfriend’s name is on the water bill and you pay him for this cost, you can deduct part of the cost. But, your boyfriend would have to claim the amount you paid him as income.

  8. Adult Dating

    Can You Claim House Expenses if You are Not Married? – Tom Copeland’s Taking Care of Business

  9. Hello Tom,

    Im married and want to file MFS. My husband in the only one listed on the house loan, but we are both on the deed. He itemizws and I’m also aware that I to have to itemize.

    Are my business expenses considered as “itemized”?

    Do I have right to half of those expenses such as the taxes paid and interest paid on the house?

    Or should I just file differently? I want to keep our incomes seperate, but I would also like to benefit from deductions.

    Thank you in advance.


    • Whether you file jointly or separately you still claim all your business expenses on Schedule C. How you file doesn’t affect your business deductions. Because you are married it doesn’t matter whose name is on the loan. You are still entitled to the time-space % of all house expenses. The only impact of file separately is on your personal taxes. I’d recommend talking with a tax professional to compare how you would do if filing separately vs. jointly.

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