Apartment Living

28 Brooklyn Facts Every Local Knows To Be True

28 Brooklyn Facts Every Local Knows To Be True

Brooklyn was once the epicenter for beard-touting hipsters, artisanal donuts and craft beer. It’s the kind of place where it wouldn’t be totally weird to see people bring their typewriters to the park to write.

In case you haven’t heard, Brooklyn is gentrifying.

The home of Biggie Smalls is now a mecca for tourists and sky-high rents. Some are deeming it way too famous to be considered true hipster. Expensive rents are partly the cause of an exodus of residents who’d rather live in Phoenix, Dallas or Las Vegas.

With the rise of new condos, high-rise buildings and a Trader Joe’s replacing neighborhood bodegas, a significant shift has taken place. And for the OG folks who call Brooklyn their home (you know who you are), they’ve watched the city grow and change. They’ve rolled with the punches.

Only real Brooklynites know these truths to be real

1. Brooklyn is so expensive you’re thinking about moving back to Manhattan. Or Long Island City. Crap, it’s already too expensive there.

2. The G line is both a blessing and a curse. Why can’t they extend it to go into Manhattan?

3. Spending a Saturday at the insanely crowded Williamsburg Smorgasburg is a must.

4. Buying a small Christmas tree at the deli is normal.

5. You know the last authentic hold-out from your neighborhood’s OG cultural group — from pierogies in Greenpoint to cabbage in Little Odessa.

6. You’re not actually from Brooklyn. (You’re most likely from California or Ohio.)

7. If you lived in Brooklyn for more than 10 years, you happily give people the rundown on all of the neighborhoods you’ve lived in — in order. “Let’s see… I first moved to Bushwick, then Crown Heights, then…” (You also root for the Nets.)

8. Your friends with young kids live in stroller city, also known as Park Slope.

9. You know that driving on the BQE means taking your life into your hands.

10. You know BAM is the place to be for concerts, plays, and film screenings.

11. You shop at Khim’s and Fairway and despise the newest Whole Foods that’s creeping into your ‘hood.

12. You’ve been called a hipster from your out-of-town friends.

13. Talking about sky-high rents is on the same level as talking about religion or politics — you just can’t do it without strong opinions or frowning.

14. Happy hour is for seeing your friends on weekdays. Brunch is for seeing your friends on weekends.

15. You’ve spent at least one night in the past month at your neighborhood bar’s open mic night listening to the comedy, music or poetry of your fellow Brooklynites.

16. If you moved to your neighborhood more than 5 years ago, you reminisce about the hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s been replaced by a Chipotle.

17. You steer clear of DUMBO because of the tourists.

18. You roll your eyes when you see the line in front of Grimaldi’s. Because clearly, Grimaldi’s is not the best pizza in town.

19. You’ve taken your out-of-town guests to Peter Luger at least once.

20. You love your local deli, even though you can shop for way less at the new Trader Joe’s down the street.

21. You always carry an umbrella in your bag, no matter what the season is.

22. You know that owning a car requires deep pockets or moving your car at 7 a.m. every other day for the street sweeper.

23. Flying out of La Guardia is so much better than JFK, but you still manage to complain about it.

24. On a beautiful day, you head to Prospect Park to enjoy rosé or McCarren Park to sip on a margarita from the Turkey’s Nest.

25. Some of your friends have named their kids Brooklyn — spelled Brooklin.

26. Remember when your friends from Manhattan would never even trek to Brooklyn? Now, they live in Brooklyn.

27. It’s normal to see celebrities like Michelle Williams or Keri Russel out walking their dog.

28. You know at least two couples who moved from Brooklyn to Portland, and plenty more who are thinking of moving to Texas or Arizona.

Did we forget anything?

Have we missed anything on this list? Do you agree or disagree? If you live in Brooklyn and want to let us know what we’ve missed, chime in below and send us a comment!

Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 20:10:36 +0000

Tips for Taking Home Office Tax Deductions as a Renter

Paying taxes is just no fun.

We’re a nation of freelancers and remote workers and it’s common for business owners to work out of their homes or apartments. In 2019, 57 million freelanced in the U.S., which means many people will want to deduct their home office on their taxes.

You may have heard that this kind of deduction is only for homeowners, but you can also use it as a renter. If you work from home, you may be able to use the deduction, as long as you meet the qualifications. The IRS doesn’t specify that you must own your home. Rentals work, too.

What to know about qualifications for home office deductions

guy on laptop

There are two primary qualifications to take this deduction. Your home office must be your principal place of business and be used exclusively for your business.

1. Your home office must be your principal place of business

As the IRS puts it, the space must be used “substantially and regularly” for business. Often, simply meeting clients at your home as a normal course for business satisfies this rule.

You may still work elsewhere, such as a co-working space or a local coffee shop. Just make sure that your home office is your primary place of business.

2. Your home office must be used exclusively for business

You can’t use your home office space for any other purpose. You can, however, still work in other areas of your home, or even in a local coffee shop.

But just because you meet clients in your living room doesn’t mean you can deduct your living room. It also means that bringing your business laptop into your kitchen doesn’t make your kitchen count, either. That also means you may only store business items in your home office.

However, your home office doesn’t need to be separated from another room. If you use a corner of your living room exclusively for business, you may still deduct that corner even if there aren’t any doors to separate it.

3. If you’re not self-employed, you can still deduct your home office

Good news if you’re employed by a company. You may still get a home office deduction even if you work for a company and are not self-employed.

You must meet the previous requirements listed above, but your home office must be for your employer’s convenience. This means working from home is:

  • A requirement for employment at your company
  • Necessary for the employer’s business to run properly
  • Necessary for you to do your job properly

Generally speaking, you would meet the requirements if your company didn’t provide an office for you or if you had some other business reason for you to work at home. Also, you must pay for all of your expenses. If your employer pays for your rent, for example, you may not deduct that rent.

You most likely won’t meet the requirements for a home office deduction if you have an outside office provided for you but you choose to take work home with you.

Calculating your deduction

When reporting your deduction with the IRS, you have two options: the simplified method or the regular method. You can use either method, any year. But once you choose a method for a particular year, you may not change mid-year.

Simplified method

If you don’t have the best record-keeping or live in a low-rent area, you may wish to choose the simplified method. Your deduction is then $5 per square foot dedicated to your home office.

For instance, let’s say your home office is 200 square feet. Your deduction is then 200 times $5 or $1,000.

Note: You may not deduct more than 300 square feet with the simplified method. So, if your office is 500 square feet, your deduction is only 300 times $5 or $1,500.

Regular method

If you have a large office, are diligent about bookkeeping and pay a large amount in rent, you may want to use the regular method. The regular method also allows you to deduct depreciation and carryover losses.

With the regular method, your deduction is based on the percentage of your apartment you use for business.

Let’s say your apartment is 1,000 square feet, and your home office is 200 square feet. That means 20 percent of your home is office space (200/1000). Then, if your yearly rent and other expenses total to $8,000, you may deduct $2,000 ($8,000 x 20 percent). Again, this can include depreciation.

Mistakes to avoid for home office deductions

people doing taxes

Beyond the qualifications mentioned above, there are other things you need to be careful with when trying to deduct your home office this year. This biggest mistakes are:

1. Not keeping proper documentation

If you take the home office deduction, make sure you document how your home office qualifies and to justify your expenses. Make sure your documentation clearly shows your office is used exclusively for business. Expenses may include things like utilities, including a landline phone and Wi-Fi.

2. Not separating your home office if it’s in a shared room

If your home office is located in another room, arrange your furniture to separate it from the rest of the room. That will help you create a clearly defined space that you can use on your taxes. Without that separation, it may be harder to justify that the area is used solely for business.

To help illustrate this point, in 2001, a San Francisco-based psychologist tried to use the deduction for her small apartment. However, because the home office was also the main pathway through the apartment, she wasn’t able to get the deduction and it did not hold in court.

3. Using your office for other work

If you’re both employed and self-employed, make sure to not use your home office for your employed work.

Unless you can show you can still take the deduction as an employee, using your home office for both types of work violates the exclusivity requirement.

4. Not taking the deduction

The deduction can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Be sure to ask your CPA or learn how to learn how and where to take the home office deduction.

Tax codes have changed

For the first time in more than 30 years, the U.S. Tax Code changed significantly from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This left many with fewer taxes to pay, but others with substantially larger taxes. Talk to your CPA to find out how the tax code changes affect you and your deductions.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional financial or legal advice as they may deem it necessary.

Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 18:30:15 +0000