If you work from home, as about 45% of Americans currently do, you might have wondered whether your house cleaning services are tax deductible. The answer is yes, house cleaning services are tax deductible.

Professional services

Any work-related expenses can be deducted from your income taxes. That covers the cost of your Internet connection if you use it for work more than half the time, your auto mileage, your paper or ink supplies, and an appropriate percentage of your utilities and other home expenses if you work primarily from home.

If your professional cleaning service cleans your home office, then they are providing a work-related service, and the amount that you pay them is a work-related expense.

Think about it: certainly, if you meet clients in your office, either physically or via Zoom, the cleanliness of your office is important for your work. Why should someone trust you as an accountant, for example, if you have a cluttered or dirty space? That doesn’t show the kind of attention to detail they want in someone who will be responsible for their taxes.

But even if you don’t have client-facing work, a clean and tidy work space increases both creativity and productivity. Researchers have found that a dirty or messy workspace is distracting and stressful — even for people who don’t consciously recognize that mess bothers them.

Your professional cleaning service is therefore a bona fide work expense.

It’s all about the percentage

You can deduct the entire fee of a commercial janitorial service that cleans your office building, but that’s not how it works with a residential cleaner. Unless your cleaning service comes in only to clean your home office, the entire cost of cleaning your home is not tax deductible.

Instead you can take the same percentage of the cost of the cleaning service that you use for utilities, mortgage interest, and the like. If you have a 1900 square foot home and a 100 square foot office, your office is 5.3% of your home. You can deduct 5.3% of the cost of your utilities, and 5.3% of the cost of your cleaning service. Any extra services conducted just for your office, such as cleaning windows, will be fully deductible.

Check with your accountant. If you set your computer up on your dining room table one day a week, this deduction is not for you. But if you are eligible for a home office deduction, you are also eligible to deduct the amount you pay to clean that home office.