If I Play Golf &
Take Lessons, Can I Deduct Them?
- I will play golf 40 times this year, 30 times in
connection with properly documented deductible entertaining of
prospects and 10 times for personal purposes.
To make my play acceptable to my business prospects, I have
taken six golf lessons at a cost of $900. May I deduct the
cost of the lessons?
Answer Yes. The golf lessons improve the business
skills you need in your prospecting. You are somewhat like
Tracey Topping, who used her equestrian events as the
marketing muscle for her barn and home design business.
The court allowed her to deduct the cost of her equestrian
trainers. Topping needed the trainers so that she could win
events and have her name announced over the loudspeakers as
the rider of the winning horse.
You are also somewhat like the air traffic controllers who won
education deductions for private pilot certification courses,
aircraft rentals, and flying lessons, as this education
improved their air traffic skills.
Alan Aaronson won an education deduction for his flying
lessons because he proved that being able to fly improved his
abilities as a news photographer.
How do you get this deduction? The first thing you need to
assert is how those golf lessons improve your prospecting. For
example, your improved play
( taken from the Bradford Tax Institute
- might help you gain access to new and different prospects.
- may give you more business prestige and standing with the
prospect group you currently access (thereby improving
- might simply keep you as you are, thereby maintaining the
skill that you need in your business prospecting.
Next, you need to allocate the cost of the golf lessons to
three possible categories, as follows:
1. Personal nondeductible golf (which you said is 10 out of
the 40 times you will play golf,
2. 100% deductible charity event golf (if you participate in
such charity events)
3. Regular business entertainment golf (which you said is 30
out of the 40 times you will
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Donations made to qualified organizations may help reduce
the amount of tax you pay.
The IRS has eight essential tips to help ensure your
contributions pay off on your tax return.
1. If your goal is
a legitimate tax deduction, then you must be giving to a
qualified organization. Also, you cannot deduct contributions
made to specific individuals, political organizations or
candidates. See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions,
for rules on what constitutes a qualified organization.
2. To deduct a
charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize
deductions on Schedule A. If your total deduction for all
noncash contributions for the year is more than $500, you must
complete and attach IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable
Contributions, to your return.
3. If you receive
a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise,
tickets to a ball game or other goods and services, then you
can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value
of the benefit received.
4. Donations of
stock or other non-cash property are usually valued at the
fair market value of the property. Clothing and household
items must generally be in good used condition or better to be
deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.
5. Fair market
value is generally the price at which property would change
hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither
having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of
all the relevant facts.
6. Regardless of
the amount, to deduct a contribution of cash, check, or other
monetary gift, you must maintain a bank record, payroll
deduction records or a written communication from the
organization containing the name of the organization and the
date and amount of the contribution. For text message
donations, a telephone bill meets the record-keeping
requirement if it shows the name of the receiving
organization, the date of the contribution and the amount
7. To claim a
deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250
or more, you must have a bank record, payroll deduction
records or a written acknowledgment from the qualified
organization showing the amount of the cash, a description of
any property contributed, and whether the organization
provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. One
document may satisfy both the written communication
requirement for monetary gifts and the written acknowledgement
requirement for all contributions of $250 or more.
donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more
than $5,000 must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which
generally requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.
For more information on charitable contributions call my
office at 714-619-0667, or refer to Form 8283 and its
instructions, as well as Publication 526, Charitable
Contributions. For information on determining the value of
donations, refer to Publication 561, Determining the Value of
Donated Property. All are available at www.irs.gov or by
calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). ( taken from IRS
Tax Tip 2012-57
click here to listen to this video update on:
click here to listen to this video update on:
read an article in SmartMoney magazine recently that
I wanted to pass along to you titled:
5 Little-Known Tax Deductions by Bill Bischoff
where he talks about it being possible to write off
some expenses that were paid for by someone else
1. Medicare Insurance and Long-Term Care
2. Medical Expenses Paid by Someone Else
3. Real Estate Taxes Paid by Someone Else
4. Home Mortgage Points Paid by Someone Else
5. Fees to Charge Taxes to Your Credit Card
Click here to read the article online.
Some employees may be able to deduct certain
work-related expenses. The following facts from the IRS
can help you determine which expenses are deductible as an
employee business expense. You must be itemizing deductions on
IRS Schedule A to qualify.
Expenses that qualify for an itemized deduction generally
- Business travel away from home
- Business use of your car
- Business meals and entertainment
- Use of your home
- Miscellaneous expenses
You must keep records to prove the business expenses you
deduct. For general information on recordkeeping, see IRS
Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals available on
the IRS website at www.irs.gov, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM
If your employer reimburses you under an accountable plan, you
should not include the payments in your gross income, and you
may not deduct any of the reimbursed amounts.
An accountable plan must meet three requirements:
1. You must have paid or incurred expenses that are deductible
while performing services as an employee.
2. You must adequately account to your employer for these
expenses within a reasonable time period.
3. You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance
within a reasonable time period.
If the plan under which you are reimbursed by your employer is
non-accountable, the payments you receive should be included
in the wages shown on your Form W-2. You must report the
income and itemize your deductions to deduct these expenses.
Generally, you report unreimbursed expenses on IRS Form 2106
or IRS Form 2106-EZ and attach it to Form 1040. Deductible
expenses are then reported on IRS Schedule A, as a
miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to a rule that limits
your employee business expenses deduction to the amount that
exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
For more information see IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous
Deductions, which is available on the IRS website at
www.irs.gov, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
( taken from IRS Tax
To read this & my other articles online go to
www.MyDentalCPA.com and click on the Newsletter section.
always you can call me at 714-619-0667 if you have any
questions about investing, retirement or any other tax &
accounting related issues.
Regards, Monica Rebella, CPA/IAR
President, Rebella Accountancy