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Julia Beth
Valued Contributor

OH
USA
146 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2005 :  06:44:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was wondering if the batteries purchased for my digital camera would be deductable. Go through a lot of batteries with all the receipt uploads required.

Silver Certified. Shopping southeast OH and Parkersburg, WV area.
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LindJorg
Star Contributor

Tacoma, WA
USA
921 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2005 :  1:13:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Absolutely...........of course, if you use your digital camera for personal use..........well, you might want to only deduct 50% or 75% of your battery purchases for MSing depending how much you use it for MSing.

I deduct batteries for my DVR because I use it for shops.

BYEEEEEEEE

Linda
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Ally23
Member

Honolulu, HI
USA
11 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  01:46:36 AM  Send Ally23 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I hear everyone talking about mileage reimbursement, but does anyone know what the rules are about public transportation? I don't have a car, so I take the bus to all of my shops. I have a monthly bus pass that costs $40, and the one-way ride on the bus is $2. Would any of that be deductible?

Thanks,
Alaine

Alaine
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Arla
Star Contributor

Deer Creek, IL
USA
269 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2005 :  6:37:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Please remember on the mileage deduction that those are round trip numbers that can be deducted! Was really glad to hear about the mileage reimbursement of 48.5 too.

Arla Ozment
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Kawibarbi
Member

Sayville, NY
USA
10 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  07:57:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
About mileage. Everyone seems to have an answer about the subject, but the bottom line is not all mileage is deductible as it is part of your job. Say you are going to a MS job after your regular job. You cannot take mileage to and from this shop, only from job A to Job B. If it is your only job you cannot take any of it as I understand it. This is in NY by the way.

Kawibarbi
MSPA Gold khxyaz
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TracyMarie
Member

Buffalo, NY
USA
13 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2006 :  05:54:45 AM  Visit TracyMarie's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Can anyone explain how I figure out what the basis value is of a depreciable item is? For example....I have a printer/fax machine that I got in 2004 and it was $499 (it still sells for $499). I didn't use it until 2005 for business use....so what value do I put in for it? Does anyone know how to do this? I don't think I can put it's value at $499 if it was a year old by the time I used it for business.

Also, anyone know if I can claim partial internet, phone, heat, elec, mortgage, etc if I'm NOT claiming a home office? (We chose to not claim a home office b/c we don't want to pay capital gains on that when we sell the house)

Looking for PT merchandising in the Buffalo, NY area.
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TracyMarie
Member

Buffalo, NY
USA
13 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2006 :  07:02:47 AM  Visit TracyMarie's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I also wanted to clarify a few things I learned from calling the IRS directly..

You can only claim ALL mileage if you're claiming a home office. If you're not claiming a home office you can only claim commuting miles...not mileage to and from your first and last shop.

You can only claim your phone bill if you have 2 phone lines. If you have only 1 phone line in your home you cannot claim a portion of it as a deduction.

As far as claiming internet, you get your percentage of business use in comparason to 24 hours per day. For example, if you use your internet 2 hours a day for business, then your business percentage of internet is about 9%. It's not percentage business vs. percentage personal use, which is what I thought. I was going to enter 40% usage because I used it for business 2 hours a day and personal 5 hours a day. It doesn't work that way.

I also learned when determining depreciation VALUE on say a fax machine...if you had it before you started msing, you determine the value by "fair market value". Meaning if your fax machine was a year old, find a few resellers and ask them what your fax machine is selling for used. That is the value, not what you paid for it a year or two ago.

Hope this helps everyone, it helped me calling the IRS directly.

Looking for PT merchandising in the Buffalo, NY area.
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LindJorg
Star Contributor

Tacoma, WA
USA
921 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2006 :  09:56:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The thing about the internet usage is that it varies every day. On days you have several shops, you may use it 8 hours a day for business. So it would be hard to break down % of use on a daily basis unless you recorded it every day.........and averaged over a week or month. I simply claim $10 a month even though I have high speed which costs me $50 a month. My accountant said I could claim $15 but I stick with the $10. The mileage issue has been debated and you seem to get different answers from IRS. I have talked to 3 IRS employees.........2 said both ways is deductible.....1 said NOT.
I talked to 5 tax experts and they ALL said both ways is deductible. The home office didn't even come into question about the mileage.
BUT the most telling is that I know two shoppers that were audited by IRS and they allowed the mileage from home...to shop....to shop...to shop....to home. These shoppers were NOT deducting home office. So I feel comfortable deducting ALL mileage.

Linda
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Merrl
Star Contributor

CA
USA
535 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  1:29:48 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
So glad to hear that the audits allowed two-way MS mileage, regardless of whether one claims home office.
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TWeiler
Member

Roanoke, VA
USA
17 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  07:07:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
For the person asking about bus fare. If you pay your fare each and every time and don't have a monthly pass them use the actual fare amount. If you get amonthly pass, then keep track of both business and personal trips. Business trips include not only going to actual shops but can include trips to the bank or to get supplies or post office. If I do not do any personal business on the above trips, then I count it as a business trip. Take each seperate one-way trip and determone your total trips and then your business trips. Divide the business trips by the total trips to get a % and then that % of your monthly pass is the amount to claim. Based on your schedule, this amount may vary fomr one month to the next.

For example:
Bus pass at $40 month unlimited trips
Trips are $1.25 (each way) if you don't have a pass

If you do 6 shops and pay each trip then your expense would be ($1.25*2*6) because of round trip

If you have the following and have a monthly pass:
Shop trips - 10
Personal trips - 11
Business trips (bank, etc)- 4
Then total trip are 25
Total business trips are 14
so business % is 14/25=56%

Don't forget to count each single one way trip as a seperate trip. If you do multiple shops in one day then you may spend for an odd # of trips
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CaryCC
Member

TX
USA
24 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2006 :  5:45:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Topic: a new printer.

I'm having to buy a new printer for about $100. I use this printer about 90% for MSing. Can I deduct $90 from my income? I'll still be well in the positive, but saving money in taxes is still great. Thanks.
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LindJorg
Star Contributor

Tacoma, WA
USA
921 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2006 :  11:20:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Absolutely, you can deduct 90% of the cost if your usage of the printer for msing will be 90%. I bought a digital camera last year but only use it about 25% for msing.........so I only deducted 25% of the cost.

Linda
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CaryCC
Member

TX
USA
24 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2006 :  2:16:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you LindJorg. I was not sure about the situation since some people have been talking about claiming depreciation on items. I'm not so hot on all of this, but claiming an honest estimate the percentage of use I can do.
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JenniferWilcox
Star Contributor

Oklahoma City, OK
USA
314 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2007 :  9:31:58 PM  Send JenniferWilcox an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Okay, I have a tough question (at least it's tough in my head).

Right now I only have a dialup connection for internet, so all my MS'ing is done on dialup. We have a free-for-life dialup account, so I don't have to pay anything for the internet itself. However, I have a land line phone just for internet, and no second line because I use my cell phone for everything. Can I deduct the cost of the land line (even though it's my only line) since it's basically the cost for my internet or am I stuck not being able to deduct anything for phone/internet?
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LindJorg
Star Contributor

Tacoma, WA
USA
921 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  7:32:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would venture to say you can deduct a % of your land line costs but not the entire cost UNLESS you use your internet ONLY for msing(then full amount of land line) which you prolly don't. So since you HAVE the land line ONLY so you can access the internet WHICH you have to be able to do to ms....figure out what % you are accessing the internet for your msing. Make sure you do not make other calls on this line though. Do you have a phone hooked up to this line? or only the computer? If any regular phone calls are made on it..........then, you would have to further reduce the % of the phone bill.

But let us assume the line is ONLY hooked up to the computer.

I don't know how many shops you have done..........but this % could be anywhere from 10%---75%............just be able to back up what you claim. So say, your monthly phone bill is $40........and you decide you use it 50% for msing........I would deduct $20 a month for internet access(land phone line).........equalling $240 write off on your SCH C. Does that make sense??

Linda
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JenniferWilcox
Star Contributor

Oklahoma City, OK
USA
314 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  7:43:00 PM  Send JenniferWilcox an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LindJorg

I would venture to say you can deduct a % of your land line costs but not the entire cost UNLESS you use your internet ONLY for msing(then full amount of land line) which you prolly don't. So since you HAVE the land line ONLY so you can access the internet WHICH you have to be able to do to ms....figure out what % you are accessing the internet for your msing. Make sure you do not make other calls on this line though. Do you have a phone hooked up to this line? or only the computer? If any regular phone calls are made on it..........then, you would have to further reduce the % of the phone bill.

But let us assume the line is ONLY hooked up to the computer.

I don't know how many shops you have done..........but this % could be anywhere from 10%---75%............just be able to back up what you claim. So say, your monthly phone bill is $40........and you decide you use it 50% for msing........I would deduct $20 a month for internet access(land phone line).........equalling $240 write off on your SCH C. Does that make sense??
Yes that makes sense. There is a phone hooked up to it, but it's never used for calls, except for wrong numbers that call us. If anyone wants to part of the package when I bought it). I'd guess that the internet call us or we want to call someone, we use the cell phone. We don't even have long distance on the land line, just a very basic line (well it does have caller id and call waiting, but that was just is used for 60-75% of MSing. I could go with 60% just to be safe I guess. Thank you for your feedback.
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Mike Krieger
Star Contributor

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  4:11:24 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I believe any public transit fares are deductible.
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MicheleMyBell
Trainee

WI
USA
7 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  08:24:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
don't forget about interest paid on an auto loan (only deduct the business percentage)
and any interest paid on a revolving credit line to purchase items used for business purposes

Michele
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.Dawn DE
Inactive

DE
USA
518 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  08:45:37 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A word of caution concerning the auto loan interest deduction. There are two ways to take auto expenses: mileage or actual expenses. If you choose mileage, as I believe most of us do, no other auto expenses are allowed (gas, interest, depreciation, etc.)Only tolls and parking can be added. If you use actual expenses, then you can add all expenses (gas, interest, maintanance, repairs) and take your business use as a deduction. For this method, you must also track mileage to estimate business use. For example, if you drove your car a total of 20000 miles this year, and 4000 was for MS, than you can take 20% of all your expenses. This means keeping every receipt related to your car, gas, oil changes, everything - plus, your mileage. To me, mileage is much easier and cleaner, but, to each his own.

Dawn
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Cheri_P
Member

NC
USA
36 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2007 :  08:49:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote

I am so...confused! I went to H&R Block to do my taxes. I let them know that I was doing mystery shopping and asked if it could be considered a small business/home-based business. After keeping detailed records, I was told that mystery shopping is only additonal income (even if you received a 1099 from the company...it's listed as 'other' income).

What am I doing wrong? Does it vary by location?

Cheri
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