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Deducting a Blackberry, iPhone, or Laptop

Gosia (independent contractor) asks:

I work in a sales position where I am classified as an independent contractor, so I file a Schedule C every year. So far this year I’ve purchased a Blackberry and a laptop for use in my business. Will I be able to deduct these? I’m concerned because I obviously don’t use them ONLY for business.

Answer:

Generally, if you use it more than 50% for business purposes (as opposed to personal use), you will be able to deduct the cost of the item multiplied by the percentage of business use. For example, if you use it 60% for business, you can deduct 60% of the cost.  This is known as electing to take the Section 179 expense deduction, and you will have to file a form 4562.

If the property is used less than 50% for business purposes, you will be able to deduct the portion of the cost allocable to business use over a specified number of years.  (See Instructions to Form 4562 for more information).

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