IRS Deductions For Telephones

Ever since the 1980s, the IRS created rules regarding telephone deductibility from a home office perspective.According to the tax agency, in order to claim a telephone expense as a deduction on your yearly taxes, there are certain guidelines that must be
followed and certain criteria that must be met.

Telephone Deduction Specifics

So what does that mean for me, you, and other at home workers? Let’s break it down. I run a land line so that I can have a functional fax machine, but in reality, the fax itself does connect to the regular phone, so I don’t claim a deduction for the land line. When it comes to cell phone lines, the IRS wants to see usage costs, with the usage allocated between business and personal use. Now how do you determine that allocation? Don’t ask me! Keep in mind these age-old rules were set back when cell phones were the newest “thing”.

Paying By The Minute

The criteria was set long before cell phones were ran on calling plans. Nowadays we don’t pay by the minute or by the call; the IRS hasn’t caught onto that just yet. Even though you’re surely moaning and groaning by now with a huge question mark over your head like you see in the cartoons, the IRS still somehow wants to see a usage breakdown. This means *someone *will need to revisit each month’s usage and break down personal use from business use and then allocate the monthly fee as required. Hint: estimating is your best bet.

What About Magic Jack?

Now onto the Magic Jack and Skype lines deductions. In this case it may be best to make a Magic Jack line a personal line and instead claim a deduction on your land line. Less money out of your pocket and higher deductions once tax season comes. We’ve all heard the hellish stories of an IRS audit, but from afar, all looks good. But, if the stone engraved rules don’t somehow wither away, my eyes are widely focused on VOIP, a scary acronym for the IRS.

About Paul Gaulkin CPA

Paul Gaulkin is a Certified Public Accountant and enrolled with the U.S. Treasury to practice before the IRS. Mr. Gaulkin possesses unique technical knowledge in the process of securing relief for taxpayers nationwide with IRS and State tax problems. With an accounting degree from Florida International University, he is able to transform complex tax and accounting problems into easy to understand solutions.


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