ordinary and necessary expenses

Hobby v. Business Loss – Ramifications Of The Herb Vest, TC Memo 2016-187

The rules for reporting the income and expenses associated with a “hobby” or “pastime” is dependent upon whether or not the activity has the genuine purpose of making a profit. The Herb Vest case is an interesting Tax Court Memorandum decision regarding a wealthy taxpayer’s attempt to deduct from gross income, expenses related to the investigation of his father’s mysterious death. Among several issues discussed in the case, the Tax Court discussed not-for-profit activities and the factors considered in determining profit objective.

Customer Based Tax Incentives For Businesses

Taking advantage of tax incentives makes good sense for businesses. One reason a business owner should use tax incentives is to help underwrite the cost of maintaining its existing customer base, while continually striving to increase it. Whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation, or limited liability company (LLC), certain customer-based tax incentives may help a business reduce taxes.

The first priority for the owner of a business enterprise is to reduce taxable income by taking all of the deductions to which it’s entitled as business expenses. If the expense is ordinary and necessary to the business, it may be deducted under I.R.C. § 162. As defined by the Supreme Court:

Tax Treatment of Income from Hobbies

Countless Americans take pleasure from hobbies that also generate income. Collectibles of all types have skyrocketed in popularity, as well as income potential, in the last fifty years. Whether its dolls, baseball cards, stamps, coins, or Star Trek action figures, all types of hobbies have the potential to generate some amount of income, which, of course, is taxed by Uncle Sam.

The rules for reporting the income and expenses associated with a “hobby” depends upon whether or not the activity in question is a hobby or business. There are deductions that hobbyists may claim but they, like most everything, are subject to special rules and limits imposed by the Tax Code.

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