cell phone deduction question


K

kellye smith

My husband and I share a two-line cell account. He uses the
primary line, and I use the secondary. The last few months,
since he travels a lot, his work has used his phone to
contact him. This means the "anytime" minutes used by work
are all included in the base price, while the minutes I use,
we've had to pay extra for. His work did not reimburse him
for any bills, although they've just sprung for a new phone
for him, so it will no longer be an issue for us.

Meantime, can I deduct a portion of our cell bills? And how
much, since on the bills, all his business calls are priced
at $0.00?

Thanks in advance,
Kellye
 
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S

sheesh3

My husband and I share a two-line cell account. He uses the
primary line, and I use the secondary. The last few months,
since he travels a lot, his work has used his phone to
contact him. This means the "anytime" minutes used by work
are all included in the base price, while the minutes I use,
we've had to pay extra for. His work did not reimburse him
for any bills, although they've just sprung for a new phone
for him, so it will no longer be an issue for us.

Meantime, can I deduct a portion of our cell bills? And how
much, since on the bills, all his business calls are priced
at $0.00?
Even though the calls in question were all listed at $0.00
on the bill, you still incurred expenses for them.

It is my opinion that you have two options for the costs on
these.

1) Figure out the cost for all of your $0.00 calls by
figuring out how many free minutes and dividing by the base
cost of your cell service. This is the per minute cost for
your "free" calls. You can then multiply that by the number
of biz minutes, and you have a cost.

2) Figure out the total number of minutes you used on the
phone, both "free" and billed minutes. Divide this by the
total of the bill. This is your per minute cost. Multiply
this by the biz minutes and you have a cost.

The order of the billing and the use of the minutes is
irrelevant. There is a real cost for these minutes, your
cell company simply doesn't show it.

Be sure to keep this bill, and staple the sheet with the
math to it. If you are audited, bring it with you.

bex
 
D

Don Baaso

kellye smith said:
My husband and I share a two-line cell account. He uses the
primary line, and I use the secondary. The last few months,
since he travels a lot, his work has used his phone to
contact him. This means the "anytime" minutes used by work
are all included in the base price, while the minutes I use,
we've had to pay extra for. His work did not reimburse him
for any bills, although they've just sprung for a new phone
for him, so it will no longer be an issue for us.

Meantime, can I deduct a portion of our cell bills? And how
much, since on the bills, all his business calls are priced
at $0.00?
If deductible, this is an employee business expense subject
to 2% of AGI reduction. I doubt the expenses would exceed
this amount. If this is a personal use phone, no deduction
unless you are incurring long distance business call
charges.

Don in Colorado
 
K

kellye smith

Even though the calls in question were all listed at $0.00
on the bill, you still incurred expenses for them.

It is my opinion that you have two options for the costs on
these.

1) Figure out the cost for all of your $0.00 calls by
figuring out how many free minutes and dividing by the base
cost of your cell service. This is the per minute cost for
your "free" calls. You can then multiply that by the number
of biz minutes, and you have a cost.

2) Figure out the total number of minutes you used on the
phone, both "free" and billed minutes. Divide this by the
total of the bill. This is your per minute cost. Multiply
this by the biz minutes and you have a cost.

The order of the billing and the use of the minutes is
irrelevant. There is a real cost for these minutes, your
cell company simply doesn't show it.

Be sure to keep this bill, and staple the sheet with the
math to it. If you are audited, bring it with you.
Thank you! Couldn't figure out how to get there from here...

kellye
 
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S

sheesh3

Don Baaso said:
If deductible, this is an employee business expense subject
to 2% of AGI reduction. I doubt the expenses would exceed
this amount. If this is a personal use phone, no deduction
unless you are incurring long distance business call
charges.
My last message got deleted, so I will try again.

I agree with you 100% except for the part about long
distance charges. Why must the tp be incurring those to
have a deduction? A cellphone minute has a cost, no matter
whether it is an included package minute, or an additional
fee minute.

bex
 

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