Tax Writeoff for Guns/Ammo/Etc??


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Miami357
February 12, 2004, 02:40 PM
I will soon begin preparing for my tax return. I would like to be able to claim the firearms and ammunition that I purchased last year as a legitimate tax deduction, for home security. Would this be allowed? Any accountants or CPAs on thr.org?

Moderator: Also posted in the Legal and Political section. Is that OK?

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RWK
February 12, 2004, 03:10 PM
I am not an accountant or tax attorney, however, I very much doubt if any “home security” expenses are deductible on a “normal” individual or family Federal tax return. Obviously, costs such as an installed alarm system or high security doors and windows may increase the resale value of a dwelling, and therefore may be recouped (in whole or in part) in the eventual sales price; however, these home improvements are no more tax-year-based deductible expenses than a kitchen remodeling or adding a swimming pool (IMHO).

A key exception to this overall policy could be a home-based business that requires improved security devices. For example, if an individual operated a rare coin and stamp dealership from his home, it could be arguable that security enhancements are required -- just as they would be in a non-home venue. In this case, I suspect the protective measures would either be expensed or depreciated AGAINST THE PERSONAL BUSINESS SCHEDULE(S) IN THE INDIVIDUAL’S RETURN.

I hope this forgoing information is correct and will await responses from CPAs and other experts.

TheOtherOne
February 12, 2004, 03:15 PM
Even if the gun is for a legitimate business reason, I think you can only right off so much a year over 15 years or whatever the depreciation is on a gun.

btw, I asked about this last year if you're interested: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=15002

TaxPhd
February 12, 2004, 03:37 PM
The only legitimate way to do it would be as a business expense, on the appropriate business return or schedule on the individual return.

If you work someplace that requires the purchase/use of guns and ammo, and they don't reimbures you, , it might work on Schedule A, Misc. Itemized deductions.

Generally, unless you "Do the Gun" as a business, no deduction will be allowed.

Home security is not an allowable deduction.




Scott

Correia
February 12, 2004, 04:43 PM
Agree with TaxPhd. I'm an accountant, but tax accounting is some scary voodoo. :)

Miami357
February 12, 2004, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the replies;

Gotta love this forum!

Cosmoline
February 12, 2004, 06:19 PM
OMG, that's a great idea! Kennel in Willow = threat of brown bear = VALID NEED FOR CZ ZKK! It's a business expense!

Of course, there's probably not a quicker way to get an audit than to claim a rifle as a business expense. But I'll bet other business in the bush have done it. Contractors always have someone riding shotgun when they can.

Cosmoline
February 12, 2004, 06:21 PM
AND CLAIMING IT WILL HELP ME JUSTIFY THE EXPENSE TO THE WIFE! (whom I fear more than the IRS, frankly)

I'm golden, man, I'm golden.

tcsd1236
February 19, 2004, 08:38 PM
You can only claim it if its directly related to your job...but then, you still have to exceed the gross income per centage they imposed a few years ago. I have been with my agency for 16 years and have yet to spend enough that I can actually claim my ammo, etc as a write-off..it all has to total two per cent of your gross income, IIRC.

Kodiak AK
February 19, 2004, 09:09 PM
Cosmoline
Looks like it is time to get my guide license. :D


tcsd1236
Either you make way to much money , or you don't shoot enough. :o

4v50 Gary
February 19, 2004, 09:15 PM
Was audited about 6 years ago. I had a receipt for $450 for 10 40 round HK .223 magazines. The auditor saw the receipt and saw that it was ten items @ $45 each and wanted proof that they were magazines. I offered to bring the magazines to his cubicle (some other day) to show him. He declined. I offered to show them to him in the public place of his choice. He declined. He granted the deduction.

BTW, I told him that if he needed more information or clarification, that I was available until about 12 days later when I would be leaving for SMG Instructor School and would be gone for 2 weeks. His developed the "deer" in the headlights look and I heard an audible gasp. :D To think I was a friendly as can be too for a person being audited.:confused:

tcsd1236
February 19, 2004, 09:19 PM
Posted by Kodiak:
"tcsd1236
Either you make way to much money , or you don't shoot enough."
Three jobs adds up, especially when you are trying to surpass just 2 % of gross.

TaxPhd
February 19, 2004, 09:37 PM
"You can only claim it if its directly related to your job...but then, you still have to exceed the gross income per centage they imposed a few years ago. I have been with my agency for 16 years and have yet to spend enough that I can actually claim my ammo, etc as a write-off..it all has to total two per cent of your gross income, IIRC."


This is not quite right, although bits and pieces are correct.

First, it is not required to be directly related to your job. It can be a hobby, but you can only take expenses up to the amount of income generated by the hobby. For most people, this will kill the deal. As a hobby activity, all deductible expenses will be taken on Schedule A as Misc. Itemized deductions, subject to a 2% AGI (NOT gross income) floor. The total of Mic. itemized needs to exceed to 2% to be deductible - not just the shooting related stuff.

If the activity is a business, income and expenses will be reported on Schedule C, and the expenses are not subject to the 2% floor. In addition, a loss can claimed, which can't be done if the activity is a hobby.

HTH!



Scott

tcsd1236
February 19, 2004, 09:48 PM
I will take your word on that...all I know is I tried to claim about 2K last year in business-related expenses and they said no go. And there wasn't a bit of it that WASN'T an honest-to-goodness business-related expense. Maybe its worth doing up a 1040X or whatever they call it and resubmitting it.

TaxPhd
February 19, 2004, 09:57 PM
Without knowing more info., it is a little hard to give an accurate answer.

If you are in the business, and you have expenses that your employer does not reimburse you for, then you get to take those as Misc. Itemized deductions, and they must exceed 2% of your AGI before you see any benefit. If you had $2,000 in Misc. expenses and you didn't get any benefit from them, is it because your AGI was over $100,000 (causing all of them to be lost) or were they diassallowed as not being legitimate discussions?

Feel free to e-mail or pm for more info.




Scott

tcdrennen
February 19, 2004, 09:58 PM
When I was working armed private security, I deducted any guns or equipment I bought, since the employer didn't provide them; I still deduct my biannual permit renewal and class fees, as I am still "on call" if needed, though I haven't had any security income W-2's for a couple of years now.

tcsd1236
February 19, 2004, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the offer, but my dad was a tax accountant for years and has stayed in the game enough to guide me through the deduction process....they were legitimate deductions, but were still denied . Oh well. Guess I just need to get more creative with my deductions in the future.....

TaxPhd
February 19, 2004, 10:24 PM
If they were legit., why were they denied? What did the agent say?



Scott

tcsd1236
February 19, 2004, 10:26 PM
I was deployed at the time and got a letter. Bssically said they felt that they weren't valid deductions and were being denied. I had other concerns at the time and never pursued it. Suppose I should now that I am back, as I think you have up to 2 years to file the 1040X.

TaxPhd
February 19, 2004, 10:30 PM
File the ammended return and see what happens.

However, if your employer was the military, it will probably be denied.



Scott

OEF_VET
February 19, 2004, 10:49 PM
During 2002, I started working armed private security. I was able to deduct my expenses for certification, weapon, duty belt, equipment, ammo, and so on. Of course, that totaled about $1,200 and I only made somewhere around $25,000.

Frank

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