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Author Topic: Ham radio and the Taxman  (Read 520 times)
KD4KNR
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Posts: 32




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« on: February 22, 2004, 08:45:41 PM »

What kind of deductions can you get being in ham radio?

I'm a volunteer Paramedic and get ALL kinds of breaks at tax time,,,,travel,meals,uniforms,and gear.

Does anyone have any experience in claiming Ham radio activites such as RACES/ARES drills/events on their taxes??
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N3BIF
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Posts: 1190




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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2004, 01:01:44 PM »

  Now that's the spirit of amateur radio ....
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3729




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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2004, 12:46:09 AM »

I don't think that claiming a tax deduction based on mileage traveled for public service events or the hamfest (if the club your a member of is 503c) is wrong.

Many hams contribute time and out of pocket expenses to provide communications and support to local charities and other events like marathons and bicycle events.  Some use their own vehicles for support by transporting medical staff during the events or a cyclist whose bike is damaged and is out of the race.

I'm not a cpa so best to check with your tax advisor.
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N7NBB
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2004, 10:31:07 AM »

Best to check with someone in the know... I think there are web based and also telephone "TAX HELPERS" available free of charge.

I would think that you can claim certain expenditures, which you have donated. There probably  is a set amount (per mile) for gas,oil, wear and tear, etc. (you have to keep a LOG of all miles driven during the event) and probably another set amount for meals... (steak and lobster would probably be out of that range).  

I don't think you can claim that new handheld, or triband beam, but minor expenses related to your involvement in public service type stuff should be OK...

For me, it's just too much hastle to get, and keep track of, all those tiny grease soaked RECIPTS for my McDONALDS hamburgers, or the odd COKE from the Mini-Mart....

If you DO claim all that stuff....  in the long run effect, you are getting CASH BACK..(read that: PAID)  for your involvement in public service.. Aint' that against Part 97 ??

Good Luck - may your conscience be your Guide.

Cam - N7NBB
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2004, 11:41:03 AM »

"If you DO claim all that stuff.... in the long run effect, you are getting CASH BACK..(read that: PAID) for your involvement in public service.. Aint' that against Part 97 ?? "

=================

Only if you had not spent anything out-of-pocket for the items you are claiming.  In other words, you ended up with cash above and beyond your actual expenses.

If you use the standard deduction for business mileage (this is fairly generous for all but the largest, gas guzzlers) you should have no problems.

Dennis / KG4RUL
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3729




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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2004, 02:03:07 AM »

Hi,

Deductions taken against your adjusted gross income reduce the amount of tax you pay.  So you are not taxed on the out of pocket expenses from your public service work, thus not getting paid for helping.

Tax credits, on the other hand, are a dollar for dollar offset against taxes.  Like the child credits parents can take.

While I could take a deduction for my mileage during a marathon, my meals can't be deducted unless overnight stay was required.

More info is available here

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

73 james
 
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KG4GXI
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2004, 04:41:33 PM »

In 2003, you get .15 per mile deduction for volunteer/charity work. Hardly worth it unless one voluteers alot.
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KC2MMI
Member

Posts: 620




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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2004, 03:40:30 PM »

If your RACES/ARES organization is a 501(C)3 or other certified non-profit group, you can probably legally donate your equipment to them and take a full write-off for it. And, as long as that equipment is used by the entire pool of members in an "arms length" equipment pool, it probably can still legally be loaned back out to the members on some legal basis.

But the rules for donations to charitables are all published at the IRS web site, and oddly enough, they'll answer your questions for free by email and phone.

If your org is a 501(c)3 they should already be paying a CPA, EA, or other tax professional to do their annual filings, and it would be to your mutual benefit to get a written (paid) statement from them indicating what you can/not do.

Bottom line is, the hours you spend using your personal shoeleather and radios is probably not deductible, no matter how you try to do it.
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