Subject: Re: Writing off gear?
In article <1hfqo1g.ps5bga1k8nin4Nemail@example.com>, Carlo Coggi
>I am an advanced amateur photographer and will be taking an 'extreme
>adventure' vacation this summer. A friend of a friend is editor of a
>well-known travel magazine who heard about my somewhat unique vacation
>and said that the magazine would be interested in seeing a spec
>article/photos about the trip.
>Two months ago I sold my Canon 10D and bought a 30D and some related
>camera gear. If my photos and text are accepted for publication, can I
>then form a sole proprietorship or corporation and *retroactively*
>write-off the cost of my gear and trip?
The points made by Thomas are good. However, the chance of you making
enough to make it worthwhile to pay for professional advice are remote,
so you may find the following helpful. You may find the available
expertise is greater than you think, but you will have to use your own
judgement as to the credentials of the respondent*.
In any question involving the application of any branch of law, it is
essential to state the jurisdiction in which you reside. Tax law will be
very different in the various countries of the world.
In the UK, expenses may only be deducted in computing the profits of a
business if they are incurred "wholly and exclusively" for the purposes
of the trade. Under some circumstances it may be acceptable to apportion
the expenses if they are partly for trade use and partly private. I
would guess that the rules are likely to be similar in many
The way you have expressed the question - "will be taking an extreme
adventure vacation" - rather makes life difficult for you; you had
already decided to take the holiday for private enjoyment, and the
opportunity to make a little on the side arose later.
The system of giving credit for equipment will probably be a little
different. In the UK, there is a system called capital allowances which
does allow partial allowances for assets used for both trade and
personal purposes. In the US, it is called tax depreciation, but I do
not know what the personal use rules are.
Keep a careful record of the expenses, and if the tax authorities of
your country are helpful it may be worth discussing the position with
them (it should at least be free). It may be you can make a case for
sufficient expenses to be deducted, or capital allowances/tax
depreciation to be given to at least cover the receipts.
*In my case, 20 years as a tax professional in the UK. Though I have not
practised as such for a few years, the basic principles in this area do
not change much. Nevertheless, I only offer it as general guidance. Tell
us which country you live in and you may get some more specific advice.
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