Write off internet bill as "work expense"?

Discussion in Phone, Internet & TV started by Jessi • Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Jessi

    Jessi<a href="http://www.quirkycookery.com">QuirkyCooke

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    I work entirely from home at this point and because I use the internet for 90% of my job duties, it's a requirement for my employment. Technically, it IS a work expense because it's a necessity. At the same time, I would be paying for internet at my house regardless of if I worked there or not, so it's not necessarily an *additional* expense since I would already have it.

    My mom, who has a background in accounting and finance, insists that I should be writing off part of my utility expense as part of a "home office/business." She said I can even write off part of my electricity, etc, although it's kind of a pain to itemize. The reasoning is that if I were doing the same type of work at a separate location, I would be paying for those expenses separately (like if I rented a small office to work in), so they ARE business expenses.

    Do you WAH-ers write off things like this?
     
  2. DanielFull

    DanielFullNew Member

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    If you can itemize the it correctly, I don't see why you couldn't. It'll be annoying, but you can try.
     
  3. foodietr

    foodietrNew Member

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    If the company settles your bill every month, I think you can write off the cell phone bills as work expense. Otherwise I think it is a part of your luxury expenditure as you have to pay or it from your pocket. Also things like your basic necessities do not come under as work expense. Most times you only use the phone at home for talking to friends, and browsing the internet.
     
  4. streakanime

    streakanimeMember

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    I write off my Internet and my phone bill as a work expense because I work from home. Buying a new computer or any computer parts falls into the same category. My biggest issue is remembering to save the receipts. Part of the problem with that is because I don't have a good place around the house to keep them. Something I need to work on.
     
  5. Athenagdlyt

    AthenagdlytActive Member

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    Yes, I do that, too. I'm a WAHM every cent counts. In our case, my bills need to be under my name so that I can write off these utility expenses. Even repairs of business gadgets such as laptops and phones are written off as long as the receipts are intact. I collect these receipts in a folder, sometimes if I have no time to file the receipts, I put them in one box and organize them later.
     
  6. eppie

    eppieActive Member

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    I also include internet bill (and phone bill) as a business or work expense. But just like you, I'm not writing off part of our electricity bill as such, even though I know I should. I'm lazy when it comes to these things and I really don't know how it will work when it comes to paperwork since our electric bill is not under my name. Anyway, I'm paying taxes only as a home-based worker and not as a business owner so I don't see any reason why I should bother with it right now.
     
  7. Parker

    ParkerWell-Known Member

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    Excellent question. I do write off my internet and cell phone as business expenses. I also write off my transportation costs too. Technically, I could write off some of my electric bill, but I don't go that far.
     
  8. mythman

    mythmanActive Member

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    I ... I was not 'indoctrinated' into the workforce (or something ... having a brain-injury, I'm sort of "disabled" ... I dunno---It's a miracle that I'm here participating with you, and the government can't settle the bills involving miracles ... they don't charge me for what's given (which isn't much), and I don't charge them with what they owe me for what's been done to me.

    (I guess I'm saying all that as 'a grain of salt' with which to take my response to this issue)

    Do you write-off all your food-expenses (as most of the energy your body uses comes from that food)? your sunlight? your air? your water? I dunno :p
     
  9. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    I think it's possible to write off internet bills as "work expense" because tbh, if you really do work online then why not just right it off as a work expense? It won't in anyway make you unscrupulous. It's on the up and up IMO.
     
  10. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    There's nothing wrong or illegal about writing off your Internet expenses if you're working from home. The same applies to utility bills, although you're supposed to write off the percentage that actually applies to WAH business. You can write off business purchases, mileage for business travel, and countless other things. I should probably take advantage of these write-offs more than I have in the past because I tend to not even bother with them. I don't have high overhead costs for working for myself, though, so the benefits of the write-offs are relatively limited in my case.
     
  11. Thejamal

    ThejamalActive Member

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    Interesting idea! Don't know why I haven't thought about this before and it makes complete sense. If you rely on your home internet to make a living then there's no reason your internet bill shouldn't be classified as a work expense.

    I'd be curious to see if anyone as had any problems with this or any pushback about them classifying the internet bill as a work expense. It'd be pretty easy to prove that you work for home.
     
  12. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

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    I used to do this, but to be honest it's been so long I forgot what the exact rules around it were. I know that if you live in an apartment or home, and work from home, you need to designate one room (or rooms) specifically for work - that I do remember. It should not be used for any other personal purposes (in the event someone audits you). I think in terms of rent and utilities (not including cable), you write off a percentage based of the utilities and rent/mortgage based on the size of the room relative to the total size of your residence. For my cell phone and cable I believe I was writing the entire thing off. But the laws around this may have changed in recent years, so you may want to pursue someone with a legal background that can point you in the right direction. In particular, I don't know if they now divide up cell phone and internet usage, since many people now use their cell phones for personal use, and internet use for personal use has skyrocketed as well with services like Netflix and Pandora. You may even want to check if you need to be getting your cable provider's more expensive "business class" plan to show that it's truly for work, as opposed to their residential plans. I stopped doing all this though when I no longer had enough free time for freelancing gigs since I had a 2 hour commute with my new job. Plus a couple of the years when I went to itemize, my standard deduction was still a better deal, so I stopped doing that.
     
  13. Frendminge

    FrendmingeNew Member

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    I too work from home and am online on internet most of the time. But i am not really sure if asked for (electricity/internet) expenses, clients would agree to pay for it. I mean we are freelancers. So we have to bear both profit and loss at same time.
     
  14. Nickchick

    NickchickWell-Known Member

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    I'm so glad I never did it then. I don't even make that much so I could hardly consider myself as work from home. If that's true, it's ridiculous. How do they expect you to use the internet for nothing other than work? Have they never heard of "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?"
     
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