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Posted: 11/13/2008 9:03:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/13/2008 9:05:26 AM EDT by 1981]
Can we write off all the magazines, training ammo, and backup weapons that we buy ?

Thanks,

1981
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 9:08:00 AM EDT
10-4

If you are not issued a dept. phone and have to use your personal phone for work you can writeoff a portion of your cell phone expense.


In 9 years I've written off 6 guns, several pairs of boots, flashlights, batteries, ammo, and dry cleaning.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 1:04:18 PM EDT
One of the great things about being a LEO, you can write off a TON of stuff!
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 2:40:03 PM EDT
Depends on who you talk to. The IRS doesn't agree on what the tax code says!!

I have written off a lot of stuff and haven't had a problem. Then, I don't make enough for the IRS to be interested in auditing me.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 3:20:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
One of the great things about being a LEO, you can write off a TON of stuff!


Yup. Including haircuts.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 3:39:34 PM EDT
This may be a little off topic, so please forgive if it is the wrong place, but what about LEO reserves? I purchase everything and only have dept. issued vest, and uniform, can reserves equipment also be written off? I was once full time and wrote evertyhing off.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 3:44:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
One of the great things about being a LEO, you can write off a TON of stuff!


IF the total is more than 2 % of your gross income.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 4:06:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jwhite_opso:
This may be a little off topic, so please forgive if it is the wrong place, but what about LEO reserves? I purchase everything and only have dept. issued vest, and uniform, can reserves equipment also be written off? I was once full time and wrote evertyhing off.


Are you a paid reserve? Yes=yes

Volunteer=no
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 4:48:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
One of the great things about being a LEO, you can write off a TON of stuff!


Yup. Including haircuts.


Is this true? I was told you couldn't write off haircuts?
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 6:29:17 PM EDT
You can write anything you want as long as your prepared for an audit. Depending on your tax bracket and your total deductions. For me, my house taxes are enough to put me over the $7400 mark, so anything I claim for work is an added bonus.

I used to work with a guy that claimed his laundry soap, socks, underwear, sunglasses, and I shit you not....sunscreen.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 7:30:42 PM EDT
Guns, ammo, reloading components, targets (steel and paper), sunglasses, and every receipt I can find from the uniform shop or LAPG.

Link Posted: 11/13/2008 7:46:23 PM EDT
Careful..........talk with your Tax Advisor/CPA.

Then, KNOW that some large items must be depreciated over a number of years. And, there is surplus/recovery costs (sorry, not the correct wording) that might have to be added back.......talk to a Tax Advisor/CPA.

Just imagine.....some sufff, is totally consumed. Some stuff, even though it's old will still have value at the end.

What's necessary for the job (that your employer doesn't provide) vs. what's just nice to have, are two different things.

HTH.

Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 11/14/2008 8:45:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ma96782:
Careful..........talk with your Tax Advisor/CPA.

Then, KNOW that some large items must be depreciated over a number of years. And, there is surplus/recovery costs (sorry, not the correct wording) that might have to be added back.......talk to a Tax Advisor/CPA.

Just imagine.....some sufff, is totally consumed. Some stuff, even though it's old will still have value at the end.

What's necessary for the job (that your employer doesn't provide) vs. what's just nice to have, are two different things.

HTH.

Aloha, Mark


So if I buy a AR15 type rifle and magazines to train with for work I can't write it off ?

1981
Link Posted: 11/14/2008 10:05:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2008 11:00:47 AM EDT by ma96782]
Originally Posted By 1981:
Originally Posted By ma96782:
Careful..........talk with your Tax Advisor/CPA.

Then, KNOW that some large items must be depreciated over a number of years. And, there is surplus/recovery costs (sorry, not the correct wording) that might have to be added back.......talk to a Tax Advisor/CPA.

Just imagine.....some sufff, is totally consumed. Some stuff, even though it's old will still have value at the end.

What's necessary for the job (that your employer doesn't provide) vs. what's just nice to have, are two different things.

HTH.

Aloha, Mark


So if I buy a AR15 type rifle and magazines to train with for work I can't write it off ?

1981


Talk with your Tax Advisor/CPA.

I talked to mine way back when. I figured, I would/could write off some ammo, a couple of ARs, back up pistols, scopes, night vision, extra training (in far away locals), uniform equipment, etc........

He said more or less...........

Think of your "tax write off" like as if you were running a business. Say, you get an IRS Tax Audit...........

Can you justify the need for the purchase?
Does the employer "require" it?
Is the equipment/training needed for your continued employment?
Does your employer provide and/or have available for your use the same or relatively same equipment/training?
Not talking about job change or promotion but, will the equipment/training help you make more money at your current job (so, the IRS can get more taxes)?
Was it a long term asset or consumable (small tools) purchase?
Are you planning on depreciating the large asset (over how many years) or will you completely write it off in a single year?
How much use.......is it really for the job vs. for personal/hobby use (what %)?
And, when you upgrade or sell equipment, there is a "surplus value." How you deal with the "surplus value," is another accounting transaction.

Course.......that's from my memory. And, there are probably a lot more nuances to those questions. If not, entirely different questions to answer.

So, it all depends on your particular situation. Your being able to justify the purchase. And, how much risk you're willing to take with the IRS. And even if you're audited, the auditor's opinion can vary.......so, YMWV.

As an aside: I hear, that a Hollywood actor/actress can write off a plastic surgery, beautiful clothes to wear, meals w/ the in crowd, etc....... After all, it's all part of their "business." They're constantly looking for their next multi-million dollar movie role and they have to maintain an "image" while on their job search.

HTH.

Aloha, Mark





Link Posted: 11/14/2008 10:58:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1981:
Can we write off all the magazines, training ammo, and backup weapons that we buy ?

Thanks,

1981

If you use it for work, then yes.
If you buy a gun that you use for maybe home defense, hunting, or target , but do not carry with you on-duty or it is your off-duty weapon not approved by your department, then no. Be honest on your tax return.

Link Posted: 11/14/2008 11:22:48 AM EDT
The IRS says that the equipment must be used specifically for work. It does NOT have to be required. It can be "helpful" equipment.

Guns probably should be depreciated but that was too much work for me to figure. I've deducted them directly but know that if I get audited they might not like it.

I keep ALL my receipts so if I get audited, I'm just going to hand them a huge stack of receipts and they can sort them. I know someone who did that when they got audited (owned a business). The agent looked at the stack, looked over the returns, and was done in 15 mins. Remember, IRS agents can be lazy too!!
Link Posted: 11/14/2008 11:51:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2008 12:42:23 PM EDT by ma96782]
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
The IRS says that the equipment must be used specifically for work. It does NOT have to be required. It can be "helpful" equipment.


I knew this was gonna happen.......

At the very beginning it says........"Talk with your Tax Advisor/CPA."

Don't take only one snip-it out of the entire thread of questions. Each one of those questions was not meant to stand alone, as a single test.

As for, "It can be "helpful" equipment."

YES........but, those words come with a degree/range of helpfulness (or usefulness). Thus, a purchase being merely "helpful," is NOT ALWAYS gonna be a 100% fast and easy RULE for allowing a deduction.

Of course, I suspect that you already knew that, along with YMWV.

Aloha, Mark

PS............."Does the employer "require" it?"

That was said, for those cases where an LEO may be required to get training or equipment. But, for one reason or another the Dept. cannot or won't provide it.

In that case, if you should get the training or equipment on your own.........it's virtually a slam dunk that the deduction will be allowed. YMWV.





Link Posted: 11/19/2008 4:53:29 AM EDT
Just something to consider and this was from my Tax accountant.

If you get a yearly stipen for uinforms etc, you are not supposed to write that stuff off, unless the stipen itself is taxed.

I play it safe and keep a log of what I buy each year and then claim anything that is not covered in my allowance.

Just something to consider and check with your tax people.

J-
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:45:51 PM EDT
I was told that you can only write something off if it IS REQUIRED and you are not provided it. So unless your department REQUIRES a back-up gun then you can not write it off. If they provide boots but not the niffty Danner or 5.11 ones you like that does not mean you can write those off. This came from someone who does a lot of the tax enforcment so I think the source is reliable.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:51:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 3:53:30 PM EDT by Mach]
Originally Posted By RDP:
Originally Posted By jwhite_opso:
This may be a little off topic, so please forgive if it is the wrong place, but what about LEO reserves? I purchase everything and only have dept. issued vest, and uniform, can reserves equipment also be written off? I was once full time and wrote evertyhing off.


Are you a paid reserve? Yes=yes

Volunteer=no


IRS Pub 526 says any expense you incure solely due to volunteering to any level of govt can be deducted as a charitable expense ( not limited by the 2% gross number ) if your volunteerism was for the purpose of the common good.
if you are a volunteer cop, then hair cuts, practice ammo, practice targets, range fees, any gear that is bought by you, mileage to work, etc is a charitable tax writeoff. just keep records.

Disclaimer: I am not a tax attorney and offer no advice.



Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:51:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
One of the great things about being a LEO, you can write off a TON of stuff!


Yup. Including haircuts.


Ditto on the haircuts. Also we have to wear v-neck t-shirts under uniform shirt and black socks, so they get written off. Back up guns, boots, you can write off a certain dollar amount per day for meals, I write off a pair of running shoes and gym membership since I am required to pass a yearly physical fitness test. There are tons of options which is great.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:04:48 PM EDT
How in the world are so many of you meeting the 2 % of gross amount?
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 9:19:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
How in the world are so many of you meeting the 2 % of gross amount?



You don't do any laundry?

Drycleaning?

Ammo?

Guns?

Mags?

Lights?

Batteries?

Personal vehicle usage?

Mandatory union dues?

Le organizations?

Clothing?

Haircuts?

Vests or tac gear?

Classes?

Books, magazines, subscriptions?

I am sure I missed a few, but I have yet to have a year where I didn't itemize. Granted, we are given $1600 for a clothing allowance, so I make sure I keep track. They supply all uniforms, so the cleaning needs to be tracked.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:18:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RDP:



You don't do any laundry?<snip>


Uniform cleaning comes out of our uniform allowance, if we take it to the cleaners. How do you deduct stuff cleaned at home without being inventive?
No, even in my best year I've never been able to crack the 2 % amount based on legitimate expenses, not made-up ones.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 11:37:30 AM EDT
be careful what you write off...I been on 19yrs and dont write off crap...no ars no mags no optics-all that other stuff...
but you can write off ammo...My wife does my taxes with HR block and both her and the HR people are SCARED hehe...my AR ammo was good to go-that was about it. I mean we get clothing allowances, work plain clothes so all that haircut stuff/using your pov...etc, etc is a joke.

And I say this because one of my old partners just got audited and he is going thru hell right now...cause he did what most of these posters have said they write off and guess what...the IRS is looking for reciepts/justification and if you start fudging those, then you are looking at a federal offense.

And dont start deducting crap if you are not tight with your spouse cause one phone call from her to the right place can set an audit/criminal/admin investigation
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:26:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 12:29:38 PM EDT by TheWind]
be careful what you write off...I been on 19yrs and dont write off crap...no ars no mags no optics-all that other stuff...
but you can write off ammo...My wife does my taxes with HR block and both her and the HR people are SCARED hehe...my AR ammo was good to go-that was about it. I mean we get clothing allowances, work plain clothes so all that haircut stuff/using your pov...etc, etc is a joke.

And I say this because one of my old partners just got audited and he is going thru hell right now...cause he did what most of these posters have said they write off and guess what...the IRS is looking for reciepts/justification and if you start fudging those, then you are looking at a federal offense.

And dont start deducting crap if you are not tight with your spouse cause one phone call from her to the right place can set an audit/criminal/admin investigation


Get out? Are you for real or just a scardy cat? I have my receipts,

? HR Block? that is a mistake, I use an accountant that specializes in LEOs, she knows what and what not too.

So if I buy a AR15 type rifle and magazines to train with for work I can't write it off ?


Homeland Security Defense Rifle, my partner wrote off a tricked out M1A , Camper is a Homeland Security, Mobile Command and Communications Center
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 2:56:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Originally Posted By RDP:



You don't do any laundry?<snip>


Uniform cleaning comes out of our uniform allowance, if we take it to the cleaners. How do you deduct stuff cleaned at home without being inventive?
No, even in my best year I've never been able to crack the 2 % amount based on legitimate expenses, not made-up ones.



It is a percentage of loads done per year. My tax guy has a formula for it. If you don't wear uniforms to court, then that is another issue too. I was plain clothes for several years, so the wife had plenty of laundry

Our uniform allowance is given to us in a check and taxes are deducted for it. You are responsible to spend it where you need it. You are also responsible to track it.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 8:09:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RDP:
Granted, we are given $1600 for a clothing allowance, so I make sure I keep track. They supply all uniforms, so the cleaning needs to be tracked.


God, we are struggling just to get ours above $350/year.
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