Is a laptop purchased for business use tax deductible? what category of business expense should it be listed under?
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Is a laptop purchased for business use tax deductible? what category of business expense should it be listed under?

 
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Is a laptop purchased for business use tax deductible? what category of business expense should it be listed under?

If the laptop computer is used for business at least 50% of the time, then yes, you can deduct it as a business expense.  The IRS has recently (in the last few years) changed the rules for expensing and capitalizing assets for small businesses, so that you no longer have to capitalize and depreciate certain assets over a number of years.  (Which, if you did, a computer traditinally has a depreciation "Class Life" of 5 years.)

In TurboTax Self-Employment, you can take this expensing route in one of two different ways.  The expensing "write-off" limit for 2016 is $2,500 (and most laptop computers cost less than that these days).

One option is to follow the pathway laid out in this 2015 answer to a similar question, written by a TurboTax employee.  Simply substitute $2,500 for the expensing limits in that answer.  You can choose office supplies, communications, or whatever, as your actual sub-category, since it really doesn't matter (i.e., the tax outcome is the same).  Here is the link to it (with all credit to the original contributor):

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2975854-where-do-i-enter-my-computer-purchase-for-my-business


A second viable option, which is given in this answer (and which is believed by this author to be more technically correct) is to enter the computer as an "Asset" not an "Expense," in the TurboTax software, and then elect the "de minimus expensing method" from within this section.  The process for doing this is (roughly) outlined in the several screen-capture images found at the bottom of this text; simply click the images to open.

In addition, here is a link to a short (less than one minute) video on this very topic, business use of a computer; you may wish to watch it:

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Tax-Deductions-and-Credits/Video--Can-I-Deduct-the-Co...


Hopefully, you will find one of those methods workable for you, and this information helpful.

But if you have further questions, encounter any difficulties, or just want to speak with a live tax expert who can walk you through your TurboTax entries (including the ability to screen-share with your computer), please feel free to contact us.  We would be happy to help you (and as a paying customer, the call is free to you).  Here is a link where you can create a support ticket and reach us:

https://support.turbotax.intuit.com/contact/


Thank you for asking this question.

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