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How do I deduct a computer that we had to purchase

Where do I deduct the expense
3 Replies
Expert Alumni

How do I deduct a computer that we had to purchase

You may have heard tax reform eliminated tax deductions for un-reimbursed employee business expenses beginning with your 2018 taxes. If you own your own business, however, you can still deduct business expenses. The deduction would be entered on Schedule C.  In TurboTax go to Business Income and Expense, Business Expenses or Business Assets if you plan to depreciate the computer.


Computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets.

In order to deduct the computer your business expenses must be necessary, customary and reasonable, according to the IRS. That means that you have to have a business use for your computer or iPad. 


If you work in the computer industry, this is a no-brainer, but if you are a hairdresser, your computer purchase would be necessary and directly related to your business if you needed it to order supplies, keep track of receipts and expenses, etc. If that use requires you to be connected to the internet, then the cost of connectivity will also be deductible, but if your kids use the same device to do their homework and play video games (or you do), then only the business portion of the costs will be deductible.


Level 1

How do I deduct a computer that we had to purchase

What category does a computer fall under?

Vanessa A
Employee Tax Expert

How do I deduct a computer that we had to purchase

A computer for what?  

A home computer for personal use is not deductible.


A computer bought and used for business purposes would be entered in the asset section of TurboTax Home and Business.  Depending on the cost, it could be depreciated or expensed.  To get there you would click the following:

  • Federal
  • Income and Expenses
  • Review next to your business
  • Review again on the next screen by your Business name
  • Scroll down then click Add Assets for this work


A computer bought for education at an eligible educational facility would be entered along with the 1098-T by clicking the following:

  • Federal
  • Deductions and Credits
  • Show More next to Education
  • Start next to Expenses and Scholarships


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