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Can my client (California resident) claim telephone expenses for rental home in Alabama?

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Level 3
last updated ‎March 04, 2020 1:38 AM

My client is Californoia resident and have two rental homes in Alabama. I am filing Schedule E. Can she claim phone expenses for the rental property in Alabama? If "Yes" then where does this deduction go on schedule E. I have never deducted phone expenses in the past. She says when she attended a passive activity class they told her phone expenses can be claimed if the rental property is out of town.

Please help me out with this delima.

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Level 15
Level 15
last updated ‎March 04, 2020 1:38 AM

So she has a phone she only uses for calling Alabama?


♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 8
last updated ‎March 04, 2020 1:38 AM

Generally, you cannot deduct personal, living, or family expenses. However, if you have an expense for something that is used partly for business and partly for personal purposes, divide the total cost between the business and personal parts. You can deduct the business part.

Cell phone used 5000 minutes in a year and used 100 minutes to conduct rental property business for property in AL then divide 100/5000 and multiply by yearly cost of phone (ex $100/month)

100/5000 = .02 X $1200 = $24 deduction

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Level 15
last updated ‎March 04, 2020 1:38 AM

If the home has only one phone line, only business-related long distance toll charges and other business-related add-on services are deductible.

Charges for the home phone line is not deductible in any proportion regardless of how much it is used for business pursuant to §262(b).

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Still an AllStar
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Level 10
last updated ‎March 04, 2020 1:38 AM

262(b) was a big issue back in the last millennium.  It applied to residential land lines -- get a blank stare when you describe those to millennials. Then for a while, maybe the early part of this century, there were cell phones that charged by the minute, instead of unlimited usage.  "Roaming" was a thing.  Can you believe it?

Maybe the question involves a phone at the rental property, that is provided along with electricity and indoor plumbing. I doubt it.  

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Level 15
last updated ‎March 04, 2020 1:38 AM

Yes, agree §262(b) is ancient but the principle will apply equally to the use of technology today.  If the cell subscription with unlimited usage is primarily for personal use, it could be difficult to argue that part of the expense is deductible.  In any case, that would most likely be a trivial amount to even spend time on.

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Still an AllStar