Tax Rules May Trip Up Budding Gymnast

“Ordinary and necessary” business expenses

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q.  Our daughter competes in gymnastic competitions. We travel 60 miles round trip for practice twice a week and also to competitive events that are well over 100 miles away. Is any of this tax deductible? S.W., via e-mail

A.  Not unless your daughter is a professional gymnast. Otherwise, this is a nondeductible personal travel expense. But the instances in which individuals on personal pursuits turned their activities into professional careers litter the tax-case archives. This could lead to deductions for “ordinary and necessary” business expenses, including travel costs.

Tip: One example involved a professional bodybuilder who wrote off the cost of enhancing oils. (Wheir, TC Summary Opinion 2004-17)

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