Q. I'm self-employed and use my personal cell phone mainly for business and charitable functions. Can I write off the cost? E.D.B., Bangor, Maine
A. Partially. You can deduct the cost of the phone based on your percentage of business use plus the portion of your monthly charges attributable to business activities.
Example: The phone cost $100, your business use for the year is 80% and you average $50 a month in business-related calls. Under , you can deduct $80 (80%) of the phone’s cost in the year of purchase. Also, you can deduct $600 (12 months times $50/month in business calls) as a business expense.
Tip: You can deduct your charity-related phone costs, too, but you can’t write off the cost of the phone itself.