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Keeping business records for your laptop

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q. My accountant says to keep a log for the laptop I use at home in my own business. This sounds crazy to me. Is it a strict requirement? R.D.G., Las Vegas

A. Yes. If you’re self-employed, you can depreciate the cost of a home computer used for business purposes. Example: If the laptop cost you $2,000, you can write off the cost over five years. Alternatively, you might expense the entire amount under Section 179. But, in either event, only the portion attributable to business use is deductible. If you use the laptop 80 percent for business, the maximum write-off is $1,600 (80 percent of $2,000). Tip: To avoid the record-keeping hassle, use the laptop exclusively for business and another PC for personal reasons.

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