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Dial up telephone charity write-off

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in Small Business Tax

Q: I use my cell phone a lot for charitable activities. In fact, that's the reason I bought it. Can I deduct the phone costs as a charitable donation? N.B., Kansas City, Mo.

A: You can deduct your out-of-pocket expenses attributable to any charitable activities. So if it's possible to attribute costs to specific calls, the cost of calls made on behalf of the charity are deductible. Note: You can't deduct the cost of the phone itself, even though you use it mostly for charitable purposes. Tip: Don't forget to deduct travel expenses incurred on behalf of charity. For both 2003 and 2004, you can write off 14 cents per mile.

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