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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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Working from home this year, so Im going to take the home

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Working from home this year, so I'm going to take the home office deduction. I know I can't deduct any part of the cost of my phone line, but I do want to deduct the home office percentage of my internet service. Unfortunately, my phone and internet are bundled. The bills from Verizon don't separate them at all - what's the best way to determine how much of the bill is for phone and how much is for internet? And how do I split the "taxes and fees," which are nearly 15% of the bill? I know it will end up being a small amount, but I want to make sure I'm scrupulously exact, since this deduction may raise red flags.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 4 years ago.

Hello crunchy,

 

The best thing to do would be to get the rates from Verizon of what they would charge you if you only had phone service or only had internet service. You could then use those figures to determine the percentage of the bill that applies to the internet.

 

As an example -- if they told you the charges for phone service alone were $40 per month and the charges for internet services alone were $60 per month, then you could assume that 60% of your bill applied to internet. Your package deal of phone and internet combined is likely lower than the separate charges would be for those services but it would be safe to use those same percentages.

 

As far as taxes and fees, I would just take your whole bill and apply the percentages based on the information they give you for pricing the services separately.

 

In cases like this where the charges are not always clear, the IRS just requires that you use a reasonable method for determining the charges that apply, and this would be considered a reasonable method.

 

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. It is the only way we receive any credit for helping with these questions.

 

Thank you crunchy

 

 

Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Merlo and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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