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Ask Wayne Brasch Your Own Question
Wayne Brasch
Wayne Brasch, Accountant and Business Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1298
Experience:  Master of Science in Taxation. Tax experience since 1963.
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Can you deduct the power bill, water bill, and phone ...

Resolved Question:

Can you deduct the power bill, water bill, and phone bill if you are self employed? Can you also deduct short term disability insurance as well as health insurance?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Wayne Brasch replied 10 years ago.
If you are self-employed and have an office in your home that the business is operated from, you can use Form 8829 to calculate the applicable deductions that relate to that situation. On that form, you can deduct a portion of your mortgage interest, real estate taxes, utilities, homeowner's insurance, repairs, and depreciation.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I am a travel nurse and must use my computer/office space for work. Do I have to file 8829 form for that separately? Also if I am using mileage, can I also claim car depreciation and car insurance as well?
Expert:  Wayne Brasch replied 10 years ago.
You should complete a Schedule C that will show your self-employment income and expenses. Near the bottom of that form there is reference to Form 8829. You'll also need a Schedule SE to calculate the self-employment tax on the profit from your business. If you claim mileage, you cannot also claim depreciation and insurance. Those are all included in the cents per business mile computation.

Short term disability insurance is not deductible, but health insurance is, to go back to some of your original question.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Have you found that mileage is usually worth more than car depreciation and insurance? Also, I forgot, can you count your actual car payment if you are including mileage? I am trying to figure out the best way possible.   

Back to the house, can I use homeowner's insurance as well?

I forgot to ask, can I use my landline phone bill in its entirety (not just long distance & internet)?

I ask because some of the nurses I work with state that the lady that does their taxes says "if you use it to get ready for work, then you can deduct it"? Such as uniforms, socks, shoes, and undergarments, I understand. But what about deodorant, toothpaste, make-up.

I am just really confused because why would individual do one thing and someone else do another? Thanks so much for your help and patience.
Expert:  Wayne Brasch replied 10 years ago.
Mileage is, most of the time for my clients anyway, easier to keep you with than keeping all gas receipts, car repair bills, tires, car wash receipts, etc. Mileage can be kept with on a calendar carried in the car. Homeowner's insurance may be considered on Form 8829. You land line phone bill can be entered in the line for utilities just as can your electricity, water, etc. Deodorant, toothpaste, and makeup are not deductible. Only the cost of purchasing and maintaining nurse's uniforms are deductible. I think IRS would have a problem with socks, shoes, and undergarments if your return were to be selected for audit. Shoes are only deductible if they are safety shoes, for example, with a steel toe for people who work in construction and other hazardous occupations.
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