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Photography Question 
Byron Cummings

Tax Deduction For Landscaping

My wife is a professional photographer and does a lot of shooting in our back yard which is on a lake. We spent quite a lot of money on landscaping, much of which is used for backdrops. Can any of the expense for the landscaping be deducted?

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10/3/2007 10:26:09 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Look to a tax lawyer.
Doesn't sound like though. Sounds more like a home improvement thing than a home business/home office thing though.
If you can deduct for home improvement, you might get a one time deduction.
The IRS came after somebody who converted his diesel car to bio diesel. He would get used cooking oil from restaurants to fuel his car. The IRS came after him for not paying the fuel tax that's added on to the price at the pump when you go to a gas station.
He had to pay taxes on a product that he doesn't use. Expect them to say you owe lake usage fees.

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10/3/2007 11:28:09 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I'm not a tax lawyer or CPA, but I do my own taxes and have read most of the help files in TurboTax. ;-)

I don't recall reading anything about landscaping specifically, but I remember reading some guidelines about home improvements in general. If you make an improvement to your home that you want to claim as a business expense, you first have to reduce the expense by the amount of fair-market value that it adds to your home. You also are only allowed to deduct 100% of the expense if it is used 100% for business purposes.

So if you spend $10,000 adding an office onto your house, you can't deduct the entire amount because it has added value to your house. And you also are supposed to judge how much the office is used for the business and how much it is used for other household duties.

The landscaping would definitely add to the value of your house, and I think it would be a stretch to say that the landscaping is used 100% for business, and no time is spent just enjoying it.

Again, this is just my opinion.

Chris Vedros

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10/3/2007 7:29:37 PM

Glenn E. Urquhart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2006
  Hi Byron. Before being disabled I was a CFO in a large company. Not a tax accountant but an opperational accountant. Have delt with the IRS extensively, you are asking for real trouble and begging to be audited for that type of deduction. I would say NO, do not even try it. However, if you really think that having your yard landscaped was to benifit your wife's business, then a least talk to a tax lawyer or a good tax accountant. Becareful and do not mess with these people... their power is umbelievable. This is not an opinion, I lived through it in the corporate world. Best wishes, Glenn.

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10/4/2007 11:32:55 AM

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