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Claiming Mileage and Other Taxes

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From my understanding of taxes, I can only claim mileage to or from my primary place of employment. Therefore, any mileage between home and the game site cannot be claimed.

I recently starting thinking of making an LLC or some other business that I can "work" through. By being an employee of the business, I should be able to claim all my mileage, no matter where it starts or stops. In addition, I believe I would be covered under the LLC for any liability lawsuits that may crop up.

LLCs only cost $100 to form in Missouri, which can also be claimed on my taxes as an expense. In addition, Missouri allows an LLC with one employee to have the employee claim the information on their personal taxes, thereby saving time doing taxes.

IANAL so I may be completely clusterfraking the whole idea. That said, does anyone have opinions, both professional and personal?

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My tax attorney advised me NOT to form. Said I'd be better off just claiming uniforms and gas, skip the mileage (gas OR mileage, never both). I probably make less than some of you in game fees, but so far, he's given great advice and saved me considerable amounts in taxes.

That being said, I seriously recommend you speak with a professional since only you know your situation.

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I always get a receipt, and I give ALL my receipts to him. He does the rest. I'm vaguely familiar with .01% of the tax codes, so I have a pro handle the specifics. I trust him implicitly.

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Andrew,

 

I am NOT a CPA or tax attorney, so don't rely on the following, but....

 

I file a "Schedule C" on my taxes as an "independent contractor" for my umpiring income and expenses. On the Schedule C I claim EVERY mile I drive for umpiring - to and from games, to and from association meetings, to and from clinics, etc. I also claim expenses for uniforms & equipment, association dues, clinic fees, umpiring books/manuals, etc. I don't claim expenses for meals, as many of my umpire colleagues do.

 

I always report ALL of my game fees as income, even those where I get paid cash at the field (rare) with no 1099. 

 

I believe that is all proper and legitimate.

 

For my "day job", the only miles I drive for work that I DON'T expense (to the company) are those between my home and my "regular workplace". So, I think you may have that part backwards.

 

JM

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It all depends on your own situation and what will best suit YOU. Taxes are backward. Should be universal, instead they're very personal.

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My advice is to find a local CPA Tax accountant in your neighborhood. Some guys I know do not get a 10-99 so they don't get any deductions. If you are legal 100% and claim all revenue then your office could be your home (And you could be Sole Proprietor) and your trips to each field can be deducted. Uniforms and equipment the same. Even training if you pay is deductable if you fir the numbers model.

 

A guy I know got audited because he claimed equipment and mileage but no income (Red Flag)

 

If you are married and wife legally owns half the house (In both names) go with Sole Proprietor.

 

IANAL.  But I did sleep with a CPA last night.

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My advice is to find a local CPA Tax accountant in your neighborhood. Some guys I know do not get a 10-99 so they don't get any deductions. If you are legal 100% and claim all revenue then your office could be your home (And you could be Sole Proprietor) and your trips to each field can be deducted. Uniforms and equipment the same. Even training if you pay is deductable if you fir the numbers model.

 

A guy I know got audited because he claimed equipment and mileage but no income (Red Flag)

 

If you are married and wife legally owns half the house (In both names) go with Sole Proprietor.

 

IANAL.  But I did sleep with a CPA last night.

 

REPLY: (for whatever reason, the s/w isn't delineating the end of a quote and the start of a reply)

 

I don't really know what I'll do in 2012, since what little I worked is now foreign-earned income, but what I did in the States was:

 

Deducted:

--All gear.  (to include all cleaning supplies for umpiring gear.)  All dues.

--Every trip for umpiring.  Meetings, clinics.  Any "extra mile(s)" I drove - in other words:  my daily commute to my real job was 78 miles total.  Any mile that I drove in excess of that (because I went home-work-game-home) was added to my totals.

--My cell phone costs relating to umpiring.

 

Included:

--ALL income.  As mentioned, some don't report stuff not put on a 1099, or stuff paid in cash.  Good luck with that - not that the IRS is looking specifically, but if you're paid, and your umpire org isn't some slapdash outfit, make not mistake - there is a paper trail that says you worked a specific game, and then the league that paid you will have a record they paid SOME dude for that game.  Do what your conscience dictates, but I have a clearance for my job, and I'm not losing that just to pocket some $35 PONY fee.

 

I'm neither a lawyer nor a CPA, but be REAL careful claiming house use.  REAL careful.  In fact, according to most articles I read, 'businesses' that claim home deductions are looked at MUCH harder, for audit purposed, than those that do not.  And what home expenses does one claim?  My games aren't held in my garage or extra bedroom.

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If you have an area of your home that use use for sole purpose of operating your "business" the square footage is deducted. My lawyer said leave that alone. Too many deductions raise red flags.

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--Every trip for umpiring.  Meetings, clinics.  Any "extra mile(s)" I drove - in other words:  my daily commute to my real job was 78 miles total.  Any mile that I drove in excess of that (because I went home-work-game-home) was added to my totals.

--My cell phone costs relating to umpiring.

 

As for "extra mileage," how do you (or do you at all?) deduct a trip from home to game and back? From what I've read and understood, this is not deductable. However, I'm being told by others, including some who were given the info by a CPA or other tax professional, that this is deductable.

 

Also, for cell phone, do you decide the percentage of calls for umpiring and deduct that amount? What about text messages toward a text message plan?

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--Every trip for umpiring.  Meetings, clinics.  Any "extra mile(s)" I drove - in other words:  my daily commute to my real job was 78 miles total.  Any mile that I drove in excess of that (because I went home-work-game-home) was added to my totals. --My cell phone costs relating to umpiring.
  As for "extra mileage," how do you (or do you at all?) deduct a trip from home to game and back? From what I've read and understood, this is not deductable. However, I'm being told by others, including some who were given the info by a CPA or other tax professional, that this is deductable.   Also, for cell phone, do you decide the percentage of calls for umpiring and deduct that amount? What about text messages toward a text message plan?
I deduct every mile from my house to the game site and back. I show a profit every year from officiating after expenses. I claim mileage, uniforms/equipment, costs of clinics, association dues, and probably some other stuff I am forgetting. I have yet to raise a red flag yet.

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If you have an area of your home that use use for sole purpose of operating your "business" the square footage is deducted. My lawyer said leave that alone. Too many deductions raise red flags.

 

Definitely check with an expert before going down this route -- and I am not an expert.  But I recall a few years back articles about folks who messed up the exlcudable gain on the sale of a house by it not being just residence -- IIRC many ended up losing a bigger tax break than they gained.

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These debates come up every year at this time.

My Brothers, please seek profesional tax assistance if you need it in regards to the fortune you make umpiring each year.

The tax codes are so complex and ever changing that only a tax professional could possible stay up with every change and I bet they can't do it either.

 

Debating what is taxable, what is deductible to me just causes more confusion, especially for those who think everything they read on Facebook or the Internet is TRUE?

 

If your really making that much money from umpiring that your worried about all these dedudictions to offset the money you make, I am definately in the wrong area with the number of games I work each year.

 

I can't make enough money to even worry about Itemizing Deductions.

 

Would you pay someone for a Umpire Clinic that had no references?

 

SEEK PROFESSIONAL and QUALIFIED TAX HELP

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I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once. What do you need to know about taxes?  :smachhead:

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These debates come up every year at this time.

My Brothers, please seek profesional tax assistance if you need it in regards to the fortune you make umpiring each year.

The tax codes are so complex and ever changing that only a tax professional could possible stay up with every change and I bet they can't do it either.

 

Debating what is taxable, what is deductible to me just causes more confusion, especially for those who think everything they read on Facebook or the Internet is TRUE?

 

If your really making that much money from umpiring that your worried about all these dedudictions to offset the money you make, I am definately in the wrong area with the number of games I work each year.

 

I can't make enough money to even worry about Itemizing Deductions.

 

Would you pay someone for a Umpire Clinic that had no references?

 

SEEK PROFESSIONAL and QUALIFIED TAX HELP

 

_____

 

I think you may want to...if you make any money, legally you need to claim it. The upside is a lot of your expenses are deductible against that money. This isn't the same as your general itemized deductions--these are deductions for the course of self-employment. If you aren't deducting your expenses against your revenues, you are selling yourself short.

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I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once. What do you need to know about taxes?  :smachhead:

That's where you learned to Umpire  :notworthy:

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These debates come up every year at this time.

My Brothers, please seek profesional tax assistance if you need it in regards to the fortune you make umpiring each year.

The tax codes are so complex and ever changing that only a tax professional could possible stay up with every change and I bet they can't do it either.

 

Debating what is taxable, what is deductible to me just causes more confusion, especially for those who think everything they read on Facebook or the Internet is TRUE?

 

If your really making that much money from umpiring that your worried about all these dedudictions to offset the money you make, I am definately in the wrong area with the number of games I work each year.

 

I can't make enough money to even worry about Itemizing Deductions.

 

Would you pay someone for a Umpire Clinic that had no references?

 

SEEK PROFESSIONAL and QUALIFIED TAX HELP

 

_____

 

I think you may want to...if you make any money, legally you need to claim it. The upside is a lot of your expenses are deductible against that money. This isn't the same as your general itemized deductions--these are deductions for the course of self-employment. If you aren't deducting your expenses against your revenues, you are selling yourself short.

 

 

Won't discuss my yearly income and life with you but needless to say I don't have a tax problem.

BTW.. Small Correction....All income is suppose to be reported whether you earned it legally or illegally.

Ever hear of the IRS going after people who are living well above their income levels, Mob, High Price Hookers.

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These debates come up every year at this time.

My Brothers, please seek profesional tax assistance if you need it in regards to the fortune you make umpiring each year.

The tax codes are so complex and ever changing that only a tax professional could possible stay up with every change and I bet they can't do it either.

 

Debating what is taxable, what is deductible to me just causes more confusion, especially for those who think everything they read on Facebook or the Internet is TRUE?

 

If your really making that much money from umpiring that your worried about all these dedudictions to offset the money you make, I am definately in the wrong area with the number of games I work each year.

 

I can't make enough money to even worry about Itemizing Deductions.

 

Would you pay someone for a Umpire Clinic that had no references?

 

SEEK PROFESSIONAL and QUALIFIED TAX HELP

 

_____

 

I think you may want to...if you make any money, legally you need to claim it. The upside is a lot of your expenses are deductible against that money. This isn't the same as your general itemized deductions--these are deductions for the course of self-employment. If you aren't deducting your expenses against your revenues, you are selling yourself short.

 

 

Won't discuss my yearly income and life with you but needless to say I don't have a tax problem.

BTW.. Small Correction....All income is suppose to be reported whether you earned it legally or illegally.

Ever hear of the IRS going after people who are living well above their income levels, Mob, High Price Hookers.

 

----

I said all income needed to be claimed. Punctuation is key. I said, "if you make any money, legally you need..." not, "if you make any money legally, you need..."

And if you want to know about parallel financial investigations, I teach a great course on it.

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Fortunately my CPA is also an umpire. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/index.php/news/article/cpa-profile-robert-m.-moore-jr/

 

He does mine as a schedule C, but Even if you don't use a CPA to do your taxes, it would be well worth it to sit down with one and discuss your situation. Also make sure they fully understand all that comes with being an umpire. Mileage, tolls, association fees, subscriptions (Umpire-Empire Premium Memberships??? :question1: ), clinics, books, uniforms, equipment...

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--Every trip for umpiring.  Meetings, clinics.  Any "extra mile(s)" I drove - in other words:  my daily commute to my real job was 78 miles total.  Any mile that I drove in excess of that (because I went home-work-game-home) was added to my totals.

--My cell phone costs relating to umpiring.

 

As for "extra mileage," how do you (or do you at all?) deduct a trip from home to game and back? From what I've read and understood, this is not deductable. However, I'm being told by others, including some who were given the info by a CPA or other tax professional, that this is deductable.

 

Also, for cell phone, do you decide the percentage of calls for umpiring and deduct that amount? What about text messages toward a text message plan?

Mileage:  Bear in mind, I'm an IT guy and a sort of numbers geek.  But I made a database, and between that and Mapquesting the mileage between my house and every field I work, I have a table of distances, and wrote an SQL query for it.

 

But the math was just:  [home-to-work] + [work-to-site] + [site-to-home] - [home-to-work] - [home-to-work],

 

which cancels to [work-to-site] + [site-to-home] - [home-to-work]

 

Yeahyeahyeah .... NERD!  Guilty.  But that simple(?) work gives me the difference in miles between a regular commute day, and what I drove to go work a game after my real job ends.  Better, I don't have to eff around with reading an odometer and logging it at the time - I already have database entries in another table that give details on the game/site.

 

Look, I have a BS and MS in Computer Science, so I might as well use that SH*# for SOMEthing, right?

 

For phone use:  I went with 1/2 and 1/2 at first - for the months I was working games, I took half the bill.  And then I got lazy/greedy, and just started putting the entire bill for every month that I work/have clinics.  Since I'm not Lou, that's NOT every month for me.  And I still show profit on the Sked-C, so my conscience is clear.  (On the other hand, I'm a Luddite about phones enough to believe they're for making this thing called a .... how you say.... 'fone kall?'  None of this fancy texting and smart phoning for me.  Keeps my bill down to about $30/mo.  YMWV - Your Mileage WILL Vary.

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These debates come up every year at this time.

My Brothers, please seek profesional tax assistance if you need it in regards to the fortune you make umpiring each year.

The tax codes are so complex and ever changing that only a tax professional could possible stay up with every change and I bet they can't do it either.

 

Debating what is taxable, what is deductible to me just causes more confusion, especially for those who think everything they read on Facebook or the Internet is TRUE?

 

If your really making that much money from umpiring that your worried about all these dedudictions to offset the money you make, I am definately in the wrong area with the number of games I work each year.

 

I can't make enough money to even worry about Itemizing Deductions.

 

Would you pay someone for a Umpire Clinic that had no references?

 

SEEK PROFESSIONAL and QUALIFIED TAX HELP

While I don't disagree, I've done my own taxes since my first job in 1983.  I've gotten advice about what to claim from a CPA, and spoke to another CPA back in the early 90s, the first time I moved OCONUS and rented my place.  Other than that, I've struggled through it myself.  It's the worst examples of the English Language in the history of Ever, but it's not building a Saturn V rocket, either.

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Also make sure they fully understand all that comes with being an umpire. Mileage, tolls, association fees, subscriptions (Umpire-Empire Premium Memberships??? :question1: ),

 

I see what you did there.

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mileage from one work site to another is deductable.  So if you often leave your day job and head straight to your umpire gig, that mileage is deductable.

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I've been using TurboTax Home & Business for several years now and it's pretty easy.  It includes the Schedule C so you can plug all your stuff in.  Miles, meals, expenses for equipment, etc
 

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