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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121478  
Subject: Re: Deductions for cell phone use Date: 4/11/2013 10:52 PM
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My husband is required to have a cell phone to perform his job. His employer does not provide the phone or pay any portion of the monthly expenses related to the phone. However, this phone is also used extensively for personal reasons.

OK

Can we deduct any portion of our expenses for his phone,

Yes.

and if so, how do we determine what amount is fair?

In theory, you keep a log of your calls and deduct a prorated amount of your bill based on those logs.

In practice, you guess. Preferably an educated guess, but still a guess.

In either case, this would be reported on Form 2106 (or 2106-EZ if you qualify for the simpler form), the bottom line of which flows to Schedule A as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2% of AGI limitation. So to get any benefit, you've got to get over the 2% of AGI hurdle, then you've got to have enough other deductions to itemize.

For a majority of people, that means they get no tax benefit from this deduction. Hopefully, you're in the minority on this one.

--Peter
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