Millions of people enjoy hobbies that are also a source of income. From catering to cupcake baking, crafting homemade jewelry to glass blowing -- no matter what a person’s passion, the Internal Revenue Service offers some tips on hobbies.
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Taxpayers must report on their tax return the income earned from hobbies. The
rules for how to report the income and expenses depend on whether the activity
is a hobby or a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions
taxpayers can claim for hobbies. Here are four tax tips to consider:
1. A key feature of a business is that people do it to make a profit. People engage in a hobby for sport or recreation, not to make a profit. Consider nine factorswhen determining whether an activity is a hobby. Make sure to base the determination on all the facts and circumstances. For more about ‘not-for-profit’ rules, see Publication 535, Business Expenses.
2. . Within certain limits, taxpayers can usually deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted for the activity. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for the activity.
3. Generally, taxpayers can only deduct hobby expenses up to the amount of hobby income. If hobby expenses are more than its income, taxpayers have a loss from the activity. However, a hobby loss can’t be deducted from other income.
4. Taxpayers must itemize deductions on their tax return to deduct hobby expenses. Expenses may fall into three types of deductions, and special rules apply to each type. See Publication 535 for the rules about how to claim them on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.
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