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1. Is it true that I can take a lunch break in the middle of driving and write off my meal? 2. If I write off new my phone, and am not sure the exact percentage how much accumulates to work and not work, do I simply write off 50% of my purchase?
Answer

Hi there! Great questions.

1. No, unfortunately that is not true. Lunch breaks at work don’t typically count as business meals. A “business meal” must meet certain criteria to qualify as a write-off, and even then the deduction is limited to 50% in most cases. Check out our guide to business meals for more information.


2. Good news! Claim whatever seems reasonable. Historically, cell phones have been treated as “listed property,” meaning you have to allocate a portion as personal and a portion as business and keep a log to substantiate the amount you claim. In 2010, however, the IRS declassified cell phones as “listed property” under the Small Business Jobs Act, so you no longer have to prove the business use. This update was intended for freelancers like yourself to make business deductions easier. In other words, sky’s the limit! If you use your phone regularly for work, don’t be afraid to claim 100%. If you only use your phone occasionally for work, take the portion that seems reasonable. You won’t be required to produce a call log if the deduction is ever challenged, but it’s always a good idea to have an explanation handy to support your claim just in case.  

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Answer

Hi there! Great questions.

1. No, unfortunately that is not true. Lunch breaks at work don’t typically count as business meals. A “business meal” must meet certain criteria to qualify as a write-off, and even then the deduction is limited to 50% in most cases. Check out our guide to business meals for more information.


2. Good news! Claim whatever seems reasonable. Historically, cell phones have been treated as “listed property,” meaning you have to allocate a portion as personal and a portion as business and keep a log to substantiate the amount you claim. In 2010, however, the IRS declassified cell phones as “listed property” under the Small Business Jobs Act, so you no longer have to prove the business use. This update was intended for freelancers like yourself to make business deductions easier. In other words, sky’s the limit! If you use your phone regularly for work, don’t be afraid to claim 100%. If you only use your phone occasionally for work, take the portion that seems reasonable. You won’t be required to produce a call log if the deduction is ever challenged, but it’s always a good idea to have an explanation handy to support your claim just in case.  

No answer given yet!

Keeper Staff

Keeper is a delightfully smart tax filing software that's especially useful for people with 1099 contracting and freelance income. Our blog breaks down IRS guidance with real-world examples and analysis by tax professionals — empowering taxpayers to save money and take control of their finances.

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