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how to make trap shooting tax deductible

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by knutershooter, Mar 6, 2012.

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  1. knutershooter

    knutershooter Member

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    I am in sales and wondering if I put my name and who I work for and what I do, if I could make trapshooting tax deductible? I mean it is self promotion isn't it by advertising. Just a thought. Any accounts care to chime in? Would the entry fees and shells gas and mileage be as well?
     
  2. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    You have to intend to turn a profit from it is my understanding.
     
  3. knutershooter

    knutershooter Member

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    Well that would be the intent by traveling to new shoots and meeting some new people etc.
     
  4. hwy13

    hwy13 Member

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    Hello Knutershooter,

    A fellow at work tried the same thing with his tractor pulling, going to
    different events around the country, all went ok for 4 - 5 years then the
    IRS came knocking at the door.

    The decision was unless you recieve 1/3 of your yearly salary from your
    operation it is a hobby, tax decutions not allowed. There are well qualified
    folks here on trapshooters with more info.
     
  5. Pointer

    Pointer TS Member

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    A lot of people ask about this. I shoot a lot, and I don't think I would try it unless I changed how I approach the sport. First ask yourself "if I did this as a business could i make a living at it?" That is not the only factor, but very telling.

    It is possible, but complex. Say you get a 12K gun (deduct it)and just spent more than a reasonable expectation of the pay out for the shoots you attend.(considering your proven ability and your recorded history in the sport)yer already in a world of trouble.

    You would need to be a pro. What is a pro in the eye of the tax man..past earnings,time invested, classes attended, teaching, investment..and the list continues. For most states you need a business license to file, With Feds that is not the case..just a schedule C as you don't hire people..HOWEVER you have to set it up as a business keeping very detailed records. You have to have a resonable expectation to profit (proof)I suspect that some shooters do this, but they also teach classes, publish books etc..They do more than just shoot. They are running a business!

    If you expect to make money in the sport and can back it up you will be ok, after you consult a tax attorney, who can show you what records to keep etc. If the intent is to use it as a write off you could end up in a pickle. The numbers need to be close to balance (a real business) or you invite an audit. Also if you don't profit in 3 years you better give it up or the feds will come see ya!

    I took a look at case law where the feds went after a shooter that did this. The guy felt he needed to deduct a very nice trap shooting RV and the feds did take a run at him. He managed to get out of it without getting killed, but no longer has a trap shooting "business"

    So, yes you can..but you have to have your act together..I don't :)
     
  6. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Just claim your expenses as donations to charity. After all your, ATA is a charity....or is it the ATAA??...or both.
     
  7. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    if this was an easy exploitation of the tax code to get away with, you would be hearing of a lot of shooters doing it. So far I have yet to hear many shooter hobbyists doing it.....the only shooters I know who do it are shooters who have a formally declared "shooting instruction" business, whether it be part-time on the side or full-time as their main source of income.

    If you are in sales and take prospective clients/customers out to shoot, maybe you can work that into your taxes as "entertaining clients" or "entertainment expenses".
     
  8. RWT

    RWT Well-Known Member

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    I have know a couple of people that did it.

    One of them got audited by the IRS and no longer did it. Never did find out the outcome of that case.

    The other was a tax "attorney" preparer and his explanation to me was " the tax code say you have to declare all of your income from trapshooting but no law says you have to declare all of your expenses". At that time he would show a small profit ever 3 or 4 years by not claiming all of his expenses and a loss the rest of the time. He was audited once and continued to claim his losses, apparently he had the time and knowledge to argue with the auditor. I am no tax attorney so personally I wouldn't try it, and laws may have changed since then.

    Robert
     
  9. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    Robert, if he was truly a tax attorney, he'd have known that the statement in the first sentence of your third paragraph was not true, at least in the context of what is being discussed here.
     
  10. Pointer

    Pointer TS Member

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    If I have a (profit year) then I would file a schedule C to try to protect the profit. Though it has not been needed to date!

    I keep detailed records,and have every receipt from the range, shells, shooting books, miles driven..etc for my "hobby" I keep this every year and tuck it away (records as if it's a true business). It's important you do this in case you ever file on a year if needed you can show the records for past years. For the same reason you should keep records of work you do on your home etc..

    Say I spent 4k this year. Now I bust a big cap score at the Grand and collect 6k. Obama wants 40% of my 6K. I would file using the 4k cost to offset. Having the detailed loss records from past years would likely help if an audit came down, and worst case would be the 40% tax if I lost, as it shows no intent to defraud.

    Then I would keep my head down :)
     
  11. RWT

    RWT Well-Known Member

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    That's why attorney was in "".

    I really don't know the tax law, but I know he did it for 20+ years and was only audited once, and continued doing it after that with no more problems. He quit trapshooting in 2007.

    As far as declaring all you expenses, I don't see how the IRS could prove any expenses that you didn't claim.

    I know other people at this time that have small business that say they use the same tactic now. Don't know if it is legal but they are doing it.

    Robert

    PS.

    I was audited once after some clubs sent in 1099s on my winnings. I explained it was a hobby and that I had more expenses than income usually they finally dropped the case and I have had no more problems since then. (2004)
     
  12. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    You've been fortunate then. I'd settle for just winning enough to get a 1099.
     
  13. pdq

    pdq Member

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    Business School 101:
    It's perfectly legal to avoid paying taxes.
    It's perfectly illegal to evade paying taxes.

    One saves you money, the other gets you 3 hots and a cot for a number of years, plus some pretty severe financial penalties.

    Is it worth the risk? You decide.

    If you chance it, you better have iron clad proof that by pursuing your "advertising" that it resulted in revenue that wouldn't occur otherwise. I don't think winning from gambling would qualify unless you are a pro gambler, as I believe (but don't know for a fact) that the only thing you can use to offset gambling winnings is gambling losses, not the cost of shells, hotels, meals, etc.

    But it's your call.

    Pete
     
  14. archangel

    archangel Member

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    I wonder if you are asking a different question. are you asking can you use trapshooting to promote yourself or your company as one would with marketing and advertising and not trapsghooting as an occupation.
     
  15. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Well,I know several bass fishermen that claim their expenses.First,they make sure they are involved in a legitimate circuit.That would be the key I believe.If the ATA would develop a circuit with money being the prime award it would be easier.Not just a shoot you choose now and then.A legitimate money circuit that would require you to participate in to win any sustantial monies.Then,you could claim your expenses shooting the circuit,
    ,declaring your winnings also.The ATA won't form such a circuit,because if you make money at something like that you meet the definition by Olympic standards as a Pro.And ,we all know what happens in the trap world if that nasty three letter word is brought up.

    Doug H.
     
  16. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    "How To Make Trap Shooting Tax Deductible"

    AKA:

    "How To Look Good In Black And White Horizontal Stripes"
     
  17. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    Here is the way to do it have two business owners sponsor each other!

    Owner A say Johns Hardware will advertise owner B bill's restaurant and visa versa. It's the way many race teams have operated for years.

    Now it's an advertising expense!

    It would work better if there were more sponsors so that the sponsorship is not advertising your business directly.
    Joe
     
  18. John Browning

    John Browning TS Member

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    I have a farm and rentals, you need to show profit 2 out of 5 years or its a hobby. A hobby only lets you deduct expenses up to the amout of your winnings. I suspect that 99.9 % of the people that shoot trap, can only claim it as a hobby. John
     
  19. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    Promised myself I wouldn't get into this mess again, so my $.02 is for you guys to spend about 60 seconds on Google and see why hobby losses are restricted much more than simply by your hobby revenue. In fact, most shooters would not benefit at all from hobby deductions, while still having to report all the income.
     
  20. Claymuncher

    Claymuncher Member

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    Ahhh the good old days in the 90's when you could right it off as a loss. My accountant always said that is why they put so many lines on the deductions form. If they say no they say no, oops.

    CM
     
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