The IRS does not allow a deduction for purchasing a Home Computer/Laptop/Tablet. Even though they are an asset, the airline does not require employees to have them as a condition of employment.
The IRS has issued a Letter Ruling (#8615024 & Bryant, U.S. Ct. App. 3rd cir. 74 AFTR2d 94-5440) disallowing a deduction for home computers. The ruling states…”Despite legitimate business use, employees generally may not write off the cost of their computer. By law, a computer must be used for the convenience of the employer and required as a condition of employment.” In private rulings, the IRS ruled an individual may not claim depreciation when the purchase of a computer is optional and not absolutely required by their employer as a condition of employment. All airlines provide computers for their employees to use at operations and the airport. Although they are a huge asset to our jobs, the airline does not require that we have a personal computer or laptop. Thus, they are not deductible. UGH!
- Printer Ink/Toner/Paper – Although we can’t take the computer itself, you are allowed to claim a deduction for the cost of toner and paper supplies for the printer used when printing your flight schedules, bid sheets or other business related documents.
- Bidding and Trip Trading Software – If you purchase software to assist you in bidding and trip trading – this software is deductible.
- You may deduct the cost of using a third party scheduling service to obtain flight schedules. (e.g. Flightline, FLICA, etc.)
- Home Internet Fees including DSL, Cable, Aircard, VoIP, Skype are also deductible based on the percentage of business usage – provide annual cost (do not include the part of your bill covering television or telephone if a bundled package). Be sure to retain your monthly statements.
- Hotel Internet Access Fees while on layovers are deductible for business usage.