Just shows as silly high-end is I guess.
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It depends on how good your tax lawyer happens to be. I believe a set of facts could be established that shows the auto reviewer has a legitmate business need for the $250,000 car making it a tax deductible business expense.
Sounds rather innocent when compared to what Haliburton has done to the taxpayers and our soldiers in Irag.
If you were testing sports cars for a living, yeah, I would agree with you Schipo..
Face it, this guy is writing in one of the top audio magazines, and testing vinyl stuff is what he does. Obviously he needs a reference system, and this is what he chose. You can argue with his choice of course, but that's really none of our business. :)
As S7horton says too, what's he supposed to compare the stuff he reviews to? I fully support his purchase, and I totally agree it's a business purchase. Face it, you're just jealous. ;)
If his job is to review and evaluate Vinyl recordings by all means he can write it off. Just as an actor can write off cable or sattelite T.V. because he could be evaluating performances or doing research on a character he will be portraying by watching the History channel. If it has to do with your job you can write it off if it is your sole source of income. If you compared the Ferrari to every car you drove for articles in Road and Track you might get away with it. This reviewer will be using this turntable for ALL reviews for his job. Wouldn't you love it though if this TT he is buying sounds terrible. LOL.
Sounds rather innocent when compared to what Haliburton has done to the taxpayers and our soldiers in Irag.Please no politics thats not what this tread is about. lets look at it this way, why not say in another year he wants to purchase a Goldmund reference II turntable which goes for $300.000 why not continue to write that one off because in your own words HE NEEDS THE BEST.Thats nonsence and any one would know that,a luxury item like this would be a red flag.What about speakers,amps,and so on, you need that to hear the music that a $300,000 tt produces why not write them off with so on and so on. Can you write off the cables to and the furniture that the gear sits on hey why not I am a reviewer I need my gear to sound it best.
If it was installed in his place of business it might fly. If it is installed in his living room, not so clear. One good way to get audited is to brag about such things in the media.
The government has some appreciation for a fine turn table. Didn't the Library of Congress buy 3 Simon Yorke series 7's? They where "part-developed for the United States Government, Library of Congress Audio Preservation Facility"
According to the Yorke site.
Schipo, pretty disingenuous introducing politics to your own thread, then asking others not to.
If he uses the turntable strictly for business, of course he can deduct it. (Or, to be precise, depreciate it, which means deducting a portion of it each year, for several years.) But if he uses it partially for pleasure, then he has to prorate the deduction.
If he buys a new "reference table" next year, that has tax implications for the depreciation he's already claimed. It gets complicated.
Bottom line: He's probably entitled to *some* deduction here, but he almost certainly cannot lop $50K off his taxable income as a result of this purchase.
(Disclaimer: I am neither an accountant nor an atorney.)
BTW, what issue of Forbes did this appear in?
If this deduction were allowed as a business expense, all similarly situated reviewers could deduct or depreciate their "reference" capital equipment. Hard to imagine this being acceptable to the IRS. "full time" probably does not matter if it meets the hobby-loss rules, and the same rules suggest that being a reviewer (rather than, say, a photographer deducting the Leica collection who produces and sells pictures for a profit) doesn't matter, as long as sufficient revenue is produced. Jaybo makes a cogent point that reviewer could be required to recognize income for the "discount". Surprising that there are no tax lawyers on this forum willing to weigh in.
If it were a Auto reviewer or other high ticket item reviewer, the items would probably be leased and not purchased so all of the cost could be deducted till uncle sam depreciated it into oblivion. Then they could purchase it for even less money cause now it's used. Just try leasing a $100000.00 turntable and see what happens. LOL
I have forwarded this link on to my CPA for his amusement. Haven't you guys got anything better to think about? Maybe you could talk about all of the time I spent on the phone with the writer of the Forbes story trying to make sure our hobby/industry was put in the most positive light instead of the story becoming on of those "audiophiles are weirdos" pieces that often run....that might make a better subject for discussion than my tax write offs....
First I laughed, then I agreed with you, and finally I realized how sick we are and on how many levels. ;-)Thats what this is all about to bring a little laughter and also spoof on each other in a good clean and fun way. Hey I remmember when Ralph Kramden gave Ed Norton a look of disgust when Ed told him that he takes off a business deduction when he conducts business in his bathroom, and Ralph said what buisness deduction can you possibly take off in your apt when you work in a sewer and Ed tells him that he practices his plumbing technigue in the bathroom.
The Table in question is a freakin' Caliburn. Perhaps the best table/Arm in existance. As long as he can afford it (I know I can' t) I say why not.
And unlike a trickle down economy, trickle down technology may just allow me to afford Continuum's new cheaper Copperhead tonearm at some point, and the buyers that fund the 100K systems help to make that happen.
The Tax Code allows deductions for "ordinary and necessary" business expenses, so the question would be whether the purchase of this piece of equipment was "necessary". It is clear that you don't have to buy a Ferrari or a turntable in order to test and write about it. It appears, however, that this individual could argue that he/she needs the table on a long term basis to test other tables, cartridges, etc. with and against it. The IRS is well known for seeking to disallow deductions taken by hobbiest reviewers, but my personal guess is that this particular one should hold up.
movie stars, directors, many in 'the business' are generally incorporated, so most everything they do is somehow done on behalf of their company. that bentley is a company car. tax deduction or not, buying a 100k turntable is an incredibly selfish thing to do if he has kids or a family. he is also beholden to the manufacturer bigtime. selling one's soul for a turntable is just bad judgement.
Give me a break, I have met Mike and he has helped inform me on questions I had for him...great guy and he pushes vinyl and champions its cause like few others BUT in his line of work he gets enough bones thrown at him, actually they should have to pay tax on actual retail value of gear they get on the cheap.
>>great guy and he pushes vinyl<<
Pushes vinyl is correct. Few champion vinyl as well; no argument.
Great guy? Read his letters to Arthur Salvatore and say that with a straight face. No one doubts Mikey's commitment to vinyl and the associated acumen.
However, the letters speak volumes about the man himself who in fact is quite different from the Stereophile contributor.
If you google "Forbes" and "Fremer" and "VPI" and "vinyl", the link to the article comes up first (moderators often don't like links, which may be why no post has mentioned the link, so I'll try it this way).
I prefer to focus on the article, which is fairly accurate as mainstream press articles about audiophilia go. It does get some things wrong, however. For example, "heavy PLATTERS of virgin vinyl" (emphasis added)?? The article wrongly suggests that purchasing a high-end turntable also gets you an arm and a cartridge (the best of which are made from "titanium", which is wrong if one believes that there is rarely a "best", just "different"). It fails to mention that an analog rig necessarily includes a phono stage. Given the author's goal of pointing out the great cost of high-end analog, the article would have been better had the considerable potential cost of these additional items been mentioned.
I do not believe for a minute that Singer sold only one turntable five years ago (that is wrong).
The NY Times published a very so-so article about tube amps four or five years ago (Singer was mentioned therein as well).
Let's stop writing about the tax/legal issues of others (... a sure-fire way to get this thread shut down).
wow........listen, I could care less about Michael's purchase decisions or what he may or may not have paid. Those are his choices to make as we all have in life. As long as a reviewer can keep his or her perspective in the bigger reviewing picture then we can hope for, and look forward to the straight scoop in reviews. I know this is an idealistic point of view, but life is too short to be looking at the glass as half empty. Of course every reviewer has their own bias, it is human nature. I myself am just very happy that we have those in the public eye with alot of potential exposure as Michael Fremer and Steve Hoffman, just to name a couple, to continue championing the cause for vinyl playback!