Hobby or Lifestyle?

This thought reemerged again last night after going to my tax accountant. Upon being told the obscene amount of $ that the govt. is going to releive me of my wife said I should find another hobby which is work related (and thus deductable). This triggered a thought. In the past I've seen many posts about this "hobby" and it has always seemed odd to me to call it a hobby. I've never thought of this as a hobby. I started buying records at about the age of 9-10 (1960-61). I had a cheap "record player" back then and since that time I can never remember a day without a way to play my music or many days that I didn't play some music. My systems got better through the years and I now have the best system that I have ever owned. In my younger nomadic days, I can remember moving with only my clothes, drums and stereo. And if I had to move today and could only take three items, the list would be the same. To me "stereo" is not a luxury item. It is as necessary as any appliance in the house. It's not a hobby but a lifestyle. Anyone else feel this way?
If you're looking for a tax writeoff, it doesn't matter if it's a hobby or a lifestyle, neither is deductible. You could start a business of equipment "reselling" and, as long as you showed a profit some % of years, could keep a lot of gear going through the system. Or, you could start a business that, through some convuluted logic, "required" you to have an audio system. I can't think of what that might be, but a small company can writeoff a modest amount of depreciated expense in a single year (Section 179) for justified expenses. -Kirk
Section 179 is currently $24,000 and is limited to income; it cannot create a loss. You could also have a business that uses the audio equipment, instead of buying and selling. Start a part time business recording local concerts and burn CDs. (Or something similar.) You would probably get to deduct a chunk of your computer related equipment as well. You do have to demonstrate a real profit motive, for it not to be a considered a hobby by IRS. If a "hobby" does create some income, the expenses are limited to income. You cannot deduct any losses.

Good Luck.... Sugarbrie CPA
If the government takes such a sum of money from us each year, can you just imagine the absolute killer sound systems that our "Uncle Sammy" must be able to afford? Everyone down to the Washington Mall for an audio shoot out! Happy Tunes!
My main point was not the tax issue but that I considered my music and its reproduction a lifestyle and not a hobby. I have started to post this before but did not. The tax issue and conversation that followed just brought it back to mind. I did consider starting a thread about the fact that we as Americans work from 1/1 to about 5/20 just to pay our tax burden for the year. This includes Fed, State, property, sales etc, but that is very close to 50%. The Revolutionary War was fought over far less.
Mine is a hobby which I enjoy nearly everyday and is very much a part of my lifestyle.
Music is more of a lifestyle and audio is more of a hobby. Music is the end of a means that is audio. And all the aspects of audio (e.g. buying, discussing, assembling system) are intrinsically enjoyable. There couldn't be a better hobby.
Music is a lifestyle. I sing in a professional choir, and attend well over a couple dozen live concerts a year that I am not performing in. Other than the HT system, I have three audio systems: the main one; one in a bedroom that is a home office, and one in my work office. So I am surrounded by music all the time (including the car).
I agree, Lifestyle. Fine audio gear is a means to an end: music. It is all about the music for me. If I didn't have the money to buy fine audio gear, I'd still listen to music and be happy with a portable cd player and headphones.
Because I've only been involved in the "high end" for about 10 years now, I still consider it (specifically high end) a hobby. That said though, I've enjoyed music all my life, ie have played guitar(s) for over 40 years, and have always had at least a mif-fi system around, and enjoy live concerts.

I think music is part of American life for many just as it is in many countries, so in that respect, music is part of the American lifestyle in general. Music helps to define a culture. And you don't have to be into "high end" audio either-- us audiogeeks are just more obsessive about it. Cheers. Craig
If I had to move today I too would take my clothes, drums and stereo....and also my iBook.
Lifestyle Indeed. Gotta have stereo. Main system, Living room sytem, Bedroom sytem, even Kid's room system, In Cars elabotare sytems. Can't live without them.