InTents August/September 2019 - 53

Losses-hobby vs. business
Not surprisingly, all income from a
business activity is usually taxable.
Fortunately, the losses from a moneylosing activity-either from an existing
business or a start-up-can be used to
offset the income from other sources.
However, for a hobby that is not aimed
at generating pro it, the expenses are
generally deductible only to the extent of
the activity's income.
Even after the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act (TCJA) eliminated many personal
itemized deductions, some expenses
incurred in connection with a hobby
are still tax deductible. The general
rule is an activity is presumed not to
be a hobby if pro its (more income

than expenses) result in any three
of ive consecutive tax years. Other
factors the IRS considers are whether
you keep complete and accurate books
and records and depend on income for
your livelihood, and whether losses are
normal in the startup phase for this type
of business. Fortunately, even without
pro itable years, if someone operating
a business activity can prove there
is "intent" to show a pro it using the
IRS's guidelines, many activity-related
expenses are legitimately deductible,
even those in excess of the activity's
income. The amount by which the
activity's expenses exceed its income,
its losses, can offset all income from
other sources.

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InTents August/September 2019

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