Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Is a housesitter a business deduction?

June --

Long-haul truck driver for 25 years: We have finally hired a house sitter for when we are gone trucking. Is the $15 a day we pay her considered a deduction? We get most of advice from our personal accountant.


Dear Patricia,

If you are not an employee of your husband or vice versa or you are not a partnership or you do not treat trucking as a joint self-employed business -- allowed in some states -- then not only are expenses for the non-business spouse not deductible, but I would not deduct any cost for the housesitter since the reason the non-business spouse is not there taking care of the house is for personal reasons. [More here on husband-wife business. ]

If you are both in the business and if you have a legitimate deduction for home office and if you have a legitimate house sitter -- not someone you pay in cash who is not claiming the income -- then you may deduct the housesitter costs at the same percent as you deduct home office. Same as you would an alarm system or a housekeeper.

-- June

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