D EAR HARRY: I am a recently hired regional manager for a large franchising company. My job requires thatI own and know how to use a computer to submit daily reports from remote locations. My computer is a Mac, and I had some problems getting it synchronized with the company's large-capacity PC. As a result, the company shared with me the cost of a PC laptop. My tax preparer said that there was just no way I could get a tax deduction for it, even if my boss says it was required and will support that statement in writing. I think he's wrong, but he won't deduct it on any return he prepares, and his supervisor agrees. You're my last hope.
WHAT HARRY SAYS: I am on your side. There are two basic requirements for the deduction. The first is that the computer be for the convenience of the employer. The second is that it be a condition of employment. You meet both easily. I urge you to get these preparer toads to look further into the cases decided by the tax court. You fit the mold of numerous cases decided in favor of the taxpayer. The partial payment by your employer is further evidence on your side. Get them to prepare a Form 4562 to be attached to your return to claim full "first-year depreciation." Your deduction will be a miscellaneous- deduction subject to the 2 percent of adjusted-gross-income floor. Don't be surprised if IRS questions it, but you are OK.