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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Television/cable write off


I am a television and film editor. I do editing, visual effects, color matching and titling. My commercials, television show's and movies run nationally. Everything I watch is R&D for my daily work. Can I write off my new television and cable bill?


I had an interesting audit a few years back. A Registered Nurse wrote off her entire cable bill claiming she watched the Heath Channel and that it aided her in her job. I was hoping that that auditor would not notice the cable bill write off but of course he did.

When I explained, with my best poker face, why the taxpayer write off the cable bill, he burst out laughing, which caused me to burst out laughing.

He offered me 33% of the bill and I agreed.

In your case, I would approach it like this: be practical. How much of the TV shows do you watch actually affect your work? If it's 100% then write off 100%. If it's 90%, then write off 90%. IRC Section 162 allows a taxpayer to deduct all expenses that are "ordinary and necessary" to perform their job.

If you have a wife and/or children that watch TV, obviously their watching TV does not help you. Be reasonable. The IRS normally is reasonable when a taxpayer is --- most of the time.

Take care,  

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Bruce W. Tyler, EA


I can answer questions with regard to the following: Preparation/Tax Law regarding Individual Income Tax (IRS and California), Audit Representation/IRS Procedures of personal and corporate income tax including appeals, IRS Collection procedures for individuals, partnerships and corporations, Offers-in-Compromise, Installment Payment Plans, Penalty Abatement,Income from Cancellation of Debt. Heavy experience with Public Safety (i.e. Firefighters, Police Officers, Correctional Officers, etc) as well as medical industry.


21 years in tax preparation and representation

National Association of Enrolled Agents

4 years of accounting at Woodbury University/UCLA Extension

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