Whether picking up painting or cooking new concoctions in your kitchen, starting a new hobby is always fun and a great way to learn something new. Did you know there are some tax considerations when starting a new hobby? Especially if you are considering turning your newfound passion into a business.
Taxpayers are expected to report any income earned from hobbies, even if it’s not a licensed business. To compare, businesses are done to make a profit, while hobbies are done for recreation, not to make a profit. Here are nine factors that can help you determine whether a hobby could also be considered a business, according to the IRS:
- Whether you carry on the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain complete and accurate books and records.
- Whether you have personal motives in carrying on the activity.
Whether the time and effort you put into the activity indicate you intend to make it profitable.
- Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.
- Whether your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase of your type of business).
- Whether you or your financial professional have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business.
- Whether you successfully made a profit in similar activities in the past.
- Whether the activity makes a profit in some years and how much profit it makes.
- Whether you can expect to make a future profit from the appreciation of the assets used in the activity.
You may also be able to deduct some of the expenses associated with your hobby. Within certain limits, taxpayers can usually deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted for the activity. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for the activity.
*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov7
Footnotes And Sources
- IRS.gov, July 3, 2023.