Attorney-at-Law

“I FEEL YOUR PAIN”

In Uncategorized on 06/17/2014 at 16:04

Echoing the words of a former President of the United States of America, I know just how David H. Garza, starring in 2014 T. C. Memo. 121, filed 6/17/14, feels.

Dave traveled far and wide in his truck, at the behest of his employer, Time Warner Cable. And he did have a calendar planner, wherein he jotted down odometer readings at least monthly during the year at issue. Now he did use the aforesaid truck for his own use, and concedes about 10% of his recorded mileage was personal use. But Time Warner Cable did not reimburse Dave for his vehicular expenses.

So Dave took unreimbursed employee business expense deduction on his 1040.

Judge Cohen believes Dave did drive a lot of miles for business. But that isn’t good enough for Section 274(d)’s strict substantiation.

“Petitioner’s calendar planner, while contemporaneous, is not reliable substantiation for the claimed expenses because petitioner failed to meet the criteria set out in section 1.274-5T(b)(6), Temporary Income Tax Regs., supra. Petitioner did not record the amount, the time, or the business purpose of each business use of his truck because, in his words, ‘it was just too much to do.’ Accordingly, his deduction must be disallowed.” 2014 T. C. Memo. 121, at pp. 6-7.

While I recognize people were, and are, playing games with vehicle, and travel and entertainment, expenses, I stopped claiming most of mine because I agree with Dave: keeping track is too much to do. It was all very well when I was in a law firm, whether large or small, which had billing programs and reimbursement policies. Keeping track was someone else’s job.

But when I went solo six years ago, I decided I was a lawyer, full-time, not a bookkeeper, not even part-time. No thanks; if I wanted to be a bookkeeper, I would be.

And Dave is a cable guy, and I assume not a bookkeeper either. Full or part-time.

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