View Full Version : Tax question for current or previous USFS or NPS employees

02-10-2014, 18:33
I know this is a silly place to ask tax questions but I haven't had any luck searching and I'm not aware of a place where I can just call and ask questions..

Can backpacking gear purchased for a paid season in the woods be deducted? For 6 months we were in the backcountry. Our tents served as our homes, even on our days off. I've read boots can be deducted but I purchased a new tent, backpack, sleeping pad and other misc. gear such as bladders and batteries etc. :confused:

02-10-2014, 18:35
and if it makes any difference 90% of the gear purchased did not make it through the season.

02-10-2014, 18:39
Sounds like a question for the IRS.

02-10-2014, 18:43
Were you a contractor or a salaried employee? If you were a contractor, you can deduct work-related expenses as a business expense. If you were a regular employee, you can deduct work-related expenses, but there would not be any point unless you are itemizing deductions (so your deductions would have to be greater than the standard deduction). There might be issues related to depreciation, etc. for equipment purchases. I would talk to an accountant.

More details here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p529.pdf

02-10-2014, 20:06
Moytoy, I agree, but I just assumed there is no easy way to call the IRS and ask some questions. I made diddly, so I'm definitely not going to pay someone to do my taxes when TurboTax exists just to ask this question!

Thanks for the link, Burger. I'll get to reading!

02-10-2014, 20:11
Yes it can be a deduction under some circumstances. Work related, required for the job and is not provided by the employer. Most of those type jobs won't make enough money to get you into the itemizing of deductions situation. Save your receipts though.

02-10-2014, 20:11
Found what I was looking for. This thread can be closed. Thanks!

02-10-2014, 20:13
Moytoy, I agree, but I just assumed there is no easy way to call the IRS and ask some questions.

Not true! http://www.irs.gov/uac/Telephone-Assistance

02-10-2014, 20:52
The first question would be "Do you itemize deductions?" If you don't then whether you could or not is moot.

02-10-2014, 22:22
Closing per OP request. :)