The Tax Court permitted an employee to deduct cell phone expenses as a cost of supplies consumed directly in the performance of work duties. This ruling is particularly noteworthy as the employee was able to claim the deduction despite lacking proper records for the expenses.
An employee, who worked as a personal support worker, claimed a $900 annual deduction for cell phone expenses on the basis of her employer's requirement to notify clients of delays and report to the employer. However, no documentary evidence was provided.
The judge allowed the employee $120 per year for cell phone expenses, despite the lack of documentary support, stating that it was a conservative estimate of the actual costs. The judge declined to use a higher estimate, citing the employee's failure to provide reliable breakdowns and documents, and noting that if the employee wanted an accurate determination of her income, she should have provided the necessary means.
The case is interesting because the taxpayer achieved a favorable outcome, even though she had lost or withheld her records, and it also established the possibility of claiming cell phone expenses as a deduction from employment income under section 8(1)(i)(iii), which pertains to the cost of supplies used directly for work duties.
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