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Nicole Bernshaw
  • Lender
  • Salt Lake City, UT
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Is education cost a tax deductible business expense?

Nicole Bernshaw
  • Lender
  • Salt Lake City, UT
Posted Sep 1 2017, 15:55

I just joined BiggerPockets. In my previous life, I was a biotech researcher. Then, I worked for a tax company for 10 seasons until I retired from the workforce. I do not have all the answers to tax questions, though, which brings me to the following situation.

Like so many Americans, I found myself at retirement time with insufficient retirement funds to take care of my old days. So I "spent the bucks" (>$10K) to educate myself in real estate investing. I have learned how to invest my retirement funds - through a 3rd party custodian - into real estate deals, the proceeds of which are going directly into my retirement account. I have done exactly that in the past year.

The IRS is specific in terms of business deductions: you have to show that you are in business to make money - so that the IRS can tax you on the profits. Normally, both income and expenses are reported on Schedule C of the 1040. I did make money but it is sheltered in my retirement account and is not taxable. So, here is my question: is my education expense tax deductible given that my investment income is non-taxable and reported on form 990-T?

Thank you in advance for your input.

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