I saw the Allman Brothers Band perform live more than 40 times! Santana … more than 30 times! If I could have deducted the cost of my travel expenses to all these concerts as a “deductible business expense” just imagine all the concert t-shirts that would have paid for!! Well, there is a Tax Court case that held that a taxpayer’s travel expenses to music performances were deductible where the taxpayer was a music professor and the activity aided the music professor’s academic instruction. The name of the case is Scully v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2013-229 (2013). The music professor in question was also a very well-known and highly regarded jazz bassist by the name Joseph D. Scully, Jr. Joseph would later change his name to Yosef Ben Israel. Here is a link to the case: Scully v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2013-229 (2013).
A fun excerpt from the case: “Respondent (the IRS aka Uncle Sam) contends that petitioner’s (the Taxpayer aka “the good guy”) unreimbursed employee expenses were not ordinary and necessary to his employment as a music professor. In support of this position respondent points out: (1) petitioner generally ENJOYS performing, and (2) performance activities were not in petitioner’s job description. Section 162 does not require activities resulting in business expenses to be UNENJOYABLE, only that they be ordinary and necessary. Petitioner is successful in a career he ENJOYS and he should not be denied deductions because he likes his job.” Gosh I love that paragraph.
Yosef represented himself in the case. Good work Yosef!
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