If you use certain types of property, called listed property, in your home, special rules apply. Listed property includes computers and related equipment and any property of a type generally used for entertainment, recreation, and amusement (including photographic, phonographic, and video recording equipment).
If your business use of listed property is 50% or less, you cannot take a section 179 deduction and you must depreciate the property using the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS) (straight line method). For more information on ADS, see Publication 946.
Listed property meets the more-than-50%-use test for any year if its qualified business use is more than 50% of its total use. You must allocate the use of any item of listed property used for more than one purpose during the year among its various uses. You cannot use the percentage of investment use as part of the percentage of qualified business use to meet the more-than-50%-use test. However, you do use the combined total of business and investment use to figure your depreciation deduction for the property.
Sarah does not qualify to claim a deduction for the business use of her home, but she uses her home computer 40% of the time for a business she operates out of her home. She also uses the computer 50% of the time to manage her investments. Sarah’s home computer is listed property because it is not used in a qualified office in her home. She does not use the computer more than 50% for business, so she cannot elect a section 179 deduction. She can use her combined business/investment use (90%) to figure her depreciation deduction using ADS.
If Sarah uses her computer 60% of the time for her business and 30% for managing her investments, her computer meets the more-than-50%-use test. She can elect a section 179 deduction. She can use her combined business/investment use (90%) to figure her depreciation deduction using the General Depreciation System (GDS).
The use is for your employer’s convenience.
The use is required as a condition of your employment.
The use of property as a condition of your employment means that it is necessary for you to properly perform your work. Whether the use of the property is required for this purpose depends on all the facts and circumstances. Your employer does not have to tell you specifically to use the property. Nor is a statement by your employer to that effect sufficient.
Figure any excess depreciation (include any section 179 deduction on the property in figuring excess depreciation) and add it to:
Your gross income, and
The adjusted basis of your property.
To meet the adequate records requirement, you must maintain an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheet, or similar record or other documentary evidence that is sufficient to establish business/investment use. For more information on what records to keep, see Publication 946.