Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceTaxesUnited States · 6 months ago

Can charging batteries for work be tax deductible?

I just started working for a company where I set up traffic cameras for traffic data purposes; with that, I have to charge 18v batteries at home for every camera I set up, which is 15 cameras, that results in 15 batteries a day. And with this amount of batteries I have to charge every day, it's quite obvious my electricity bill is going to be EXPENSIVE!! I spoke to my boss about the electric bill coming out high, and he said we won't get reimbursed for the extra costs,which makes me worry. So with that being said, at the end of the year, as long as I collect my electric bills, would I be able to deduct them as work related expenses?

And would you happen to know of a way I could make my electric bill any cheaper by any chance? And is it dangerous to be plugging 15 batteries a day into my wall outlet every day? Since the charge takes around 13 hours to complete.

Thanks people!

Update:

I charge my batteries with an octopus like connectors that connect to a battery charger. I don't plug each battery to the wall individually lol. (thought I'd mention that)

Update 2:

For those asking why I don't charge them at work, well, it's not an ordinary job. My work is setting up cameras from site to site. I don't have an office I drive to every day, nor a boss that I report to. All my cameras are in my company van, and have all this work junk (batteries and more) at my home. That's why I charge the 15 batteries at home every day. Hopee it makes more sense.

And thanks to those providing great answers, Yahoo's not letting me reply to any of you, it's greyed out.

12 Answers

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  • 6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you are a direct employee of the company - meaning they give you a paycheck, deduct taxes, and plan to give you a W2 form, then this would not be deductible. The deduction for miscellaneous employee expenses was eliminated in 2018 with the tax cut & jobs act (AKA the Trump tax overhaul).

    But even before that change the deduction would probably have been worthless because you have to itemize and meet the 2% floor for miscellaneous deductions which very few people ever meet.

    Plus, you'd have a hard time proving exactly how much you are spending on electricity for those batteries. Its normal for electricity bills to fluctuate based on normal variables. You would have to prove that the batteries accounted for a certain amount of your usage, which I imagine would be nearly impossible to do.

    Frankly I wouldn't worry about it. The cost of the electricity is probably only a few bucks compared to what you're earning, so its no different than a mechanic who has to buy their own tools or a construction worker who buys their own reflective vest and hardhat.

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  • 6 months ago

    As an employee - not any more. Even before the changes, it was the amount in excess of 2% of your AGI and reported on Scedule A Itemized Deductions IF you qualified to itemize.

    As an "independent contractor" (you file a Schedule C Self Employed Income), it would be IF you can document the Actual Cost. You would need to have either a separate electrical service or some way of measuring the electricity usage of the chargers.

    Otherwise, it would be disallowed if audited.

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  • 6 months ago

    As an employee, you cannot deduct anything business-wise on your taxes, because you do not own the business. In situations such as this, employers know very well that they expect you to charge the batteries at home and your pay would reflect that. Now is not an appropriate time to take that into consideration. You should have done that BEFORE you accepted the job. Regardless, he is paying you accordingly. If you are not happy with what you are being paid for the work you do, including having to charge the batteries at home, then quit.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Employment law experience.
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  • Judy
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You're an employee of the company? Sorry, but no, not deductible.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    No. Why not just charge them at work?

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  • 6 months ago

    Employee business expenses are no longer deductible. If you were not an employee getting a W2 but a private contractor receiving a 1099, you could deduct the cost of batteries as you buy them, and on the recharging end, if you claim a deduction for business use of your home - in which you state the percentage of your home that is used for business - you can take a deduction for the same percentage of your utility bills.

    What I don't get is why you can't plug the batteries into your employer's electricity at the end of your workday and when you report to work the next day, you're all set. You shouldn't be paying for this yourself.

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  • 6 months ago

    Read the label on the charger and see how much current (how many amps) it uses. This will be a number followed by the letter A, which stands for amps. If the total current is less than 15 amps and you don't have anything else on the same circuit, then it should be safe. If the total current is over 15 amps, then you should put the chargers into different outlets, so that there is less than 15 amps on each one. If the total current is over 20 amps, then you should put them in outlets that are on separate circuits, so that there is less than 15 amps on each outlet and less than 20 amps on each circuit.

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  • Shay
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    For your tax question, there is no deduction available based on your description.

    For your battery question - is it safe to plug in 15 batteries - that really depends on your home and how you are plugging them in. If your home is up to date on wiring and fuse box, then it isn't a problem unless you are plugging 15 batteries into a variety of extension cords on the same outlet. Spreading the 15 throughout a few rooms and several outlets shouldn't be a problem.

    Your best choice to cut costs is to save energy. Some things are obvious, but people don't think about doing them. Things like turning out lights in rooms you aren't in and turning off things you are not currently using. Also, did you know that many appliances and devices use small amounts of electricity even turned off if they are still plugged in. Unplugging things that you don't use often or putting them on the right type of power stripe can reduce that trickled use of electricity.

    Here are two articles with a lot of tips (some easier to do than others). Do which ever ones you can to try to help balance your bill.

    https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/41-super-ea...

    https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/how-to-sav...

    BTW - I have a friend at work that decided she needed to cut costs. She lowered the wattage of all light bulbs. Made sure to turn off lights every time she left a room or didn't need the light. She unplugged anything she wasn't using and just plugs things in only when she uses them. She even unplugged her television and only plugs it in when she wants it. She changed her thermostat settings by a couple degrees and makes sure to do her laundry later in the evening. She checked the windows and door for air leaks and put new weather striping where needed. After she was all done with the changes, her electric bill went so low that the electric company called her and said they were going to come out and make sure her meter was functioning correctly.

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  • audrey
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I would be looking for another job. There's something not right about you having to do that at home and not get reimbursed for it. Time to move on.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Even if it were tax deductible how would you prove how much of your electric bill is for charging those batteries. Nice try.

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