Section 179 Taxes

Navigating the complex labyrinth of business tax deductions can be daunting. Delve into the specifics of claiming deductions on computers and cell phones and elevate your tax-saving game! Learn the nuances of claiming tax deductions for computers and cell phones in your business. Understand eligibility, limitations, and the potential benefits. DISCLAIMER: This is not tax advice. For Tax advice speak to an accountant.

Introduction: The Digital Realm of Business Tax Deductions

In the digital era, where computers and cell phones are indispensable to business operations, understanding their tax implications becomes crucial. While these devices can be hefty investments, the silver lining is their potential deductibility on your business taxes. But how exactly does one go about it? Let’s demystify this intricate subject.

The Criteria for Deduction

For any business expense to be deductible, the IRS typically mandates that it be both “ordinary” and “necessary.” Here’s how computers and cell phones fit into this context:

Ordinary Expenses

An expense is deemed ‘ordinary’ if it’s common and accepted in your trade or business. Given the ubiquity of technology in today’s work landscape, computers and cell phones comfortably tick this box.

Necessary Expenses

‘Necessary’ denotes expenses that are helpful and appropriate for your business. Devices like computers and cell phones, used to communicate, manage tasks, or store information, effortlessly qualify.

Specific Guidelines for Computers and Cell Phones

Listed Property Rule

Previously, computers were considered “listed property,” meaning stringent record-keeping was required to prove business use. However, post-2017 tax reforms, computers are no longer classified as such, making deductions simpler.

Cell Phones

Cell phones, once under the purview of the listed property rule, have also been exempted since 2010. Deductions can be claimed, provided the phone is used primarily for business.

Depreciation vs. Section 179 Deduction

Computers can be depreciated over a five-year period, but there’s an even more attractive option: the Section 179 Deduction. This allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment in the year it’s purchased.

Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code allows businesses to write-off the full purchase price of any qualifying piece of equipment or software in the year it was purchased or financed. For example, if a business financed $10,000 worth of equipment in 2023, they can deduct the entire $10,000 from their 2023 taxable income.

What qualifies for a 179 deduction?

Physical property such as furniture, equipment, and most computer software qualify for Section 179. Intangible assets like patents or copyrights do not.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I use my computer or cell phone for both personal and business purposes, can I still deduct it?

Yes, but only the business percentage of the use. For instance, if you use your computer 60% for business and 40% personally, you can only deduct 60% of the cost.

Can software purchases for my computer be deducted?

Absolutely! Software used in your business can either be depreciated over 36 months or fully deducted in the year of purchase under Section 179.

Do I need to keep receipts for these deductions?

It’s always advisable to retain receipts for all business expenses, including computers and cell phones, to substantiate claims in case of an IRS audit.

Are cell phone bills deductible?

If a cell phone is essential for your business, the monthly bills can also be deducted. However, as with the device itself, only the business-use portion is deductible.

Is there a limit to the Section 179 Deduction?

Yes, as of the last update, there’s an annual cap on the Section 179 Deduction, which includes all qualifying equipment purchases, not just computers.


Incorporating computers and cell phones into your business tax strategy can yield significant savings. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of the guidelines and always consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing deductions while staying compliant. With the right knowledge, these digital tools can be more than just operational assets; they can be valuable fiscal allies!

Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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