NOTE: Getting to write off your next day of sport shooting might sound great, but if your goal is to outright cheat the government then you should probably think twice. Getting audited or accused, let alone convicted, of tax fraud just isn’t worth it.
Most clay target shooters do not write off expenses. If they did, they would save more money and receive higher tax rebate checks. For some, the amount of the rebate could pay for the next year’s shooting expenses or close to it! First, you do not have to be “professional” to deduct trap shooting expenses. There is only one rule and test to qualify, “Do you intend to make a profit?” Whether you make a profit or not is irrelevant, it’s only the “intent” to make a profit. In other words, you are trap shooting with the intent to make a profit not just for fun. This does not mean you can’t have fun. You just have to prove that your activity is leading to the potential to make a profit. Many shooters meet this requirement! How?
If you are attending registered shoots you certainly do intend to make a profit! The handicap prizes is money and if you play the options too (you don’t have to, but should) you certainly “intend” to make a profit. So right there is two “intents.”
Your gun, shooting clothing, shells, practice and entrance fees, reloading components, fuel, motels, meals are all qualified as tax write off’s!
The IRS will not allow a full tax deduction for a “hobby.” Is trap shooting a hobby for you? That is a state of mind, and for shooters who do not attend registered shooting events and only practice at the local gun club as a social event then you are a hobby shooter. The key test is attending registered competition where prize money is awarded and if you do attend registered shoots it is time to begin thinking of tax deductions!
Is it complicated? No. It’s easy and it’s completely legal. You simply begin saving your receipts and enter the totals on tax form “C- Profit & Loss for Business” and you’ll have your deductions. Your family will appreciate trap shooting way better if income is being returned from your shooting even if you lose events!
Continue to part 2: How To Make Your Next Trap Shoot Tax Deductible: Hobby or Business