Is your iPod a possible tax deduction?

June 1, 2005

If you have an iPod, perhaps you should consider whether it is a business expense.

We are all familiar with the Apple iPod - a magnificent little device that can hold as much 600 hours of music on its 60 gigabyte hard drive.

On demand When I am on the faculty of a multi-day meeting, or simply out of town for several weeks at a time, I may discover that I need a variety of files, clinical photos or previously used PowerPoint presentations. By carrying a copy of my laptop hard drive on the iPod, I can be confident of having the data I need - when I need it - even if my laptop is lost or damaged.

Sometimes at meetings I will photograph interesting posters and technical displays, and occasionally I am called upon to make photos and/or video clips of patients. These activities generate prodigious amounts of data that can quickly and easily be transferred directly to my iPod using a special adapter, freeing up space on the memory card in my computer and freeing me from the need to lug my laptop computer around all day.

Another use Another business use for my iPod (and probably for yours) is listening to the proceedings of various medical meetings. You may have noticed in recent years that talks given at many major meetings are made available on CDs - sometimes the same day.

The talks can be easily copied from these CDs onto the iPod. Unlike a CD player, the iPod will run for many hours on a single charge, and the iPod can easily be made to pause, rewind slightly, and repeat segments if you are trying to transcribe the pearls from an interesting talk.

Microphone attachments can be used to turn the iPod into a recording device, easily capable of capturing all of the talks at all of the meetings you attend in a year.

If you have an iPod, perhaps you should consider whether it is a business expense.

If you don't have an iPod, you now have an extra set of reasons you can use to justify the purchase!

Dr. Smith is a dermatologist in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He may be reached at ksmithderm@aol.com
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