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Activity Engaged in for Profit (Hobby Loss)

Posted by Mike C Posted on Dec 18 2012
 Taxpayer was a successful salesperson and also operated a sprint car racing activity (Sernett Motorsports). He began racing sprint cars in 1975, when he was 19, and raced for various racing groups for 15 years before purchasing his own equipment in 1992. During the years at issue, taxpayer owned multiple race cars and a full-sized semitrailer, and owned or leased a shop in Lakeville, Minnesota. From 2000 to 2010, he reported losses totaling $629,470 on Schedule C. Of the nine factors listed in Reg. 1.183-2(b) for determining whether taxpayer intended to earn a profit from the activity, the Tax Court found that four favored the IRS, two favored taxpayer, and three were neutral. Because Sernett Motorsports was a mature activity, the Tax Court placed particular emphasis on its history of significant, sustained losses and taxpayer's inability to reduce expenses or increase income in finding that taxpayer did not have an actual, honest profit objective in operating Sernett Motorsports for Section 183 deduction limitation purposes. John Sernett , TC Memo 2012-334 (Tax Ct.).