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LLC or Something to get cost savings in racing


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Has anybody set up their race team as an LLC?

 

My garage at my house is listed as a commercial property.  I figure if the race team was setup as a business, I may be able to get some tax savings.

 

I figure that my truck, trailer needs, building improvements, etc...  may cost less (through write-offs or whatever) if I set up the business.

 

Does anybody have any experience with this?

 

I am just starting into researching this.  Any comments are appreciated!

 

Rob R.

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*not a tax expert!

 

Just some food for thought:

I *think* you can write off hobby losses up to a certain amount of years (4 or 5 IIRC) google 'IRS hobby loss rule'. 

 

If you rent seat time, you should now be a business and thus you can have write-offs against the income and take a loss as well. An LLC is never a bad idea, but is still just a pass through entity so technically you dont need one.

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IRS hobby loss rule: Limits on Expenses. As a general rule, you can only deduct your hobby expenses up to the amount of your hobby income. If your expenses are more than your income, you have a loss from the activity. You can't deduct that loss from your other income.

 

So my understanding is (from this rule and taxes in general):

- If you use your money from your main job to fund your hobby, and your hobby loses money, then as far as taxes are concerned, it is as if you don't have a hobby at all.

- If your hobby (funded by yourself) ends up netting a profit, but you don't claim that profit on your taxes, then nothing changes.. nothing can be deducted.. it is as if you don't have a hobby at all

- If your hobby nets a profit and you claim that profit on your taxes, then you can deduct expenses up to the amount of your hobby profit to offset some of those profits from your taxable income.

 

I think the main incentive to use an LLC for racing, is for the case where a rental driver gets injured. This renter then sues you for medical expenses and if you have an LLC you will have something of a shield lessening the chance that they can sue you for the value of your house / other assets (but I really know almost nothing in this area). 

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3 minutes ago, enginerd said:

I think the main incentive to use an LLC for racing, is for the case where a rental driver gets injured. This renter then sues you for medical expenses and if you have an LLC you will have something of a shield lessening the chance that they can sue you for the value of your house / other assets (but I really know almost nothing in this area). 

1

 

I see comments like this with a lot of the things I do.  It's rarely the person who gets injured/killed that files suit, more likely it's the family/dependents.  You KNOW racing is dangerous, and YOU chose to do it.  More often than not people who put themselves into a situation where they are hurt take some personal responsibility for being in a situation they knew was dangerous.  Family, on the other hand, can look at every nut, bolt, harbor freight zip tie, etc. and in their eyes make what we all see as a tragic accident into someone's fault.  

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btw, it's not a hobby for me. I have been running the car club through my business for almost 20 years before selling message board. Companies pay me to advertise their businesses on my race cars. I claim that money as income. Drivers pay me to race my cars. I claim that as income. Any expenses for the race cars are expenses for the business. 

Basically, I sell a service to you guys. 

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Basically, no....

 

I have had friends thought that lied and say the gas they used to go on a fishing trip was for business expense and crap like that...  but as a person who holds a BS in Accounting and a MBA, and was offered a job at the IRS, I would advise you to just stop where you are...  because the guy the IRS sends to audit you won't care that you race cars and it is expensive...   

 

However, option 2 is to be like Bill Strong...  but who would want to do that?

Edited by Justin9
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Let me clarify something...  I am not trying to hide anything.  I am not trying to lie to the IRS.

 

I was under the impression that if I turned a profit once every couple of years, that I could have some tax benefits.

 

Would it be lying if I only did like 1 race that year with all pay drivers and turned a profit?  Don't know.

 

I think I will talk to a CPA.

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Rob R.

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So the reality is you need income to offset...  to a small extent you can take a loss in a business and use it to offset other income you make but this is much more difficult to do legitimately when it looks like a hobby.

 

I am a developer and do some consulting work on the side, my company that I do this work in however is in logistics rather than just "consulting"...   I can become a vendor for items I want to buy, write off items against R&D (this is the biggest one)..  buy tools and assets.. advertise (pay for paint jobs or wraps, ect)...   or maybe even give a consulting customer a discount for sponsoring my car..  it allows me to offset some of my consulting income into some racing benifit...  

 

But it would be a hard sell to tell an IRS auditor that your logicstics company needed to buy a wilwood brake caliper for your "company car" which happens to be a chump-car... lol  (unless of course you were selling custom brake cooling solutions or something like that, then its R&D :) )

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8 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Let me clarify something...  I am not trying to hide anything.  I am not trying to lie to the IRS.

 

I was under the impression that if I turned a profit once every couple of years, that I could have some tax benefits.

 

Would it be lying if I only did like 1 race that year with all pay drivers and turned a profit?  Don't know.

 

I think I will talk to a CPA.

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Rob R.

 

so yes, you have a business with income...  maybe racing, but maybe just a "speed shop"...   you can then reduce your tax liability in your speed shop based on stuff you buy...  IE you could legitimately buy a mechanic business, and tools, and take the loss of a shop and tools, but you are expected to then have income...

 

The real risk is that if you never show a profit, the IRS can decide it was always a hobby, and then come back after those deductions you took.

 

IE its entirely reasonable for someone with a speed shop to buy and amortize a tire machine...  its not a normal hobby item...  and its an asset with value...   so its a win win. 

Edited by Xph
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1 minute ago, Snorman said:

We incorporated and set our team up as an LLC. We have a business bank account and will be running it like a business since we rent seats. 

S. 

 

Yep and this too, which also then gives you the benefit of the LLC legal protections.

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Note it does take a bit extra every year to file your taxes with an LLC...  here in WI we have to file an annual report which also has a fee.  bank account fees are higher, and if your car is street legal, its a bit more work to buy insurance and such for a LLC owned car.

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34 minutes ago, Xph said:

 

Yep and this too, which also then gives you the benefit of the LLC legal protections.

Exactly correct. We also require all renters to execute a rental agreement for the car. It protects us and it spells out clearly the responsibilities of both parties. It also details our refund policy in the event that a renter does not get their stint. 

It might seem onerous, but every renter left on Saturday night (after getting their picture taken in the winner's circle :D) with a $500 refund check for their damage deposit in their pocket. 

S. 

 

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On Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 0:54 PM, wvumtnbkr said:

Has anybody set up their race team as an LLC?

 

My garage at my house is listed as a commercial property.  I figure if the race team was setup as a business, I may be able to get some tax savings.

 

I figure that my truck, trailer needs, building improvements, etc...  may cost less (through write-offs or whatever) if I set up the business.

 

Does anybody have any experience with this?

 

I am just starting into researching this.  Any comments are appreciated!

 

Rob R.

Is your property zoned commercial?

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My CPA told me long ago that unless you race as a business you cant claim a business.  Now, if you do business while at the track you could possibly write off some expenses.  

 

Speaking of which, I have some sweet rubber tiles for sale at a killer discount.

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On 9/28/2017 at 3:41 PM, Bill Strong said:

I run it as my business. I sell seat time. I price my seats so that the company makes money. 

I am a sole proprietorship. Just never understood the LLC / Corp stuff. 

So you pay the $8800 / year sole proprietorship fee to the IRS when you file your taxes on the business Bill?

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