Is it a Business or a Hobby?
It is generally accepted that people prefer to make a living doing something they like. A hobby is an activity for which you do not expect to make a profit. If you do not carry on your business or investment activity to make a profit, there is a limit on the deductions you can take.
You must include on your return income from an activity from which you do not expect to make a profit. An example of this type of activity is a hobby or a farm you operate mostly for recreation and pleasure. You cannot use a loss from the activity to offset other income.
Activities you do as a hobby, or mainly for sport or recreation, come under this limit. So does an investment activity intended only to produce tax losses for the investors.
The limit on not-for-profit losses applies to individuals, partnerships, estates trusts, and S corporations. For additional information on these entities, refer to business structures. It does not apply to corporations other than S corporations.
In determining whether you are carrying on an activity for profit, all the facts are taken into account. No one factor alone is decisive. Among the factors to consider are whether:
For details about not-for-profit activities, refer to Publication 535, Business Expenses.