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Any MARS members?

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by Moleculo, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I heard some guys talking on the radio the other night about MARS, and one of the things they said was that you are able to use your radio gear purchases as a tax deduction if are an active MARS Op. Does anyone know if that's accurate and what you are claiming? Is it a unreimbursed business expense, a charity contribution, or ??? I was actually considering joining one of the MARS programs and of course this info makes it even more appealing.

    I'd be also be interested in hearing any comments from MARS Ops and their experience in the program.


  2. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

    Apr 8, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I'm a 'former' one. I enjoyed it. Which 'MARS' to get into is a sort of "whatever suits you" thingy, they are not all alike, different requirements, etc. I was in the Navy/Marine Corps MARS. They require you to take tests, know what you are supposed to be doing, and do offer a few 'perks'.
    No idea about the tax right-off thingy. If it was available I'd probably have used it, if it wasn't all that much trouble. Certainly not something I'd worry about since you can do the same thing by making it a 'charitable' thingy. And considering how busy you ~can~ get doing the work, not something I even thought about. Oh well.
    I'm sure things have changed since I was active, so take all of the above with a grain of salt. Talk to the various MARS organizations, see what they are like and require of members. Then decide. It ~IS~ an experience!
    - 'Doc
  3. Hamin' X

    Hamin' X Active Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Likes Received:
    As a member of U.S. Army MARS, I checked into this in the past.

    From the IRS:

    - Equipment operating expenses directly attributable to volunteer use; for example, cost of flying an airplane in the service of the Civil Air Patrol or operating radio equipment as a volunteer for the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS).

    So, you can deduct the power expense incurred, but not the radio equipment. If you wanted to get really creative, you could deduct the depreciation of the radio equipment, but only for the portion of time that you were using the equipment for MARS, or other volunteer duty.

    I gave up the tax angle as a bad deal and not worth the trouble.

  4. Xy3lon4

    Xy3lon4 Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Talked on MARS a few times to my mom from Germany. Had to be on a waiting list and stay by the company floor phone till they rang me. It was free though and I got to talk to my mommy.
  5. 74IN

    74IN Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    Likes Received:
    MARS Attacks was cool. :frky

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