DEFINITION of 'Personal-Service Activity'

Any business enterprise with the primary purpose of providing personal services. Personal-service activities encompass a wide range of professions, including law, medicine, engineering, design, finance, accounting and even performing arts. As the name implies, a personal-service activity focuses on directly providing a personalized service, such as legal advice or medical treatment, to an individual or group for compensation. Personal-service activities do not require the use of capital in order to generate material income.

BREAKING DOWN 'Personal-Service Activity'

The material participation test for personal-service activities determines whether or not a taxpayer is a material participant in a business. Taxpayers who meet test guidelines will most likely be able to deduct business losses.

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