Take a byte out of income taxes with your Apple or other computer. But beware, the Internal Revenue Service has its own program to run on personal computers.

The agency is strict on deductions for home computers.A registered nurse with a doctor's degree in pharmacy worked at a university where she applied for grants for the institution. This required substantial documentation, which made after-hours work necessary.

The IRS said even though the computer may benefit the university, because the school didn't require her to buy one she couldn't get a deduction.

THE MORAL: Buying an Apple today may not keep the taxman away.

- Another ruling request came from an insurance and securities salesman who did complex calculations. His employer wanted the sales force to use computers as analytical tools; the firm even wrote a software program for this purpose.

The IRS still refused the deduction, explaining the employer didn't penalize those employees who didn't buy one.

THE MORAL: There's nothing floppy about the way the IRS drives taxpayers away from computer deductions.