Donna Reade

QuickBooks Online Consulting & Bookkeeping

65 Items You May Be Able to Deduct from Your Taxes

tax-deductible-or-notLife is expensive, from business expenses to personal expenses to paying Uncle Sam on April 15. Wherever you go, it may seem like your wallet is open. One way to save money each year is to find legitimate tax write-offs that intersect both personal and business expenses.

As a business owner, everywhere I go, even when I’m at dinner with friends, I constantly am asked the question: “So, what can I write off my taxes?”

Surprisingly, there isn’t some master list included in the Internal Revenue Code or provided by the Internal Revenue Service. There is simply the tax principle set forth in Code Section 62 that states a valid write-off is any expense incurred in the production of income. Each deduction then has its own rules.

As a Business Owner you should be thinking above the line — that is, your Adjusted Gross Income line. Your AGI is the number in the bottom right-hand corner on the front page of your tax return. Any tax return. And what I mean by thinking above this line is constantly trying to think of any and all personal expenses that may have a business purpose. With a small-business venture in your life and on your tax return, you may be able to convert some personal expenses to business expenses, as long as you have the proper business purpose for that expense.

Seasoned business owners become proficient over the years at keeping good records and realizing when expenses have a legitimate business purpose. For some, this thought process becomes so ingrained that it becomes almost impossible to buy something without first considering a tax purpose for that item or service.

Consult this list of 65 possible tax deductions for business owners. It’s just a start and not every one of these items is always a legitimate deduction. For example, you may be able to deduct entertainment expenses, but only when entertaining a client, customer or employee, while also meeting particular IRS rules. Some deductions may only cover a percentage of your expenses, like the aforementioned dinner with clients (usually 50 percent) or the home-office deduction, which is based on the square footage of your office. When documenting, go beyond collecting receipts. For exmple, on parking and toll receipts, write your destination and business reason for the road trip.

You should track every business expense and comb over them with your CPA at the end of the year to ensure you only take legitimate deductions, both to minimize your risk of audit and to have the documentation in place in case the IRS ever comes knocking.
Possible Deductions for Taxes

Accounting fees
Advertising
Amortization
Auto expenses
Bad debts that you cannot collect
Banking fees
Board meetings
Building repairs and maintenance
Business association membership dues
Business travel
Charitable deductions made for a business purpose
Cleaning/janitorial services
Collection Expenses
Commissions to outside parties
Computers and tech supplies
Consulting fees
Continuing education for yourself to maintain licensing and improve skillsl
Conventions and trade shows
Costs of goods sold
Credit card convenience fees
Depreciation
Dining during business travel
Education and training for employees
Employee wages
Entertainment for clients
Equipment
Equipment repairs
Exhibits for publicity
Franchise fees
Freight or shipping costs
Furniture or fixtures
Gifts for customers
Health insurance
Home office
Interest
Internet hosting and services
Investment advice and fees
Legal fees
License fees
Losses due to theft
Management fees
Materials
Maintenance
Medical expenses (with plan)
Mortgage interest on business property
Moving
Office supplies and expenses
Outside services
Payroll taxes for employees, including Social Security, Medicare taxes and unemployment taxes
Parking and tolls
Postage
Publicity
Prizes for contests
Real estate-related expenses
Rent
Research and development
Retirement plans
Safe
Software and online services
Storage rental
Subcontractors
Taxes
Telephone
Utilities
Website design

5 Responses to 65 Items You May Be Able to Deduct from Your Taxes

  1. Clark says:

    Great information!

  2. Joseph Ezenwa says:

    Donna,i believe you adjusted gross income line is critical.Thanks for the articulated details given.

  3. Linda Nottingham says:

    Donna….it’s a great list, but you may want to add ‘travel’, although it is commonly included in the chart of account for ‘entertainment’ and also ‘out of area travel’ as additional items…although they are handled differently from a deduction standpoint. Also, remind your readers that premiums for Long Term Care insurance are fully deductible.

  4. Barb says:

    Good information. It sounds like this is for the US. France, Canada, England and other countries are different.
    I don’t do my own taxed but it seems like my CPA has also asked for my utilities for my home and also takes a % of that.
    Donations of some things can also be deducted. And moving expenses if you’re moving your business over a certain distance may also be deductible.

  5. Maureen says:

    Hi Donna
    I’m not sure whether you are UK or USA based? However in the UK, HMRC run superb webinars onevery aspects of business accounts, including deductible expenses. They also have a range of very short videos on line. Access these via YouGov site,