• Tamara Morgan

75 Items You May Be Able to Deduct from Your Taxes


Author, Attorney and CPA

Benjamin Franklin said it best when he coined the phrase, "A penny saved is a penny earned." 

Many business owners take years to understand that taxes are one of their biggest costs, and it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to make sure you aren’t missing something on your taxes.

Before setting forth my list of the top 75 deductions/strategies, allow me to make an important point: You are the captain of your own ship. You don’t have to be an accountant to manage your accountant. Make sure you have a regular conversation with your tax preparer and discuss these items.

Your accountant should be suggesting these to you … and they should be trying to find ways to write-off expenses -- not just telling you no and talking down to you. Use this list as a discussion point and make sure you have the right person helping you with your taxes.

Consider this list of 75 possible tax deductions for business owners. It's just a start and not every one of these items is always a viable deduction, but certainly worth a discussion.

75 possible tax deductions (plus two bonus deductions)

  1. Accounting fees

  2. Advertising

  3. Amortization

  4. Auto Expenses

  5. Banking fees

  6. Board Meetings

  7. Building repairs and maintenance

  8. Business Travel

  9. Business association membership dues

  10. Charitable deductions made for a business purpose

  11. Children on Payroll

  12. Cleaning/janitorial services

  13. Cameras

  14. Collection Expenses

  15. Commissions to affiliates

  16. Computers and tech supplies

  17. Consulting fees

  18. Continuing education for yourself to maintain licensing and improve skills

  19. Conventions and trade shows

  20. Costs of goods sold

  21. Credit card convenience fees

  22. Depreciation

  23. Dining and Office food

  24. Drones

  25. Education and training for employees

  26. Equipment

  27. Exhibits for publicity

  28. Franchise fees

  29. Freight or shipping costs

  30. Furniture or fixtures

  31. Gifts for customers ($25 deduction limit for each)

  32. Group insurance (if qualifying)

  33. Health insurance

  34. Equipment repairs

  35. Health Reimbursement Arrangement

  36. Health Savings Account

  37. Home office

  38. Interest

  39. Internet hosting and services

  40. Investment advice and fees

  41. Legal fees

  42. Leased Vehicle or equipment

  43. License fees

  44. Losses due to theft

  45. Materials

  46. Maintenance and janitorial

  47. Mortgage interest on business property

  48. Moving

  49. Newspapers and magazines

  50. Office supplies and expenses

  51. Outside services

  52. Payroll taxes for employees, including Social Security, Medicare taxes and unemployment taxes

  53. Parking and tolls

  54. Pass-Through 199A Deduction

  55. Pension plans

  56. Postage

  57. Prizes for contests

  58. Real estate-related expenses

  59. Rebates on sales

  60. Rent

  61. Research and development

  62. Rental Property

  63. Retirement plans

  64. Royalties

  65. Safe-deposit box

  66. Safe

  67. Spouse on Payroll

  68. Social media advertising

  69. Software and online services

  70. Storage rental

  71. Subcontractors

  72. Taxes (Personal and Real Property)

  73. Telephone

  74. Utilities

  75. Video equipment for business YouTube channel

  76. Website design

  77. Workers' compensation insurance

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, which states a valid write-off is any expense incurred in the production of income. Each deduction then has its own rules.

A good CPA should be teaching their clients to think above the line -- that is, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) 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.

In sum, try to track every single expense related to your business and comb over them with your CPA at the end of the year to ensure you only take legitimate deductions. Good record keeping and thoughtful consideration will minimize your risk of an audit if the IRS ever comes knocking.

Source: Entrepreneur

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