30 Common tax write offs for a small business owner
Updated: Jan 17
To help you better understand common business expenses and how you can maximize your tax savings, here are 30 tax write offs you may have not known about:
A space you use exclusively for business. Read my blog on the home office deduction to find out what qualifies and how to calculate the deduction .
Maintenance and repair (strictly for the office space)
Utility costs such as phone bills, electricity, and internet
Business & Office supplies
Furniture essential for your business (yes, your office chair is essential...just keep it reasonable)
Computers, printers, and other related peripherals
Software & tech
Inventory and accounting software
Email marketing software
Business-related travel expenses
Food & leisure
Dinner with clients or colleagues
Meals during business travels
Training or education needed to grow your business
Books, webinars, training modules
Workshops, conventions, seminars
Marketing and Advertising costs
Online, print, or radio ads
Cost for professional services
Gifts for clients ($25 max deduction 🙄 so much for a gift in 2022!)
Banking/payment processing fees
Rent expense - for property you use in your trade or business. If you own the property, have or will receive equity in or title to the property, the rent is not deductible.
Taxes - You can deduct various federal, state, local, and foreign taxes directly attributable to your trade or business as business expenses. These can be sales tax, business income tax, franchise tax, etc. Taxes associated with your personal tax return are not deductible as business expenses.
My rule of thumb is if you believe the expense is an ordinary part of your business, add it to your accounting software (I suggest Quickbooks), or your accounting records, and have your accountant review it to see if it qualifies.
The IRS defines a business expense as the cost of carrying on a trade or business. “To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary.” Ordinary means that the expense is common and accepted in your trade or business. Necessary means it is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business.
Personal versus business expenses?
Generally, you cannot deduct an expense that was for your personal, living or family use. However, if you have an expense that is part business and part personal, you can deduct the business portion of that expense. A common example of this would be travel. Let’s say you travel to San Francisco for a conference, but you go 2 days early to visit a family member or friend. You will divide the number of business days by the total number of days on the trip. You will use that percentage to multiply against the total travel cost (airfare, hotel, and taxi) to figure out how much you can expense through your business.
If this is the year you hire an accountant to help organize all of this, drop us a line!