• AZ Moyer

30 Common tax write offs for a small business owner

Updated: Apr 1

As a small business owner, simply trying to stay compliant is a job in itself. 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:


Home office

  • A space you use exclusively for business. See my blog on home office deduction for more information.

  • Maintenance and repair (strictly for the office space)

  • Utility costs. Phone bills, electricity

Business & Office supplies

  • Stationery

  • Furniture essential for your business (yes, your office chair is essential) (just keep it reasonable)

Office equipment

  • Communications equipment

  • Computers and related peripherals

Software & tech

  • CRM software

  • Inventory and accounting software

Business-related travel expenses

  • Airfare

  • Hotel expenses

Food & leisure

  • Dinner with clients or colleagues

  • Meals during travels

Learning

  • Training or education needed to grow your business

  • Books, webinars, training modules

  • Workshops, conventions, seminars

Marketing and Advertising costs

  • Print ads

  • Business cards

  • Radio ads

  • Online ads

Cost for professional services

  • Attorney fees

  • Accountant fees

Others

  • Gifts for clients ($25 max deduction 🙄 so much for that thoughtful gift!)

  • Banking/ payment processing fees

  • Shipping fees

  • Employees’ pay

  • Retirement plans

  • 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.

  • Interest

  • 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, etc. Taxes associated with your personal tax return are not deductible as business expenses.

  • Insurance


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 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 partly business and partly 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 take the total travel cost (airfare, hotel, and taxi), divide by the total number of days on the trip then multiply by the number of days spent strictly on your business.



If you still feel stuck, reach out and let us know! We’re here to help.


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