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What Can I Write Off As A Small Business Tax Deduction?

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Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for over three years and is a QuickBooks Certified User. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
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30 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    James Shaw

    Thank you for your article.
    I’m looking for an automatic MilageTracker and am interested in the trackers in Quicken Home & Business and QuickBooks.

    I’ve used Stride and like it because it allows you to use a “Start Driveing” button and a “Finished Driving” button. It tracks both milage, time worked and calculates the milage tax deduction with on going totals.

    Others chop up the data when you don’t move for 3 or 4 minutes and send an alert to you every time…. irritating.

    Does Quicken H&B and/or QuickBooks Self-Employed function like Stride AND sync it from their phone app GPS tracker to their financial software?

    Thank you

      Chelsea Krause

      Hi James,

      In theory, QuickBooks Self-Employed is supposed to have this function; however, the last time we reviewed QuickBooks Self-Employed there were a lot of user complaints about the mileage tracker not working in the correctly. Granted, there are some users who report positive experiences with the app, so it still might be worth a shot (especially if QuickBooks has updated the app to resolve the previous issues). As far as I know, mileage has to be entered manually into Quicken Home & Business.

      If QuickBooks has worked out their mileage tracking kinks, that is probably your best bet, but I’ll leave this open for any other readers who may have found a good solution to this.

      Best of luck,

      -Chelsea Krause

        Dave L

        Thanks for the info Chelsea ~ well written and informative.

        I have a question about using a property as an office. I am looking at purchasing a small condo (about 350 sf) and using this only as an office. I would be living in another condo, so the smaller space would only be used for working. Would the entire cost of this property be deductible?

          Chelsea Krause

          Hi Dave,

          Thanks for reaching out! So long as the space is used solely for business purposes, you should be able to write it off in the same way you would write off a business rental. With business rentals, generally the cost of rent and utilities are deductible. However, I would check with your accountant to be certain and to learn which records you’ll need to keep in order to prove that you qualify for this deduction.

          Best of luck,

          -Chelsea Krause

            Cathy Regala

            Very Informative post. What about Renting or Leasing a commercial office space, I’m sure the Rent/Lease can be deducted as well?

              Chelsea Krause

              Hi Cathy,

              So long as the space was used solely for your business you should be able to deduct that as well!

              Best wishes,

              -Chelsea Krause

                Russell F

                Hi Chelsea I just set up a home business selling collectibles on line. My question is can i deduct a sofa and love seat for my clients to sit in when they come to my home? It would be exclusively for business use within the home office square footage.

                  Chelsea Krause

                  Hi Russell,

                  Thanks for reaching out! You should be able to write off office furniture so long as it is used exclusively for your business and within your home office (as you mentioned). However, I would double check with your accountant to be 100% certain. Sometimes taking certain deductions (particularly the home office deduction) can trigger a red flag for the IRS and lead to an audit. This doesn’t mean you should take the deductions you are eligible for, but it does mean you should enlist the help of a professional CPA or enrolled agent to advise you on the best way to file your taxes and deduct expenses.

                  Good luck!

                  -Chelsea Krause

                    Myhub Intranet

                    Impressive post specially the points you mentioned about the strategies could help me in my business. Some of the points were familiar to me and some them is very new for me.
                    Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I’ll follow your blog posts from today onward.
                    Great Job!

                      Chelsea Krause

                      Glad you found the post helpful!

                      Best of luck this tax season,

                      -Chelsea Krause

                        Ronald Boss

                        Hi, I started a business TurboTax online let’s you claim office supplies such as TVs couches computer or laptop software for your business and you say you can’t and you can so why would you say you can’t but my first question is I’m building a app for my business can you write that off?

                          Chelsea Krause

                          Hi Ronald,

                          To clear up any confusion, you can deduct office supplies (such as ink, paper, and even office furniture) and you can deduct software needed to run your business. We mention both of these deductions in our post. In regard to the other question, I would need to know more about the app to give an answer. I recommend speaking directly with an accountant to get the best tax advice about your current situation. I know that TurboTax has in-house CPAs that can help you file, which might be a good way to go in your case since you’re already using TurboTax.

                          Best wishes,

                          -Chelsea Krause

                            Susan Laura

                            Nicely researched and then served to the audience. Not all bloggers do this. Thanx for delivering the genuine information.

                              Chelsea Krause

                              Hi Susan,

                              I’m so glad you found this post helpful!

                              Best of luck this tax season,

                              -Chelsea Krause

                                Jenny

                                Hi Chelsea!

                                Thank you for the informative content!

                                I would like to know if educational cost also includes purchasing courses in order to start a business including a course to learn drop shipping, print on demand, or affiliated marketing. What if we had a coach to help us get started? Are we able to include all of these courses and coaching cost under educational expenses? Is there a limit on what educational expense include?

                                Thank you for the clarifications!

                                Jenny

                                  Chelsea Krause

                                  Hi Jenny,

                                  Great question! Businesses can often qualify for educational deductions; however, this will vary significantly based on your business type and filing situation. Here is what the IRS has to say about business educations deductions. I highly recommend speaking with an accountant or tax professional to see if your particular business qualifies for this deduction.

                                  Best wishes,

                                  -Chelsea Krause

                                    Ellie Davis

                                    Thank you for these tips on the tax deductions. I’m needing help with my taxes. I’ll have to look into finding the best tax service in my area.

                                      Chelsea Krause

                                      You’re welcome, Ellie! I’m glad you found these deductions helpful and wish you the best of luck with your business taxes this year!

                                      Best wishes,

                                      -Chelsea Krause

                                        Dave Anderson

                                        That is cool that you can count your passport purchase as a business expense. It would be nice to travel somewhere for work. Then I could have a passport and deduct the taxes.

                                          Tonja Carpenter

                                          Thank you for this wonderful article! Can I deduct clothes? I have to wear business casual clothes when I meet with clients.

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                            Chelsea Krause

                                            Hi Tonja,

                                            The IRS doesn’t allow you to deduct clothes that you can wear outside of work as well, so you won’t be able to deduct business casual clothes. If you were self-employed and had to buy specific clothing that is related solely to your job (like a hard hat for construction), then that would be deductible. Here’s an article with more information about clothing deductions. I hope that helps!

                                            Best wishes,
                                            -Chelsea Krause

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                              margaret valentine

                                              Thank you for the info you post. Sometimes new businesses can not afford a tax service.

                                              Question: I started a new wheel chair van transport service. We are on the road all day. Can I deduct meals ( MacD./BurgerK/Deli) as a business expense?

                                                Chelsea Krause

                                                Hi there Tonja!

                                                Thanks for reaching out. The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts has eliminated entertainment deductions, and as meals and entertainment were often lumped together, there has been some confusion as to whether or not meals can still be deducted. According to the Journal of Accountancy, you can still deduct meals; however, I would consult a tax professional for the most current information and the best advice on how to prepare your deductions.

                                                Best wishes,

                                                -Chelsea Krause

                                                  Dave Anderson

                                                  That is really interesting that you can deduct tax fees from office supplies needed to run the business. If I were going to start a business then it would be nice to be able to deduct that from taxes. That is something to keep in mind if I ever start a business.

                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                    Nationwide Tax Consulting

                                                    Thank you Chelsea for writing this detailed post and i am really impressed from the way you explained things and make it easy to understand.

                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                      Chelsea Krause

                                                      Hi there!

                                                      I’m glad you found this post helpful! We’ll be updating this post soon to reflect this year’s tax deductions more accurately. We’re also excited to have some new tax content in the pipeline for the spring, so stay tuned for more articles like this!

                                                      Best wishes,

                                                      -Chelsea Krause

                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                        Mike

                                                        Think theres some inaccurate info here. Recent tax cut act removed entertainment deduction as an example.

                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                          Chelsea Krause

                                                          Hi Mike,

                                                          Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We haven’t updated this post since the recent tax changes but will be updating it in the next few weeks to ensure it’s 100% accurate before tax season. Stay tuned!

                                                          Best wishes,

                                                          -Chelsea Krause

                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                            crystal

                                                            Hi Chelsea – great article. I was wondering if Saas software such as NetSuite would qualify for the tax deduction?

                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                              Chelsea Krause

                                                              Hi Crystal,

                                                              Thanks for reaching out! NetSuite should qualify as a deduction. However, I’d talk to your accountant to figure out the best way to deduct this from your taxes. Your accountant will also know how much you can deduct and the best way to mark this on your tax forms. I hope this helps!

                                                              Best wishes,

                                                              -Chelsea Krause

                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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                                                              Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.