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92 Small Business Tax Deductions to Use Now (+11 You Should Never Try)

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So far in this Ecommerce Tax Handbook we’ve covered sales tax, Amazon FBA, and tax law deadlines. Now we’re on to the fun stuff: deductions.

Taxes are business as usual, but so are a lot of other things. Small business in the U.S. are fortunate to have plenty of possible deductions to save money where they can.

Note that in order to use any of these deductions, you will need to prove the fees and cost. This means you need to keep receipts – all of them, and in an organized fashion.

Also, always consult with a tax advisor on when to use these and if you can. We’ve linked to several sites documenting when each deductible may apply to you. Not all of them will –– and some of the rules for being able to use the deduction can get quite granular.

Always double check with a tax expert to make sure you are neither overpaying or underpaying.

92 Small Business Tax Deductions

  1. Accounting fees

  2. Advertising & marketing

  3. Amortization

  4. Bad debts that you cannot collect

  5. Banking fees

  6. Board meetings

  7. Building repairs and maintenance

  8. Business association membership dues

  9. Business travel (here’s what you need to know!)

  10. Cafeteria health-insurance plan (requires plan)

  11. Car expenses

  12. Charitable deductions made for a business purpose

  13. Charity or traveling to perform charitable services

  14. Cleaning/janitorial services

  15. Collection expenses

  16. Commissions to outside parties

  17. Computers and tech supplies

  18. Consulting fees

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

  20. Contractors

  21. Conventions and trade shows

  22. Credit card convenience fees

  23. Depreciation

  24. Discounts to customers

  25. Eating out while you’re traveling for business

  26. Education and training for your employees

  27. Employee wages

  28. Employee benefits

  29. Entertainment for customers and clients

  30. Equipment

  31. Equipment repairs

  32. Exhibits for publicity

  33. Family members’ wages

  34. Franchise fees

  35. Freelancers

  36. Freight or shipping costs

  37. Furniture or fixtures

  38. Gifts for customers or employees ($25 deduction limit for each)

  39. Group insurance (if qualifying)

  40. Guard dog

  41. Gym for employees, located onsite

  42. Health insurance

  43. Home office (see our handy article)

  44. Insurance premiums for credit, liability, malpractice, worker’s comp, and other insurance

  45. Interest

  46. Internet hosting and services

  47. Inventory

  48. Investment advice and fees

  49. Legal fees

  50. License fees

  51. Management fees

  52. Materials

  53. Maintenance

  54. Medical expenses (with plan)

  55. Mortgage interest on business property

  56. Moving

  57. Newspapers and magazines

  58. Office supplies and expenses

  59. Outside services

  60. Payroll processing

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

  62. Parking and tolls

  63. Penalties and fines paid for late performance or nonperformance of contracts

  64. Pension plans

  65. Permits and fees

  66. Postage

  67. Profit sharing

  68. Publicity

  69. Prizes for contests

  70. Real estate-related expenses

  71. Rebates on sales

  72. Rent

  73. Research and development (we literally wrote the guide on this one!)

  74. Retirement plans

  75. Royalties

  76. Safe-deposit box

  77. Safe

  78. Service fees

  79. Software and online services

  80. Startup expenses

  81. Stereo equipment for playing background music at work

  82. Storage rental

  83. Subcontractors

  84. Taxes (amazingly, taxes incurred in running your business are deductible)

  85. Telephone

  86. Theft and loss

  87. Tips. Just because you didn’t get a receipt doesn’t mean you can’t deduct the cost, but you should document it just the same.

  88. Uniforms for your employees

  89. Utilities

  90. Waste removal

  91. Website design

  92. Workers’ compensation insurance

11 Deductions to Avoid All Together

  1. A small business loan—but you can deduct whatever you purchase with the loan

  2. Business attire that you can wear outside of work (ie, non-uniforms)

  3. Contributing your time to charity

  4. Membership dues, even to a professional organization

  5. Federal income tax payments

  6. Your life and disability insurance premiums if you’re a sole prop., partnership, or S Corporation

  7. Lobbyists

  8. Penalties and fines you pay as the result of breaking the law

  9. Political contributions

  10. Professional accreditation fees

  11. Your own salary if you’re a sole proprietor

Questions, concerns or any other deductions we missed? Leave them in the comments below.

Melissa Hollis avatar

Melissa Hollis is the marketing content manager and educator at inDinero, an accounting and tax software+service for small to medium size businesses. She is a lover of all things entrepreneurial and enjoys waking up every day with the chance to enable the dreams of aspiring business owners through her writing.