Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Top 75 Tax Deductions and Strategies

Did you remember to claim the cost of your law office drone as a business deduction on your taxes this year?

How about the production expenses for your YouTube channel?

What’s that? You don’t have an office drone or a YouTube channel? No matter. The point is that you might be incurring some expenses that are valid business deductions – and that neither you nor your accountant are even aware of.

“Surprisingly, there isn’t some master list included in the Internal Revenue Code or provided by the Internal Revenue Service,” writes attorney, CPA and self-described “America’s Small Business Tax Lawyer” Mark J. Kohler in this article in Entrepreneur. “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.”

Work With Your Accountant

Kohler, who practices in Utah,  suggests lawyers who are solo and in small firms should be proactive – not reactive – in coming up with smart tax strategies.

“You are the captain of your own ship,” he says in the Entrepreneur piece. “You don’t have to be an accountant to manage your accountant. A good CPA should be teaching their clients to think above the line – that is, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) line.”

To Kohler, thinking “above the line” means considering the 75 items on his list of 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,” he writes. “Your accountant should be suggesting these to you … and they should be trying to find ways to write-off expense, 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.”

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

 

Another key point: Keep good records. “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,” says Kohler. “Good record keeping and thoughtful consideration will minimize your risk of an audit if the IRS ever comes knocking.”

About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

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