The IRS isn’t known for cutting to the chase. If you’ve ever dug through looking for an answer to your question, you likely came away with much more information than you could ever want.


That is, unless you happened to be looking for a straightforward list of tax deductions for your small business. The IRS is uncharacteristically silent on this point.


In fact, tracking down the ultimate list of small business tax deductions is a grueling task that takes hours and hours of research. But lucky for you, we’ve gone ahead and put it together for you! We uncovered 92 potential small business tax deductions—and 11 that you shouldn’t even think about claiming.


Download your copy of the Entrepreneur’s tax pack for 3 time-saving business tax resources.


Each tax deduction has its own specific rules, so consult an expert before you get too excited. (If you’re an inDinero client, talk to your account manager!) And remember: Not every one of these will apply to you. For example, you may be tempted to deduct a home office, but won’t get very far if you also have an office at your place of business.


As always, document, document, document. A shoebox full of receipts doesn’t quite cut it. Always note the business reason for the expense, even if you just write it on the back of a receipt. (But if that gets cumbersome look for a good accounting solution, like ours, that can streamline the process for you.)


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 EducationExpenseTaxDeduction.png
  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 ParkingPlusTollsTaxDeductions.png
  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

Don’t even think about trying to claim these as a small business tax deduction

  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

by Melissa Hollis

Melissa Hollis is a content marketer and lover of all things West Coast. She enjoys waking up every day and getting the chance to rethink the obvious and enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs.