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Can I Deduct This? – Tax Tip Tuesday Is On The Way

This one question always comes up when I meet with new business owners to teach them how to set up their enterprise. “Can you give me a list of things that can be written off for the business?” is the question.

The tax code permits businesses to deduct operating expenses from gross income. The remaining amount is the net business profit.

This sum is subject to taxation. Thus, it stands to reason that every business owner wants to deduct as many expenses as they can to pay the least amount of tax.

They are unfortunate because there is no set list of deductible business expenses. According to the IRS, you can write off expenses for your business that are routine and essential to running it. This, therefore, leaves a very wide range of potential deductions available.

Advertising, insurance, supplies, and perhaps a computer are just a few of the typical costs associated with running a business.

These are the typical costs that most people face when operating a business. They are all, of course, deductible.

Improbable Inferences

However, since the IRS is not directing your business operations, you may decide to use some unusual practices that fall outside of the conventional list.

For instance, I’ve had inquiries from several business clients about the costs associated with security in their operations.

Can the price of a handgun, a gun training course, and ammunition be written off? If your company requires security, then all of these costs are acceptable business expenses.

Of course, security also includes all of those extra items, such as security cameras, alarm system software, and other hardware requirements. These costs are all acceptable.


I occasionally get asked if their guard dog can be included when discussing costs associated with security. The question of whether the dog is actually a guard dog or just a family pet who hangs out at the store will frequently be raised in this context.

Hence, a guard dog might actually be considered a deductible expense depending on your line of work.

The Scavenging Dog

The guard dog for the junkyard is an expense that we have all heard of. Cats are an ongoing cost for farmers. That is rodent exclusion.

As a result, because it makes sense for that kind of business, expenses like food and flea treatment would be deductible.

In general, an expense qualifies as a business deduction if you can demonstrate that it is a reasonable expense used in your business.

Recognize that there may be items that are frequently used for both personal and professional purposes.

In this situation, you can take a portion of those items rather than the full amount. The most frequent illustration of this is when using a vehicle.

In this case, the deductible amount can be calculated by either using the standard mileage rate or the actual costs associated with the vehicle.

Another illustration would be if you own a fancy camera that you use for both business and personal purposes, such as for family gatherings. Once more, you would deduct a portion of the camera’s price as an expense for your business.

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The IRS does have a few things that are NOT deductible, even though there is no hard and fast rule about what every business can claim as a legitimate, deductible expense. They comprise:

Fee for Membership even if your membership is for business, there are fees. As a result, you cannot deduct your country club membership.

Currently, the cost of taking your client golfing (an entertainment expense) is also not deductible. But this is a workaround!

In The Future

Every business has different rules regarding what you can and cannot deduct. Always consult a professional when in doubt.

Because of this, we focus on small businesses. We want to provide every small business owner with more prosperous solutions and a less taxing life.

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