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7 Business Write-Offs You May Not Know About

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

The world of business write-offs can be complicated, overwhelming and downright confusing. But doing your tax homework is worth it.

Any reasonable, ordinary and necessary expenses your business incurs to run smoothly may be fair game for write-offs. Those deductions can add up to a significant reduction in the amount of taxes you may have to shell out.

Here are seven business write-offs you may not know about:

  1. Small stuff (just keep your receipts). Business owners can capitalize on write-offs when they keep good records of business expenses -- even "small stuff" can add up. Be sure to keep records all expenses, such as dining expenses, business gifts, vehicle and mileage costs, charitable donations and travel.
  2. Startup expenses. You can write-off many expenses related to starting up your business. This includes costs related to office space, equipment, furniture, facilities, and a slew of other expenses needed to get your biz up and running.
  3. Software and subscriptions. Computer and off-the-shelf software expenses can be written off using the Section 179 election -- just like magazine subscriptions.
  4. Home office deduction. The IRS has specific rules about what constitutes a home office, but if you're not using the space for any other purpose, you may qualify for a home office deduction and also be able to write-off expenses related to maintaining the office.
  5. Cosmetics. Is looking good part of your job? If so, you may be able to write off clothing, cosmetics and even plastic surgery, according to Fox Business. If you work in the public eye and looking a certain way is absolutely necessary for your work, you may be able to deduct that facelift -- not that you need it.
  6. Special expenses. You can write off special work clothing/gear, business-related training sessions or seminars, membership fees for business and trade associations, insurance, and professional and trade services.
  7. Consultants. If you consulted with an attorney, accountant or other professional for your business, you may be eligible to deduct those fees. Sole proprietors can write off fees using Schedule A of IRS Form 1040 or Schedule C, or Schedule C-EZ depending on the type of professional engaged.

For more tax advice on business write-offs, you may want to speak with an experienced tax attorney in your area.

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