60 Work from Home Tax Deductions You Don’t Want to Miss

March 11, 2013 by Susan Gunelius
Work at Home/Telecommute

woman working from home with baby on laptop

It’s tax season, and that means it’s time to add up all of those business expenses you incurred during the year to ensure you receive all of the deductions you deserve. If you work from home, you’re entitled to a lot of tax deductions that you might not know about.

Before you submit your tax return this year, review the following list of 60 work from home tax deductions to ensure you haven’t missed any!

Supplies and Stationery Tax Deductions

A box of paperclips might not seem like much, but when you add up everything you spent on office supplies and stationery during the year, you’ll want to recoup some of that money by taking the tax deductions you’re entitled to. You can deduct office supplies such as the following on your federal income tax return:

  1. Letterhead
  2. Business cards
  3. Envelopes
  4. Invoices
  5. Paper
  6. Pens and pencils
  7. Paperclips
  8. Folders
  9. Binders
  10. Labels
  11. Notepads
  12. Staplers
  13. Three-hole punches
  14. Tape

Office and Computer Equipment Tax Deductions

Larger items that you purchase for your home office can also be deducted from your tax return. Depending on the cost and expected life of the item, these expenses might be handled uniquely, so a tax practitioner can help you ensure you claim them on your tax return correctly. These items include things like:

  1. Desks
  2. Chairs
  3. File cabinets
  4. Shelves
  5. Computers
  6. Computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, monitors, and so on
  7. Fax machine
  8. Modems and routers

Marketing and Advertising Tax Deductions

Any money that you spent on direct or indirect marketing and advertising throughout the year is considered a tax deductible expense. For example, include items like:

  1. Graphic and web design services
  2. Ad placement costs
  3. Marketing material printing costs
  4. Promotional giveaway items
  5. Marketing consulting services
  6. Trade show space
  7. Trade show booth and materials
  8. Photography and video services

Internet and Communications Tax Deductions

Don’t forget to deduct expenses related to your Internet access and activities that are required to do business as well as your telephone expenses, including:

  1. Landline telephone bills
  2. Mobile phone bills
  3. Phone lines
  4. Voice mail, call routing, and other phone-related expenses
  5. Web hosting
  6. Domain name registration
  7. Internet access
  8. Online tools and apps
  9. Software
  10. Web security services

Travel and Entertainment Tax Deductions

If you travel for business, you can deduct your mileage, meals, and other related expenses from your tax return. For example, you can deduct:

  1. Mileage
  2. Hotel fees
  3. Conference, seminar, and trade show fees
  4. Food and beverages
  5. Transportation for taxis, plane, train, and so on
  6. Entertainment for clients

Professional and Educational Tax Deductions

If you belong to any professional memberships or attend training classes during the year, they might be tax deductible. These expenses include things like:

  1. Training fees
  2. Reference materials
  3. Professional association dues
  4. Industry periodicals
  5. Industry-related website premium content

Other Tax Deductions

There are a variety of other business expenses that you might be able to deduct from your tax return if you work from home, including:

  1. Postage and shipping supplies
  2. Legal fees
  3. Accountant fees
  4. Home office space
  5. Storage space fees
  6. Electricity
  7. Water
  8. Natural gas
  9. Lights and light bulbs

Of course, this list is not all-inclusive. You should consult with a tax practitioner to ensure you’re following all of the rules, so you get the maximum refund you deserve or pay the minimum amount due.

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Information and opinions are presented solely for informational purposes, and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as a substitute for legal, accounting or tax advice.  You should consult an attorney or tax advisor for individual advice regarding your own situation. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics.

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