TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR FREELANCE CONSULTANTS
Whether you’re new to entrepreneurship or you’ve owned your own business for years, see what you can write off as a freelance coach or consultant.
Optimize your tax savings
Keep more of your hard-earned money
Owning your own business comes with plenty of perks. You define your own hours, can be selective when choosing clients, and have the benefit of knowing you’re getting out exactly what you’re putting in in effort.
But working for yourself can come with a learning curve, especially if you’re more accustomed to the 9-to-5 lifestyle.
As an employee, you probably received a yearly W-2 showing how much money you earned and how much was withheld in taxes. You didn’t have to think about things like Schedule C (AKA “Profit or Loss from Business as a Sole Proprietor”) or keeping track of business deductions. You might be feeling overwhelmed by the stress of trying to figure out your taxes all on your own.
Here at Tax Savvy Jessica we have more than 13 years of experience helping freelance coaches and consultants navigate the confusing world of taxes.
We want to encourage you to take a deep breath and relax. Taxes can feel overwhelming, but they don’t have to.
Below we list tax write-offs for freelance coaches and consultants so you can understand which expenses are deductible and which aren’t.
Get ready to optimize your tax savings and keep more of your hard-earned money!
Regardless of your specific gig, these expenses are generally deductible when they are used to carry out your trade or business.
Legal & Professional Services
For example, an MBA could be a business deduction since it would enhance the skills already obtained. On the other hand, a hair stylist who decides to become a certified Life Coach can’t write-off the cost of the certification course.
To qualify, you must meet IRS criteria for “exclusive use.” Here are some examples of the exclusive use requirement:
You use part of your home as your principal place of business on a regular basis.
You use part of your home to meet with clients and/or customers in the normal course of running your business.
You have a separate structure that’s not attached to your home that you regularly use in connection with your business.
You use part of your home to regularly store products and inventory for purposes of being sold.
Home Office Expenses
Cleaning Fees & Supplies
Taxes & Insurance
BONUS: Did you know you can claim the home office tax deduction regardless of what type of home you reside in? A traditional home, an apartment, and even a houseboat qualify!
If you’re self-employed and use your vehicle for business, you have 2 deduction choices: the standard mileage rate (the total number of business miles driven in a year) or the total actual expenses.
You should keep a mileage log and a list of vehicle-related expenses. At the end of the year, add up the totals and go with whichever is more financially beneficial.
If you choose the actual expenses method, use your mileage log to determine what percentage of use your car gets and what percentage is personal use. Use the percentage of work miles driven to determine how much you can deduct in each category below
Auto Lease Payments
Use a mileage log to track your business miles. Calculate your percentage of business use to determine how much of your monthly payment is tax deductible.
Auto Loan Interest
Use a mileage log to track your business miles. Calculate your percentage of business use to determine what percentage of your loan interest is tax deductible.
Your car insurance premium is tax deductible. Make sure you keep excellent records that demonstrate business use of your vehicle.
Repairs and Maintenance
Oil changes, repairs, tires, air filter replacement, and other general car maintenance tasks are tax deductible.
With the high cost of fuel causing financial stress for most people, you’ll be glad to know that the cost of your fuel is tax deductible.
Do you need to rent a car during a business trip? Rental cars are tax deductible when used specially for business travel.
BONUS: The average taxpayer loses 13 hours and overpays by $2,000 when DIY-ing their income tax return compared to taxpayers who seek professional help.
Are you dreaming of living the laptop lifestyle with a pina colada in hand and a sunny beach as the background to your Zoom calls? Find out what business-related travel expenses are deductible.
If your business travel requires you to be away from your home overnight your hotel costs are deductible.
Rideshare fees and rental car costs necessary during your business travel are deductible.
Food & Drinks
Unlike the 50% deduction limitation on meals when meeting with clients, food and drink consumed while traveling away from your home for business travel are 100% deductible. You may benefit from taking a deduction for the per diem rates for meals while away for business.
Networking & Education
Travel expenses for conventions, conferences, and seminars are deductible. Just make sure you can prove how they benefit your business.
There’s nothing worse than getting nickeled and dimed by an airline. Thankfully, those pesky checked bag fees are tax deductible.
You can deduct 100% of the cost of a plane ticket purchased to get you to your business trip destination.
BONUS: While tax deductible travel may sound like a great way to have your cake and eat it too, don’t book that month-long business trip in Europe just yet! Your deduction may be limited if you spend more than a week outside the US or spend less than 76% of your time on work-related activities. A vacation disguised as a business trip won’t pass the sniff test.
Advertising & Marketing
When it’s time to get the word out about your business, take advantage of these tax deductions to help bring in new clients.
Advertising & Marketing Expenses
Social media ads, Google search ads, PPC, and any other type of basic online advertising can be deducted.
Do you hire a copywriter to write sales content or a graphic designer for your logo and branding? These, and other creative services, are eligible for deduction.
Print Advertising Materials
Do you use paper business cards, brochures, flyers, or other printed material for advertising your business? As long as the material is “ordinary and necessary,” deducting is acceptable.
BONUS: Do you have a soft spot for supporting your local community? The cost of providing meals, entertainment, or recreational facilities to the public in order to advertise your business or simply to promote goodwill in the community is tax deductible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a tax deductible business expense?
Any expense that is both ordinary and necessary that is incurred in the process of running a business.
I’m a yoga teacher and need to buy lululemon yoga pants for my business. Can I deduct them?
No. Clothing deducted for business must be required for your employment and cannot be acceptable for daily wear. For example, nurse scrubs are deductible, but yoga pants aren’t. Why? Because athleisure wear is commonly worn in public for everyday activities. If nobody is going to give you “side eye” for your outfit in public, then it’s probably not tax deductible.
Stop stressing about your tax write-offs
Tax Savvy Jessica designs powerful tax strategies to help coaches and consultants stress less and save more.
Take our Fit + Pricing Quiz to find out which strategy we recommend for you!