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8 Tax Deductions Every Small Business Owner Should Know

As a small business owner, managing your finances is crucial to ensuring the success and growth of your venture. One of the most effective ways to optimize your financial strategy is by understanding and leveraging the various tax deductions available to you. By taking advantage of these deductions, you can significantly reduce your tax liabilities, increase your bottom line, and keep more of your hard-earned money. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the top tax deductions that every savvy business owner should be aware of.

1. Business use of your home

Running a business from home? You’re in luck. The home office deduction allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct a portion of their home-related expenses when part of their home is used exclusively for business purposes. This includes expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, and property taxes. To qualify, you must have a designated space used solely for business activities and meet specific IRS criteria. Qualified taxpayers can use the simplified method or regular method of calculating their home office expense deduction. Remember, accurate record-keeping is key to support your deduction claims.

2. Business use of your car

If you use your car solely for business purposes, you may deduct the entire cost of owning and operating it, although there are some limits to this deduction. However, if you use the car for both business and personal use, you can only deduct the expenses related to its business use. There are two main methods for calculating deductible car expenses: the standard mileage rate method and the actual expense method 

Under the standard mileage rate method, you can deduct qualified business miles using the rate provided by the IRS. Under the actual expense method, you’ll need to calculate the precise expenses associated with operating the car exclusively for business purposes. This generally includes costs such as fuel, oil, maintenance, tires, insurance, registration fees, licenses, and even depreciation directly linked to the portion of total mileage driven for business miles. Please note that what the IRS considers commuting miles is not tax deductible; only business miles are. Reach out to your advisor to make sure you’re classifying your miles correctly!

3. Supplies and equipment

Your taxable income could be reduced significantly by deducting expenses related to supplies and equipment. The cost of supplies, such as office supplies, cleaning materials and other consumables crucial for day-to-day operations, can be deducted as legitimate business expenses. Equipment purchases, such as computers, machinery and essential tools, however, must be deducted over time through depreciation unless they qualify to be deducted in full. To ensure you can substantiate these deductions, it’s essential to maintain precise records and keep track of receipts. By making the most of these deductions, you can effectively manage your business finances and optimize your tax liability, ultimately contributing to the financial health and long-term sustainability of your venture. Remember to consult with a tax professional or accountant for tailored advice based on your specific business circumstances.

4. Cost of goods sold

As a small business owner, you can benefit from deducting the cost of goods sold (COGS) as a tax deduction. COGS encompasses the direct expenses associated with producing or acquiring the products you sell, such as raw materials and inventory purchases. By deducting COGS, you have the opportunity to lower your taxable income and potentially reduce your tax liability. It’s important to maintain accurate records to potentially claim this deduction.

5. Business related meals

Despite the changes brought about by recent tax reforms, meals continue to hold value. Business-related meals, whether with clients or during business travel, may still be deductible. However, it’s essential to maintain proper documentation, such as receipts and records that establish its business purpose. Remember, meals must meet the criteria of a qualified expense for it to be considered deductible. It’s also worth noting that the regulations governing these deductions have become stricter, so it’s advisable to collaborate with your advisor to stay informed about the latest rules.

6. Employee-related expenses

Having employees involves various costs, many of which are deductible. This includes wages, bonuses, payroll taxes and benefits like health insurance. Ensuring proper worker classification (employee vs. contractor) is vital and the first step in avoiding scrutiny.

7. Travel expenses

Expenses for business travel can quickly accumulate, but many of these costs are deductible. This includes transportation, lodging, most meals and incidental expenses. Keeping records and receipts is essential to substantiate your claims and establish its business purpose as opposed to a family vacation with a bit of work sprinkled in.

8. Health insurance premiums for owners

For small businesses, covering the health insurance premiums of its owners and their families can be a significant expense. The IRS allows for different ways to deduct these premiums depending upon your business’s tax entity type. Meeting the eligibility criteria is essential to claim this deduction.


Navigating the realm of small business taxes can be complex, but the potential benefits are undeniable. By being aware of these top tax deductions, you’re better equipped to make informed financial decisions that can have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line. However, tax laws and regulations change, so staying up to date is crucial. Consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions while staying compliant with the latest rules. By strategically utilizing these deductions, you can pave the way for a more financially efficient and prosperous small business journey. 

Remember, the information provided here is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional tax advice. Contact your local Padgett advisor for personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation. Find your nearest Padgett advisor here!

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