What Are the Different Types of Self-Employment Deductions?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
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Messing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not a smart option, but neither is not taking every deduction legally possible according to personal circumstance. Those who are self-employed know that being aware of, and recording, every legitimate deduction is important. It helps prevent problems and aggravation when it comes time to do taxes and it may help you fare better on your tax return. Office equipment, meals and classes are just some of the self-employment deductions some might not be claiming.

Office equipment, including laptops, fax machines, cameras, scanners, copiers and printers, are just some of the self-employment deductions to claim if they apply to the business. When purchasing any office equipment, it's best to keep all applicable receipts together instead of in the individual boxes of the equipment in order to decrease the chances of skipping over them when tax season arrives.

Although meals are partly deductible, they are still worth claiming. In order to include a meal on the list of self-employment deductions, business must be discussed during the meal. When claiming meals, save the receipt and on the back, make note of who it was with as well as what was discussed. This can help prevent any doubt that it was actually able to be claimed.


Classes are considered an education and business expense, but the key to claiming this among the list of self-employment deductions is that it must pertain to the current business. For example, a self-employed jewelry designer can claim a beaded earrings design class for tax purposes but can't claim a pottery class.

Books related to the current business are considered self-employment deductions. Individually purchased business-related magazines as well as magazine subscriptions can also be claimed. To ensure a deduction, save the receipts for individual purchases and, for a subscription, save and print the confirmation postcard or email publishers send.

Those who are self-employed typically don't have access to business cards unless they purchase them on their own. The process to create them is a tax deduction. For example, paying someone to design a logo for the business as well as paying to print them can be claimed for business purposes.

Save every single receipt for anything on your list of self-employment deductions. Should there be any doubt as to whether or not something is a deduction, either ask an accountant for confirmation or keep track of it anyway until tax time and turn in the information in case it's needed. It's better to take the chance than to skip over a deduction that could have been quite advantageous.


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