September 18, 2019

What Can You Expense as a Freelancer? The Foodie Edition 🌭


You’ve made food your business, and you spend more time at the grocery store and in the kitchen than most. Today, it’s our turn to feed you with some tax knowledge.

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They say “you first eat with your eyes.” Whether you’re posting trendy sandwich photos on Instagram, create recipes for food blogs or run a small catering business, you’ve made food your life and we thank you. Because we like food! So if you know how to pick the best produce, we know how to build tax tools for freelancers like you. So today, it’s our turn to feed you with knowledge and provide you information on what counts as a business expense in your line of work so you can save time and money on your taxes.


  • Appliances
  • Spatulas
  • Pots and pans
  • Blenders
  • you name it…. 

Everything and anything you buy to bake, cook or roast is a business expense.


Vegetables, Flour, Chocolate, Spices… These are the raw material of your business. Everything that goes into your food (the ones you prepare for business purposes, your family meals don’t count!) is considered a business expense in your line of work.

Computer Software and Hardware

  • Phone, computer, tablet, smartpad, digital pen, printer, mouse, keyboard…
  • Subscription to software (Adobe Creative, Microsoft…),
  • Subscription to services (Google, Vimeo…),
  • Cell phone bill and data usage,

Everything and anything you use when your screens are on.

Gear and Equipment

  • Camera
  • Lights
  • Tripods
  • Drones…

Everything and anything you use to take pictures or make videos of your finished pastries, whether it’s to put on a menu or a social media post!

Online Presence

  • Domain registration,
  • Social Ads,
  • Website hosting,
  • Themes and plugins,
  • Fonts and stock visuals…

Everything you spend to market yourself online is tax deductible.

Office Expense

  • Pens and Pencils,
  • Paper,
  • Envelopes,
  • Sketch pads,
  • Staplers…

If you still do things the old way, all your office supplies are still tax-deductible.

Cook from Home Expenses

If you use a part of your kitchen or your home exclusively for your business, you can deduct the percentage of that space on your rent and/or mortgage. Note that the IRS also offers a simplified option for this: $5 per square ft, capped at 300sq/ft

  • Desk, furniture and decor,
  • Portion of your utility bills (water, electricity, internet)
  • Portion of your property/renter’s insurance…

You run a kitchen from home, so some of your home expenses count as work expenses.

Client Meeting

If you meet clients face-to-face, 50% of the cost of the food and drinks on the table between you is tax-deductible.


No matter the vehicle you used to meet that client or go to that catering location, whatever you spent on that vehicle or to make that vehicle move is a work expense: train or plane tickets, gas, van or food truck purchase… If you use your own car, track your mileage and check how much you can deduct per mile for the current year.

Classes and Training

Did you take a class to learn how to make French macarons? Or any other new skills to be more efficient or expand your offerings? These expenses are tax-deductible.

Subscription and dues

  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Business bank & credit card fees
  • Agent/manager commissions
  • Magazine subscriptions,
  • Streaming service subscription …

Whatever you spend to keep your business in good standing and stay up to date with entertainment and food trends is part of your work expenses.

Health Insurance

Gotta be protected and in good health to do good food! Some of your health expenses (premiums and a portion of your out of pockets…) are tax deductible EXCEPT if you’re covered under a spouse or a relative’s plan.

Food Conferences and Festivals

If you participate in a business conference or walk the aisles at a food festival, the cost of your trips (conference pass, tickets, 50% of your meals, hotels) is deductible.

Business Trip

If you meet a client more than 100 miles away from your home, the trip counts as a business trip, therefore all the expenses engaged are tax-deductible: hotel nights, 50% of your meals, transportation…

This list isn’t exhaustive. For more details and information, please refer to this IRS article on business expenses.

Click here for the Beauty Artist edition.
Click here for the Musician edition.
Click here for the Social Influencer edition.
Click here for the Driver’s edition.
Click here for the Designer’s edition. 

Lili Banking

Written by


Banking Designed for Freelancers

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