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January 7, 2020

What Can You Expense as a Freelancer?

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by fellow freelancers talking about tax deductions? Were you the one politely nodding your head while having no idea what they were saying? Then you should read this.

If you spend your days working to build your business, you probably want to relax when you’re done. You shouldn’t have to spend more time sitting at your desk to deal with expenses and receipts and spreadsheets. That’s why Lili Banking lets you manage your expenses in real-time and on the go. With a simple swipe, on a bench in the park or while waiting for the barista to brew your coffee, your expense is recorded, categorized and will be included in your auto-generated report at the end of the year.

But the question remains: what can you expense? This is always the #1 question we hear from freelancers. So here’s a list of business expenses you’re likely able to deduct comes tax time. Of course, each line of work is a little different. For more details and information, please refer to this IRS article regarding business expenses.

Software and Hardware

Computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, printer, mouse, keyboard…

Subscription to software (Microsoft, Adobe…),

Subscription to services (Google, Vimeo…),

Cell phone bill and data usage,

Everything and anything you use when you computer screen is on.

Office Expense

Pens and Pencils,

Papers,

Envelopes,

Sketch pads,

Staplers…

If you’re more old school, all your office supplies are still tax deductible.

Marketing Materials

Domain registration,

Website hosting,

Themes and plugins,

Fonts and stock visuals,

Flyers, posters, business cards,

Advertising fees,

You are what you show – all your marketing expenses are tax deductible.

Work from Home Expenses

If a part of your home is your main place of work and is used exclusively for that purpose (meaning the dining room table doesn’t count), you can deduct the percentage of that space on your rent and/or mortgage

Desk, furniture and decor,

Portion of your utility bills (water, electricity, internet)

Portion of your property / renter’s insurance…

You run an office at home, so some of your home expenses count as work expenses.

Client Meeting

If you meet clients face to face at a restaurant or coffee shop, the costs of the food and drinks in front of you are tax deductible.

Transportation

No matter the vehicle you used to go meet that client or get to that business location, whatever you spent to get on that vehicle or make that vehicle move is a work expense.

Classes and Training

Did you learn new skills to be more efficient or expand your offerings? These expenses are tax deductible.

Subscription and dues

A magazine subscription or a membership to a video streaming service, whatever you spend to stay up to date with design, entertainment or trends important to your line of work, are part of your work expenses.

Health Insurance

Gotta be in good health to do business! All your health expenses (premium, out of pockets, dental, vision…) are tax deductible EXCEPT if you’re covered under a spouse or a relative’s plan.

Conferences and Festivals

If you participate in a business conference or take a seat in sessions at a film festival, the cost of your trips (conference pass, meals, hotels) is expensable.

Business Trip

If you go 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…

Banking Designed for Freelancers

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