Tax Planning for Tradesman, Landscapers and Contractors

Unless you’re uber-organized (or have a terrific accountant on speed-dial), you’re probably dreading April 15th—particularly if you’re a 1099 contractor, business owner, or have been picking up side jobs in the last year.

While tax season is a headache, there is a bit of good news: there are a plethora of tax deductions for tradesmen that can help you save money. If you’re a plumber, electrician, landscaper, general contractor, or work in another skilled trade, check out this list of 25 tax deductions you may be eligible for. Depending on how many you qualify for, you may just end up walking away with a nice little refund check this year!

25 Tax Deductions For Tradesman, Landscapers and Contractors

General business deductions:

  • Salaries and wages paid to employees
  • Wages paid to independent contractors
  • Utilities for your office
  • Business phone (landline or mobile)
  • Internet fees
  • Cost of office space
  • Home office
  • Office supplies
  • Electronics and other office equipment
  • Depreciation of office equipment
  • Advertising costs
  • Training-related expenses
  • Business entertainment and meals
  • Business-related travel expenses
  • Mileage (2016 rate / 2017 rate)
  • Employee benefit programs
  • Legal fees

Trade-specific deductions:

  • Union dues
  • Dues paid to trade associations
  • Subscriptions to industry trade journals
  • Specialized equipment or tools that are replaceable within one year
  • The cost and upkeep of your uniform
  • Work-required safety equipment (i.e. steel-toed boots)
  • Rent paid on machinery rentals
  • Liability insurance

Unsure which of these deductions you qualify for? Given that everyone’s tax situation is unique, it’s always a good idea to consult a certified tax professional with questions or utilize tax preparation software, which can help steer you towards the correct deductions. If you’re self-employed, you may also wish to browse through the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center on the IRS website.

“I know I have those receipts saved somewhere…”

Are you one of the many people who have trouble keeping paperwork in order for an entire year? You’re not alone. These organizational tips will help make tax time easier and less stressful next year. Also, consider taking advantage of some of the many new apps that make it easier than ever to start tracking your expenses. These small business enterprise apps can truly change the way you run your business, keeping your expenses organized and helping you go paperless without added headaches.