Advertising Costs Tax Deductions

The IRS allows you to deduct reasonable advertising expenses that are directly related to your business activities. The deduction for advertising expenses is broad and can include a number of expenses depending on what industry you work in.


Sue, a real estate agent, deducts as advertising expenses all of her sell side marketing expenses including staging, brochures, ad placements, photography costs and open houses.


Jill is an entrepreneur who marketed her business last year by attending networking meetups, purchasing google adwords, and sponsoring a local charity event. Jill will deduct all of these advertising expenses on line 8 of her Schedule C.


Chris is a professional service provider who deducts printing costs for business cards and informational brochures, website development fees, and his professional association dues as advertising expenses.


Anthony, a web developer, hires a high priced advertising agency based out of New York to help him design a presentation deck to wow potential investors when he goes out to raise money for his new mobile app. When Anthony prepares his Schedule C at the end of the year, he could likely classify these costs as an advertising deduction.


Monet is a freelance photographer who is trying to break into the highly competitive wedding market. Since Monet is just getting started, she decides it would be best to pay a referral fee to anyone who brings her wedding business. Not only could this strategy help her win new business, but she could also deduct the referral fees as an advertising expense.


  • The IRS does not allow you to deduct expenses related to lobbying or influencing legislation even if one could consider these activities to be related to advertising.
  • If you are advertising with a charitable organization talk with your accountant to determine if your contribution will be considered an advertising expense (fully deductible) or charitable contribution (limited).

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