Membership and Union Dues Tax Deduction

Being a successful entrepreneur often times requires that you participate in some "extracurricular" activities to help further your business goals. If you are a sole proprietor or business owner, professional or otherwise, and you incur costs throughout the year to be part of a trade group, professional organization, business league, public service organization, board, etc. these could all be considered deductible business expenses.


Baird is a CPA with 20 years of experience. He just left his stable job at a regional firm to start his own practice. One of the first things Baird did was join the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) so he could have access to the small firm networking group to meet with other sole practitioners and learn how they solve problems in their own practices. Dues for the AICPA are $425 per year. When Brian prepares his Schedule C he can deduct the full $425 on line 27.


Ross Rubin is an english teacher who moonlights as a freelance writer on nights and weekends. For the past five years since starting his business, Ross has deducted his annual $70 dues for his Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) membership. Since this organization provides him access to guides, community events and ideas it is a key component of his business operations and is fully deductible.


Ronda is a certified cleaner for Handy. Ronda joined the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) so she could access the "Hot Topic Tuesday" podcast each week to stay up to date on the most relevant issues in the cleaning industry. When Ronda prepares her Schedule C at the end of the year she will be able to deduct her $385 per year basic membership fee.


Homer House is a Dallas based real estate agent who is an avid carpenter in his spare time. Homer joined the Dallas Woodworkers meetup group to hone his skills and meet local professionals. Homer always makes a point to discuss real estate with other members / construction professionals while at Woodworkers events. Homer can deduct any fees he incurred attending these meetings as member dues on line 27 of his Schedule C.


Cynthia is an independent life insurance agent based in Arlington, Virginia who belongs to the International Association of Insurance Professionals. The Association keeps her updated on current events in the industry with monthly newsletters and helps her network with other insurance agents around the country. 2015 dues were $96 in addition to $30 of Northern Virginia chapter dues. Cynthia is able to deduct the entire $126 of professional dues from her annual self-employment income as a business expense.


  • Member dues are considered deductible business expenses if the membership you are purchasing directly relates to your business activities.
  • Memberships purchased for lobbying and political activities may not be deductible.
  • Special consideration should be given to confirm that expenses classified as membership dues should not be considered charitable contributions. Refer to our charitable contributions page for additional details.
  • If you pay to become a member of an organization for the purpose of bringing in new business, you may want to consider classifying your membership dues as an advertising expense on line 8 of your Schedule C.
  • If you are an employee and you pay dues to be part of a professional organization that furthers you ability to perform your job, if you itemize your deductions you may be eligible to deduct a portion of your membership fees on line 21 of Schedule A.

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