COMMISSIONS & FEES

Books, Magazines, and Subscriptions

Many entrepreneurs purchase books or subscribe to magazines, newsletters or trade publications to stay informed on the latest industry trends, best practices, business opportunities and competition. Since these costs are related to your business, they can be deductible on your Schedule C or E.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Devon a freelance photographer with a small studio in downtown Portland. Devon subscribes to Popular Photography, National Geographic and Professional Photographer, which he reads and then places in the small sitting / waiting area of his studio. When Devon is ready to file his taxes, he would be allowed to deduct all of these magazine subscriptions line 22 of his Schedule C.

AUTHOR / SPEAKER

Caroline is a freelance writer who last year purchased a subscription to the New Yorker and three books on grammar and creative writing to help her refine her writing style. Since purchasing these publications served a business purpose, the full cost of the books and her magazine subscription would be deductible on her Schedule C.

DEVELOPER / ENGINEER

Jason is a sole proprietor web developer who subscribes to Bloomberg Businessweek to stay current on global business trends that are important to his business. When he purchased his Bloomberg subscription, it was part of a bundle that also included Men's Health and Cooking. Jason only would be allowed to deduct the cost of the package related to Businessweek, since Men's Health and Cooking do not serve a business purpose.

REAL ESTATE AGENT

Nikita is a real estate who subscribed to a newsletter containing the latest information on market conditions, mortgage rates and new listings in her area. In March Nikita paid $480 for a two year subscription to this newsletter. When she prepares her Schedule C, $200 would be deductible in tax year one ($480 / 24 months x 10 months), $240 in tax year two ($480 / 24 months x 12 months), and $40 in tax year three ($480 / 24 months x 2 months).

LANDLORD

Paula is a landlord who rents a long-term rental property. Last year Paula purchased a book, The Landlord's Legal Guide, to help her better understand her obligations as a landlord. Since Paula purchased this book to in support of her rental activities, its full cost will be deductible on line 15 of her Schedule E.

MORE INFORMATION ON FRANCHISE TAXES

  • You are only allowed to deduct the cost of books, magazines and subscriptions that are directly related to your trade or business (including publications purchased for the purpose of entertaining customers).
  • If you pre-pay for a subscription that spans more than one tax year, you should deduct the subscription's cost over all relevant tax years.

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