Is there a general rule of thumb to follow for knowing what qualifies as a business expense that is deductible?

Asked over 2 years ago - Portland, OR

I am new to running a business. I know most business expenses are deductible. But is there a general rule of thumb to follow for knowing what is or isn't business expense deductible?


Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is more of a question for an accountant than a lawyer. The general rule is that all 'ordinary and necessary' business expenses are deductible. The IRS has published an article on this question, available online at

    If you have specific questions, you should ask your accountant.

    Nothing posted on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are... more
  2. Robert Adam Meyers

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In substance, I basically agree with Mr. Bodzin's answer. I'll just add that [1] if you aren't inclined to hire an accountant or a tax lawyer to parse over your specific expenses, you can buy business tax software that will walk you through the types of expenses that are deductible, and [2] while you're trying to figure out what's deductible and what probably isn't, be sure to save all of your receipts!

  3. John J Christianson

    Contributor Level 6


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As mentioned above, business expenses that are "ordinary and necessary" are generally deductible. A good discussion of this standard is available at:

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