Tax Thursdays: Should I Expense That? Marketing Edition

February 28, 2013


Welcome to our last post in the “Can I expense that” series for Tax Thursdays. Last time we discussed tech expenses, this time it’s all about…

Marketing, but what can you expense?

Almost anything can be a marketing expense. It’s the thought that counts. There are as many ways to draw attention to your product or service as there are creative people with ideas. People have given out everything from a bag of fake blood (for the vampire movie “Thirst”) to a replica pharmacy bottle of pills (for the TV show “House).

If you are using it to promote whatever you’re selling, it’s a marketing expense, whether it’s pens with your business name on them or hiring a skywriter to draw your logo in the air over Burning Man. Giving out free samples of products is traditional, and social media campaigns are a current necessity, but really, your imagination’s the limit. It’ll be hard to top Nintendo’s award-winning marketing for Super Mario 3D land, though. They turned part of Times Square into a giant interactive game, with pipes to slide down and trampolines to jump on to get coins just like Mario. That must have been quite a marketing expense.


about the author

This is a guest post for the FreshBooks blog. FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.