Tax Thursdays: Can I Expense That? Tech Edition

How do you decide what to deduct when it comes to technological business expenses?

Welcome back to our “Can I expense that” series for Tax Thursdays. Last time we discussed travel expenses, this time it’s all about…

Tech expenses – what can you deduct?

We no longer live in the days of “Mad Men” when business only happened from 9 to 5 at the office. Most people now use their phones, laptops and other electronic gear for both business and personal reasons. After all, it’s not really practical to have a separate business phone and computer at the office when the closest thing you’ve got to an office is your nearest Starbucks.

So how do you decide what to deduct?

For mobile phones, you can base the amount on the percentage of time that you use the phone for business. Phone bills are usually itemized so you can use that breakdown to figure out what percentage to use.

What about apps? Business-related apps are fully deductible. For computers and laptops, it depends. If you’ve only got one computer, you should use a percentage based on the amount of time it’s used for business. If you have a separate computer or laptop that is only for your business, that can be fully deductible.

If you are in the kind of business that requires you to have lots of different hardware, like web equipment, development or testing, the ones you don’t use personally are a business 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.