Stop! Make Sure You DON'T Deduct These Items on Your Taxes
April 3, 2018

You can’t deduct everything. Nondeductible business-related items include:

Commuting costs from your home to your studio Note, though, that trips from your studio to other business locations (theaters, dancewear stores) are not commuting, so those costs are deductible.

Contributions of your time to a charitable organization Helping a local school with a holiday production is on you—you can’t deduct what you would have charged for your time but didn’t.

Fines and penalties, including parking fines.

Capital improvements If you own your studio and put on a new roof, you usually have to recover your cost through annual depreciation allowances. Merely adding a new coat of paint isn’t a capital improvement, though—so it’s deductible.

Pro Tip: Contributions to your own account in a retirement plan aren’t a business deduction, but you can take a personal deducation for them. (Don’t have a plan set up for 2017? You can set up and fund a Simplified Employee Pension, or SEP, up to the extended due date of your return, which effectively shelters your profits and helps you save for retirement.) —Barbara Weltman

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