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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

Do you claim all the business expenses you’re entitled?

Are you aware of all the things you can claim as business expenses when running a home-based design business?

You’ve heard the saying, “You need to spend money to make money”? People quoting that often neglect to inform you that some of the money you spend running your design business, can be recuperated as business expenses.

If you are running your own design business, you really should enlist the help of a professional when it comes to filing your taxes. If not, you could be losing out on entitled money. The cost of hiring an accountant or bookkeeper is a wise investment when it comes to doing business.

With that said, I am not an accountant or bookkeeper. I’m going to share some often overlooked expenditures that may qualify as business expenses for you. Please verify with whoever prepares your business taxes if you are allowed to claim any of the following. 


In the course of running your design business, you may need to hire external help. The money you pay these people may qualify as business expenses.

  • Virtual Assistants
  • Business Coaches
  • Contractors (illustrators, programmers, developers, designers, etc.)
  • Massage Therapists / Physio Therapists (after those long days sitting in your chair)
  • Counselling
  • Accountant / Bookkeeper


As a designer, there are plenty of reoccurring expenses when it comes to your design business. You can claim many of them on your taxes.

  • Design Software
  • WordPress Plugins
  • Software Addons
  • Membership / Club fees
  • Magazine subscriptions

Business Expenses

You can claim the costs involved with running and promoting your design business as business expenses.

  •  Advertising fees
  • Delivery and Shipping Costs
  • Legal, accounting and professional fees
  • Tax prep
  • Bank fees
  • Processing fees

Travel Expenses

You can claim business-related travel expenses, whether it’s to a conference or to see a client, on your taxes as business expenses

  • Conferences costs (travel, hotel, ticket fees, meals)
  • Networking event fees
  • Travel Expenses (fuel, parking, rental, car wash, maintenance)
  • Vehicle expenses, including interest on loan or lease payments.

Home Office Expenses

  • Office Decorations
  • Work Clothes (must be branded to your business)
  • Cleaning (house, yard)
  • Office Supplies

Personal Expenses

  • Computer Glasses
  • Cellular phone
  • Computer Tablet
  • Smart Watch
  • Training / Courses
  • Child Care

These are only a few of the hundreds of things that may qualify as business expenses.

In some cases, you won’t be able to claim some of these items. It all depends on your situation, your business, and where you live. Check with your accountant. They’ll know what you can and cannot claim.

I go into more detail on each item on the podcast. Be sure to listen to the episode for the full story.

What unusual item have you claimed as a business expense?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Tip of the week Entrepreneur Mindset

I heard someone quote Tony Robbins on a podcast recently. To paraphrase the quote, “Being an entrepreneur is 80% mindset and 20% mechanics.” I couldn’t agree more. Without the confidence and proper mindset, you will not succeed. And when you do have the appropriate confidence and mindset, the actual running part of your business should come easily.

As Henry Ford put it, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.” So when it comes to running your design business, make sure you have a “CAN” attitude. It will make things so much easier.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

My Voice-Over Guy.

Resourceful Designer podcast intros are performed by the amazing Wayne Henderson of MediaVoiceOvers.com. Wayne is available to help you with any voice-over work you require.