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

Tax Deductions For Home Based Graphic Designers

It’s that time of the year again. The holiday season is behind you and the calendar has reset once again. Your New Year’s resolutions are made, some of which you may have already broken. And you’ve gotten back to the grindstone running your graphic design business. It can only mean one thing. Tax season is almost upon you.

Running a home based graphic design business has many perks. You are your own boss. You make your own hours. You choose the clients you want to work with. You can work in your Pjs if you want to. But one of the often overlooked perks associated with running a home based graphic design business is all the tax deductions you can claim.

In this week’s episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast I talk about various tax deductions for home based graphic designers. There are many things that designers don’t realize are tax deductible. Such as house plants or your Netflix subscription (you did watch that design related documentary didn’t you?)

You can find tax deductions all around your home if you know where to look. Here are just a few of the ones I share with you in the podcast.

Home Office

Your home office or design studio as I like to call mine is filled with tax deductions. Everything from your desk and chair, the carpet, filing cabinets and even the artwork and knick knacks that decorate the space. And don’t forget to deduct any renovation or improvement costs you incur for your work space.

Home Expenses

Since you spend a good part of your day working from home it only makes sense that you can claim tax deductions for some of your home expenses. Include things like Mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance, phone service, cleaning service, and even your property tax, yes, you can claim a tax deduction on the tax you pay.

Office Supplies

Everything that fills up your graphic design studio and helps you work qualifies as tax deductions. Pens, pencils, paper, printer ink, white boards, recordable media such as blank DVDs are all deductible. If you can produce a receipt for it, you can claim it.

Office Equipment

Office equipment consists of the bigger, non consumable things such as computers, external storage devices, printers, cameras, scanners and the like.

Software Tools

As graphic designers we use a lot of different software tools. Some of them directly in our design work such as design or font management software and some in running our business like file transfer services. Don’t forget mobile apps that you use in your business, they are tax deductions as well.

Personal Growth

Keep receipts for every conference, webinar, class, course or whatever you attend in order to become a better designer or business person. Make sure you include travel and meal expenses incurred in your pursuit of knowledge. You can also claim tax deductions for any book, magazine, membership site, or any clubs or organizations you belong to.

Branding and Self Promotion

All your marketing material from your business cards to Facebook ads are tax deductions. So are any thank you gifts or prizes you give away in the course of business. And don’t forget your website, themes, plugins etc.

Production Costs

All costs incurred in the completion of a design project are tax deductions. Proofs, stock images, the fee paid to contractors or freelancers.

Auto Expenses

Beside the cost of purchasing or leasing a vehicle you can also claim tax deductions for roadside assistance, insurance, fuel, parking and so much more.

Household Supplies

It may sound crazy, but you can find tax deductions in many of your regular household supplies such as tissue paper, soap, vacuum bags. As long as you use them during working hours or as part of your office they can be deducted.


There are so many other things you can claim as tax deductions as well. Such as physical therapy, headache pills, eye drops and counselling fees.

You really need to sit down with your accountant or whoever prepares your tax return and discuss all the things you can do to get the most return on your taxes.

I would love your comments

Do you have any fancy tax deductions you use? Leave a comment below.

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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