Is a business expense also tax deduction for a writer?

February 26th, 2018 → 2:23 pm @


I have not been claiming any expenses on my tax return related to my writing. I need a new laptop. Is it a business deduction?


The IRS  explains what makes a business expense a tax deduction:

“To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary.

An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business.

A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business.

An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.” (my emphasis added)

So, yes a laptop is a necessary (meaning helpful and appropriate) and ordinary expense for a writer.

Buy yourself a new computer and get writing!

Caveat: It’s likely that your laptop will be used both for your writing business and for personal use. The IRS says,

“if you have an expense for something that is used partly for business and partly for personal purposes, divide the total cost between the business and personal parts. You can deduct the business part.”

Do your best at estimating what percentage of time the laptop will be used for business use, say 25%. Then deduct 25% of the laptop’s cost on your tax return.


Business Tips and Taxes for Writers Update 2018
Other helpful business tips can be found in my book, Business Tips and Taxes for Writers

It’s been updated to include the new changes to the tax laws!


Carol Topp, CPA

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.