Expense categories for self-employment and rentals

Common self-employment expense categories include:

  • Advertising, marketing, promotion
  • Auto mileage (the IRS standard rate accounts for gas, repairs, insurance, etc.)
  • Commissions and fees
  • Contract labor (you may need to issue 1099’s)
  • Equipment purchases (provide a list including the purchase date and price of anything over $500)
  • Business insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Interest paid to finance business purchases
  • Inventory purchases (items intended for resale, or materials for manufacture)
  • Professional fees (legal, accounting, etc.)
  • Office expenses (postage, office supplies, etc.)
  • Rent
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Supplies and small tools
  • Licenses and permits
  • Taxes (business taxes only, not your personal income taxes)
  • Meals (discussing business with clients, consultants, or potential customers; does not include buying yourself lunch or dinner on a long workday)
  • Meals while traveling out of town overnight
  • Travel (airfare, hotel, car rental, etc.)
  • Business portion of your cell phone and home internet bills

Common rental property expense categories include:

  • Auto mileage
  • Cleaning, yard care
  • Maintenance and repairs (minor)
  • Major repairs and renovations (provide a summarized list)
  • Insurance (homeowner’s, liability)
  • Mortgage interest
  • Professional fees (legal, accounting, etc)
  • Property management fees
  • Supplies
  • Property taxes
  • Utilities (so not include any amounts paid by tenants)
  • HOA fees
The information on this page is current only up to the original date of publication: February 13, 2019. For more information, please see the Terms of Use.