23 Tax Write-Offs for Self-Employed Attorneys

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Reviewed by
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We’ll keep this brief: Here at Keeper, we have an objection to people paying more taxes than they have to. But while you can’t get out of it completely, as an independent attorney you’re entitled to write off your business expenses.

From business conferences to office supplies, claiming these everyday purchases can help lower even the steepest tax bill. Justice may be blind, but the smart lawyer will see these savings as the sweet victory they are. We rest our case.

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Office supplies
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

Deduct anything you buy for your office, like pens, binders, folders, printer ink, or a whiteboard.

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Advertising
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 8

Print and online advertising costs for your business are considered write-offs.

🎁
Client gifts
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Gifts for clients costing up to $25 are deductible.

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Books & courses
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Keeping up with the latest trends and techniques with books and courses can be written off.

🏛️
Legal research databases
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

If you subscribe to Westlaw, Lexis+, or other databases for research, write off what you pay.

☂️
Liability insurance
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 15

Protecting yourself and your business with liability insurance? It's a write-off.

👥
Professional membership fees
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

If you belong to any professional organizations, you can write off the dues.

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If you drive for work ...

If you drive for work, like to meet with a client or attend a court hearing, preside over your taxes with confidence by remembering to write off car expenses.

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Parking
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Parking for a meeting downtown, or any other work trip, is tax-deductible!

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Tolls
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

A toll while driving to or from a work destination is tax-deductible!

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Car purchase & depreciation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 13

If you buy a new car, you can write off part of the cost every year for five years.

🧰
Vehicle tool kit
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Flashlights, tire iron, duct tape, and other tools you may need in your vehicle are deductible.

☂️
Car insurance & registration
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 15

Car insurance monthly fees, registration, even roadside assistance are partially deductible.

🔧
Car maintenance
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 9

Oil changes, repairs, and regular checkups are all tax-deductible if you drive for work.

If you discuss work at a restaurant ...

Your work doesn't stop when court's not in session. If you meet with fellow attorneys, judges, or clients to talk about work over a meal or a coffee, you can write off the cost.

🍔
Business meals
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24b

If you discuss work with a coworker, mentor, client, or prospective client, it's a write-off!

If you leave town for work ...

When you travel for work, like to meet with an out-of-town client or to attend an industry conference, travel expenses like transportation, accommodations, and meals all count as write-offs.

🛫
Transportation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

Planes, trains, and car rentals are all work-related travel costs that can be written off.

🏨
Travel lodging
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

When you travel for work, lodging expenses such as hotel rooms or Airbnb are write offs.

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Meals while traveling
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

When you're traveling for work, all meals are tax-deductible. Even takeout!

If you work from home ...

Many attorneys work from home these days, taking client meetings, conducting research for a case, doing industry research, or managing finances and paperwork.If you work from home, whether in an actual office or at a desk in your living room, you can write off home office expenses.

🛋️
Home office furniture
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

A desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.

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Property repairs
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 21

You can write off up to $2,500 for individual repairs to your property.

🔌
Power bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

Gotta keep the lights on in your home office! A portion of your electricity bill counts.

🌪️
Property insurance
Write it off using:

Form 8829

Whether it's rental or homeowners insurance, you can write off a portion through your home office deduction.

🚰
Water bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

It'd be hard to work in an office without running water, huh? You water bill counts.

🌐
Wi-Fi bill
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 25

Your Comcast bill is a tax write-off. You need internet to do your job!