31 Tax Write-Offs for Self-Employed Dentists

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Does the thought of paying your taxes as a small business owner leave a cavity in your heart?

We get it, the bills can seem huge — almost like the IRS is trying to drill all your profits out of you. Luckily, there’s an easy way to fill in that fresh hole in your pocket: simply cement your savings in place by making sure you claim all the business expenses you’re entitled to as write-offs.

From mouthwash to scrubs to business conferences, every ordinary industry expense can actually save you at tax time! If that doesn’t make you smile, we don’t know what will.

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Dental equipment
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 13 (Fixed asset)

Dental equipment like X-ray machines and drills can be deducted.

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Equipment depreciation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 13

Each year you can deduct the depreciation on equipment like your cameras and lenses.

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Uniforms
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Any uniforms you're required to wear on the job are considered tax-deductible.

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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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Office space
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 20b

If you rent an office to see patients, you can write this off.

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Seminars & workshops
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Coaching, seminars, or workshops used to maintain your work-related skills can be written off.

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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.

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Website & hosting fees
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 8

Squarespace, Wix, GoDaddy, and other website service fees are fully tax-deductible.

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Dental license renewal
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

You need your license to keep practicing. So paying for renewals is a deductible expense!

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Dental journal subscriptions
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

If you pay for JADA, the Journal of Dentistry, or subfield-specific journals in periodontics, orthodontics, maxillofacial surgery, and more, write them off!

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Dental staff
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 26

Pay for the salaries of dental hygienists, receptionists, and other staff? That's a write-off.

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Employee benefits
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 14

If you have employees, you'll spend money to take care of them with health insurance and other benefits. Write off what you pay for these programs.

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Contract labor
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 11

Write off the fees you pay to contract labor to help you complete projects.

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Patient freebies
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Do you send your patients home with a free toothbrush and some floss? Not only do these goodies encourage good habits, they're also a write-off for you.

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Waiting room entertainment
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Do you entertain patients in your waiting room with magazines or a playlist? Write off what you pay for subscriptions to People, The New Yorker, and any music streaming services.

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If you drive for work ...

If you use your car for work, like to pick up office supplies, you can write off a portion of your vehicle expenses.

The portion you can write off is equivalent to the percentage you use your car for work. For instance, if you use your car 90% of the time for personal reasons, you can only write off 10% of your 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.

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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.

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Car insurance & registration
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 15

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

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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 ...

The IRS gets it: not all business happens at the office. You might meet with fellow dentists and orthodontists to discuss a new tool that's just hit the market, or comparing marketing marketing strategies. You might also take your dental hygienists, office managers, and other staff out for a team-building lunch.

These are considered a business meal and can be written off.

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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 ...

Approach tax time armed to the teeth with write-offs you can claim on your Schedule C. For a dentist, this might include travel expenses, like the cost of transportation to an industry conference.

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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.

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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 ...

If you're searching through your expenses with a fine-tooth comb to find eligible write-offs, don't forget to include your home office expenses.

Claim these f you work from home on things like client development, industry research, and office admin.

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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.

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Power bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

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

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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.

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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.

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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!