23 Tax Write-Offs for Freelance Lab Technicians

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Running tests, waiting for results, scrubbing down so. many. beakers. Life as a lab tech can feel like being stuck running on an endless wheel — an expensive endless wheel. But if you work as an independent contractor, there's good news. Every work-related purchase you make, from testing supplies to data analysis software and more, can actually save you money on your taxes.

Writing off those expenses at the end of the year lowers your taxable income, reducing how much you need to pay. It’s like raising the boiling point of your taxes, so your hard-earned money doesn’t turn to steam and float away!

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Lab coats & upkeep
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

The lab coat you wear at work — and any cleaning or alteration services for it — are deductible.

Protective gear
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Write off the protective gear, like goggles and gloves, you wear while performing electrical work.

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Analytics software
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

Write off any subscriptions or licensing fees you pay for analytics platforms.

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Testing supplies
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Any chemicals, tools, or equipment you use to run lab tests can be deducted.

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Lab tools & equipment
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Petri dishes, microscopes, and other equipment you use in the lab are deductible.

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Continued education
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Classes you take to enhance your skills after getting your license are tax write-offs.

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Certifications & licenses
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 23

Any required certifications or licensing fees can be deducted.

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If you drive for work ...

If you use a vehicle for things like picking up lab supplies or traveling between labs, you can deduct your car expenses. But remember, you can only write off the percentage of expenses related to your job.

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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 ...

Meal expenses can be deducted on your tax return if it's work-related. For example, if you talk shop with a fellow lab technician, researcher, or scientist over lunch, the cost is deductible.

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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 ...

Whether you get from point A to B on a business trip by rental car, train, bus, or plane, you can deduct travel expenses. That applies for any kind out-of-town conference or seminar you might attend.

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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 ...

Home office expenses, like internet and heat, can be written off if you work from home on things like industry research or studying up in your field.

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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!