26 Tax Write-Offs for Independent Tattoo Artists

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You likely decided to become a freelance tattoo artist because you're creative and enjoy working with people. It probably wasn't because the idea of filing self-employment taxes fills you with joy.

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The good news is, freelancers and business owners like you can write off business expenses necessary for their business. These can include anything from the cost of tattoo supplies to an art magazine subscription that inspires your designs.

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So if you get expense-tracking down to a fine art (say, with the help of an app like Keeper), you'll be sure to find the process of filing your return less stressful thanks to all your tax savings. Let's go through even more examples.

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Tattoo supplies
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Write off everything you use to for tattooing, including needles, ink, disinfectant, and more.

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Training & licenses
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Write off fees for training and the certifications you need to work as a tattoo artist.

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Studio supplies
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Lights, backdrops, and other supplies you use to film are considered tax write-offs.

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Studio space
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 20b

If you rent a studio or office, you can write it off.

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Art-related subscriptions
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Subscriptions to industry-relevant magazines or newsletters are considered tax 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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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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Social media tools
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

Write off the tools you use to create assets, schedule posts, or pull analytics.

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Creative assistance
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 11

If you need to hire an editor,β€ˆdesigner, photographer, or other creative pro, write off what you pay them.

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Phone, laptop, accessories
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

If buy a phone or laptop and use it for work, it's partially deductible.

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If you drive for work ...

If you drive to and from studios or to pick up tattoo supplies, you can claim car expenses on your Schedule C.

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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 ...

If you meet a client over food or drink to talk about a tattoo they're hoping you to work on, go ahead and write off the business meal.

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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 ...

Going to an out-of-town tattoo convention or masterclass? Write off your travel costs.

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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 do at least some of your work from a dedicated home workstation, like coming up with new tattoo designs, working on client development, or managing your professional social media, don't forget to claim home office write-offs.

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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!