Can You Write Off Lawn Care On Your Taxes?
As a property owner, tax write-offs are important considerations that can save you a lot of money. But, if you plan to write-off home-office related deductions, it can be tricky. You need to consider a lot of factors, and you might wonder if you can write off lawn care on your taxes.
The Tax Court says you can write off lawn care on your taxes if you are the sole proprietor of a business and meet with clients at your home. But take detailed records. You can only write off a portion based on the percentage of your home’s business use. If you own a rental property, you can write off lawn care costs associated with the property.
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An Overview Of Work-From-Home Tax Deductions
According to the IRS, if you use your entire home as your business base, you can write off all home expenses. However, if you only use a portion of your home for your business, then you only write off a percentage of your expenses.
For example, if you have a home office, you need to measure the square footage of that space. Then, compare your home office square footage to your gross home size.
Or, you can use the simple method that considers your home office as one-third of your overall house size by default.
Common write-off items for a home office include:
- Rent and mortgage payments
- Utility bills
- Office furniture
- Pest control and other regular maintenance
- Certain landscaping expenses
Can I Write Off Lawn Care On My Taxes?
As you would expect, lawn care costs fall under the landscaping expense category. However, keep in mind that you must have clients regularly visiting your home as they would an office building. Only if you meet with clients regularly at home are you eligible for landscaping write-offs.
Deducting Lawn Care Costs As Home Office Expenses
Technically speaking, you can only write off the portion of lawn care expenses related to your business. The easiest way to calculate this is by using the same proportion rule for all other home business writeoffs.
For example, what if you have a 2,000 sqft home but only uses 200 sqft as your home office? Then you are only allowed to legally write off 10% of your lawn care on your taxes.
However, there could be an exception. If somehow you use your lawn as an essential part of your business activity, this changes things.
You can disregard the home office space vs. house size proportion and write off all your lawn care costs.
For example, imagine you are a golf coach. You build a small golf course on your lawn and use that to teach private golf classes on a regular basis.
It is your primary business development venue, so you may have the chance to bypass the default write-off rules. If you can do this, you can gain big on year-end tax deductions.
Is It Easy To Write Off Lawn Care Costs On My Your Taxes?
The short answer is not really. It can be very challenging to successfully write off lawn care costs on your taxes. It depends on many factors and you need to be able to show detailed, accurate records.
The records need to prove that the success of your business depends on your landscaping. If you have any doubts, it’s best to consult with a CPA to ensure you have the proper documentation.
How Do You Write Off Lawn Care On Your Taxes For A Rental Property?
On the other hand, if you use your property as a rental property, the situation is different. You are eligible for writing off all lawn care expenses on your taxes. The reason for this is that lawn care expenses incurred on rental properties are considered regular business expenses.
Besides, as a landlord, you are allowed to deduct maintenance costs for your rental properties at the end of the year. You can do this without any questions. This includes everything from:
- Landscaping and lawn care
- Appliance maintenance and emergency repairs
- Overall repair after a tenant moves out
- Remodeling and home improvement before new tenants move in
These deductions are designed to protect a landlord’s rights. But they also allow landlords to provide tenants with compliant, safe, and healthy rental properties. At the end of the day, these deductions benefit both sides.
Writing Lawn Care Off Taxes Upon Selling
People often forget that you can deduct landscaping expenses upon house sales. This is a bit trickier and harder to understand for someone who is not familiar with property and sales taxes. Therefore, here’s a simple example of a landscaping deduction upon selling.
First things first, regular maintenance, including mowing the lawn is not deductible in this case. However, major landscaping projects are eligible for a landscaping tax deduction upon selling. For example, if you created a brand new lawn, you can write that off without issue.
The final deduction is calculated considering the following aspects:
- The Basis — The original price. This is adjusted according to the home improvement projects you implemented throughout the years.
- The Adjustments — Landscaping is an acknowledged adjustment item according to the IRS. If you built a new yard with lawns or you installed sprinklers outside, that counts. However, weekly mowing does not count as an adjustment.
Therefore, if you are selling a home that doesn’t enjoy the main-home exemption with IRS, keep careful records. You will want to keep close track of the improvements and landscaping you’ve done.
Can I Write Off Lawn Care On My Taxes If I Own A Landscaping Business?
In some unique circumstances, you may run a home office but own a lawn care business at the same time. As far as the lawn care expense write-off goes, this is the most ideal situation.
Because in this case, you can also write off equipment and other expenses related to lawn care. These expenses could include mower costs, mower repair costs, and other related items.
When you own a lawn care business, you no longer need to worry about how large your home office is. Now your lawn care expenses become regular operational expenses for your business. Therefore, you can enjoy a 100% deduction on lawn care costs.
Tax Deductions If You Own A Lawn Care Business
Here are some additional tax deductions that you can take advantage of as a lawn care business.
Many people who own a lawn care business have to travel to each customer to give estimates. They also travel to various job sites to check up on their employees’ work.
Your employees also may drive work trucks back and forth between jobs. The IRS allows you to deduct travel expenses, so long as you keep a log of them.
As a lawn care business owner, you most likely have insurance on your equipment and vehicles. This insurance includes liability insurance.
Fortunately, you can deduct these premiums. Though, you cannot deduct your employee’s health insurance premiums.
You can deduct all the money you spend on running ads, printing flyers, and putting ads in your local paper. Plus, anything else you spend on advertising for your business is eligible for a deduction.
Instead of owning a large fleet of vehicles and machinery, do you rent or lease your lawn equipment? If so, you can deduct these expenses from your annual taxes.
The vehicles and equipment pertaining to your business will require regular maintenance and repairs at least once a year. You can deduct the money you spend on having these vital business assets fixed.
Over the course of the year, your equipment is going to depreciate in value, even if it goes unused. You can use these expensive pieces of machinery to reduce your tax burden by calculating the depreciation expense of each item.
Legal And Professional Services
If you have an accountant or work with a lawyer, the IRS allows you to deduct these services from your taxes.
Employee Wages And Contractor Expenses
Any lawn care business that employs contractors or freelancers can deduct their wages. You can also deduct other payments related to their work.
What are some other common write-offs for homeowners?
You don’t have to own a rental property or maintain a home-based business to benefit from home-related write-offs and deductions. Homeowners get to take advantage of several common deductions.These deductions include mortgage interest, home equity loan interest, property taxes, and medically necessary home improvements. You might also be able to take deductions for certain energy-efficient improvements you make on your home, like solar panels. The amounts you can deduct for certain items depend on things like your income, filing status, and state of residence.
What can I use to prove deductions if I don’t have receipts?
It’s important to maintain careful records when it comes to tax deductions. However, if you don’t have your original receipts, you have a few other acceptable alternatives. You can use canceled checks or debit or credit card statements.Other possibilities are written records you create, photographs, or calendar notes. However, these will be harder to prove than bank statements, canceled checks, and receipts. Do You Need Lawn and Tree Maintenace Pros? Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you: FIND LOCAL CONTRACTORS
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