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You’re probably spending a fair amount of money on advertising your small business to potential clients and customers. Did you know most of your marketing and advertising can be written off as a tax deduction to lower your tax bill?

Whether you’ve got a whole marketing team running the show or you just purchased your first  ad, most money spent on promoting your small business is tax deductible.

According to the IRS, the criteria that your advertising expense must meet to qualify as a deduction is that it is ordinary (i.e. common and accepted in your industry) or necessary (i.e. helpful and appropriate for your business). Marketing and advertising are both essential to growing and promoting your business, which makes them ordinary and necessary.

Common Tax-Deductible Advertising Expenses

Just because the IRS terms an advertising expense as “ordinary” doesn’t mean you can’t be creative when it comes to ways you advertise. As long as the purpose is to bring in new customers and keep existing ones, you should be covered. Just be sure you know and document the business purpose.

The few exceptions include expenses that are used primarily for personal use or gain, not business promotion. In addition, though donating products or money to a community event or charity are tax deductible, donating services or time are not. Again, be sure to know and be able to show how the expense benefits your business. When in doubt about a specific advertising expense and if it’s tax deductible, ask your accountant.

20 Common Tax-Deductible Advertising Expenses for Small Businesses

Here’s a list of the top 20 most common advertising expenses for small business owners to keep in mind come tax season. All of these are tax-deductible:

  1. Website set-up, design, and maintenance
  2. Pay-per-click ads and online advertisements (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.)
  3. Social media promotions
  4. Promotional materials with your logo such as t-shirts, mugs, pens, notepads and more
  5. Graphic design fees: logos, business cards, brochures, signs, printed or online advertisements, flyers, or other promotional materials designed professionally
  6. Printing of promotional materials: business cards, flyers, postcards, brochures, and coupons
  7. Storefront signs
  8. Vehicle signs or vinyl decals for windows
  9. Giveaways and promotions
  10. Radio advertisements
  11. Magazine or newspaper advertisements
  12. Television commercials
  13. Balloons, decorations, refreshments, and any other expenses incurred for parties or open houses promoting your business
  14. SEO services
  15. Packaging, design, and materials for your products

Tax-Deductible Goodwill Advertising Expenses

Tax-Deductible Goodwill Advertising Expenses

The following are considered goodwill advertising expenses and are tax deductible as well. Goodwill advertising is any type of promotion that keeps your small business in the public eye.

16. Sponsoring a youth sports team in your community such as little league baseball or soccer

17. Money donated to a school, charity, or local cause

18. Participating in a parade to promote your business, such as handing out flyers, candy, frisbees, pens, or shirts

19. Giving away products or samples

20. Advertisements encouraging people to donate to a certain charity, like the Red Cross

FAQs about Tax-Deductible Advertising Expenses for Small Businesses:

What qualifies as tax-deductible advertising expenses for my small business?

Advertising expenses must be ordinary and necessary for your industry. This includes various marketing efforts aimed at promoting your business.

Can I get creative with my advertising strategies and still claim them as deductions?

Yes, as long as your creative strategies aim to attract new customers or retain existing ones, they can be tax deductible. Ensure you document their business purpose.

Are there any exceptions to tax-deductible advertising expenses?

Expenses primarily for personal use or unrelated to business promotion aren’t deductible. Donating services or time is also non-deductible.

How can I determine if a specific advertising expense is tax deductible?

Consult with your accountant if uncertain about the deductibility of a particular expense. Ensure you can demonstrate how it benefits your business.

What are some examples of goodwill advertising expenses that are tax deductible?

Examples include sponsoring local sports teams, donating to schools or charities, participating in community events, giving away products or samples, and promoting charity donations.

This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

 

 

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

It’s all good to DIY things, but there comes a time in your business where things get busy and it’s time to hire an expert rather than continue to do it yourself. If you’re not sure when that might be, you’re in luck. We cover the basics and more in this post of the series.

Read more here…

This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

Business of Blogging Part 9 - Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes | Tax & Accounting for Bloggers | Turn Your Blog into a Business | Mazuma USA

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

Now that you’ve taken the steps to establish a financial plan, it’s time to get prepped for paying taxes. Even if you’re not hiring an accountant or bookkeeper you can stay on top of your finances and be a pro come tax time. Today we’re talking about Quarterly Estimated Taxes.

Read more here…

Business of Blogging Part 9 - Pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes | Tax & Accounting for Bloggers | Turn Your Blog into a Business | Mazuma USA

This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

Business of Blogging Part 8 - Invest in Your Blogging Business | Tax & Accounting for Bloggers | Turn your blog into a business | Mazuma USA

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

You’ve got some money stashed away so you can cover your blogging expenses. You’ve got an established budget so you know what money you need and where you’re spending your hard earned cash. Now it’s time to start talking about investing in your blogging business.

Read more here…

Business of Blogging Part 8 - Invest in Your Blogging Business | Tax & Accounting for Bloggers | Turn your blog into a business | Mazuma USA

This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

create a budget for your blog

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

Making money is good, but it’s not enough. To run a truly successful blog turned business you need to have and stick to a budget. Budgets can provide a lot of security for a small business and today we’re talking why having a budget for your blog is one of the best ways to guarantee your success.

Read more here…

This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

popular Business of Blogging series

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

When it comes to business, the only real way to tell that it’s successful is through its books. You’d be surprised at how many small business owners and bloggers we talk to that admit that their books are less than stellar – they’re not even sure they’re truly making money. Today we’re talking how to create an maintain an organized bookkeeping system and we think you’ll be surprised that it’s a lot less overwhelming than you may think.

Read more here…

This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

Business of Blogging

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

Today we’re discussing just how to start making money on your blog. There are a variety of methods, but these are the ones that we’ve found to be the most effective.

Read more here…


This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

Today we’re discussing the importance of defining the type of business entity your blog or website falls under. The choice is really up to you, but knowledge is power and – read on to find out the different entity types and learn how the pros and cons of each one might benefit you and your blogging business.

Read more here…


This post is part of the popular Business of Blogging series. If you’re looking to start a business online, or if you’re looking to grow your business with a blog, the information provided here is a good place to start.

 

Business of Blogging

More and more of today’s business is being done over the internet. Shopping, consulting, taking classes, even ordering food can be done by the swipe or tap on your smartphone. Despite the fact that convenience is one of the internet’s greatest gifts, it also gives us a host of knowledge right at our finger tips.

Blogging is no longer family pictures and a digital way to preserve or share memories. Today, blogging is a key way to provide expert information about your product or service and many online entrepreneurs are financially successful just by providing expert-level information alone.

So how does one turn a blog into a business? We’re glad you asked.

Despite the fact that anyone can start a blog, very few are successfully run businesses. And even though the idea of online businesses is still fairly new, the way to create a successful business is not. In this series, we discuss the details of business as it pertains to blogging, and our goal is to help you turn a profit from providing your knowledge, product, or service on your own little piece of the internet.

Today we’re discussing the myths and truths that go along with making a business out of your blog. You may have heard that blogging is a great way to earn money, that you can do it from anywhere, and that it’s relatively easy to do. We’re covering it all… now.

Read more here…

 

 

 

How to Build an Authentic Social Media Presence - Part One| Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses | Mazuma USA | Small Business Accounting & Bookkeeping

 

How A Social Media Presence Is Like Dating

How would you like it if someone you didn’t know, walks right up to you and asks you to marry them?  What?!  That’s a HUGE commitment!  In a dating relationship, we get to know a person, spend time with them in many settings, and even consider how they treat others (family, friends, the cashier at the supermarket, etc.) before we consider the big question.  The same goes for social media. We’re not proposing marriage to our clients; however, it’s a similar feel when people are on social media and we ask them to buy something.  Let me explain…

Social media is everywhere. It is less and less of an “extra” and more and more of a necessity as far as advertising goes. Some business owners think of social media should yield an “immediate return” or something that brings many customers to their door right away. Most likely, that thought process comes from the amount of time and resources required to put out the right messages.  Your company works hard, you want to see your money “paying off” right away.

Take a look at it from the customer’s perspective:  How would you like it if someone came up to you when you were talking to your friends and family and started telling you about all their deals on igloo huts or lava beds?  Chances are you might not be interested because you are in the middle of your “down time” and haven’t ever thought about igloo huts or lava beds.  The topic doesn’t interest you and all you are getting from this person is a sales pitch. This is similar to a salesperson ringing your doorbell or getting a sales call from a private number to sell you something during dinner time.

But your product/service is great!  How can you get people to be interested?  Aren’t hard-nosed sales tactics the only way to get great return? NO. There’s a better way. 

Case Study- Social Media Presence

Problem:

I’ve had very professional clients that refuse to get personal, even refuse to let their followers know that they have a social media page, thinking “If I’m on social media, people will find me there.”  A few months later, they wonder why they aren’t getting any engagement or new clients.  They’ve done the work.  They’ve spent the time and money to be “on social media.”  They’ve posted messages on all of their platforms that tell people what their product does and where to find it.  Why haven’t the numbers gone up?  Why hasn’t anyone signed up to be their next customer?  Where’s the return on investment?

The analysis is simple:  

The company hasn’t taken the time to get to know people first.  To run with our dating/marriage analogy, there has been no introduction, no questions about past relationships, no getting to know them, no first, second or third dates. There will be no one lining up to “date” this company because all they know is that they sell things.  Committing to a product or a company requires knowing something about them beyond their sales pitch.

No one knows the company exists, and for the few people that happen to stumble upon their page, the services/product was not something they were interested in and the page held no additional contribution to their life. That would be the end of the experience they would have with that company.  The company needs to get a little personal and seek to understand their audience.

 

Recommended Solution:  Focus on a variety of post types. Sales-type posts are needed but it’s a different strategy than it use to be.  According Social Media Marketing World (SMMW), your company should:

  • 50% of the time-post curated content (from other places, or generic type posts that don’t have to do with your product/service)
  • 30% of the time-post original content (about your product/service-still not selling, just educating)
  • 20% of the time-post promotional material (selling, finally) of the time.

Why is this the case? Well, as people are finding that your content helps them in their lives, they will continue to turn to you. Calls to Action (CTAs) are fine, but you really are just sharing information about your company, the industry, and useful ways that it can fit into their lives. In reality those are soft sales already and will help build relationships with potential customers. 

Take a look at your current social media platforms? Are you like the clients mentioned in the case study? If you’re posting frequently, how do your post types match up to the recommended percentages above? We’ll talk more about building an authentic social media presence soon.

 

 

 

 

How to Build an Authentic Social Media Presence - Part One| Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses | Mazuma USA | Small Business Accounting & Bookkeeping