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What business start up costs are deductible? 

By  Kimberly

Launching a new business takes hard work — and money. Costs for market surveys, travel to line up potential distributors and suppliers, advertising, hiring employees, training, and other expenses incurred before a business is officially launched can add up to a substantial amount.

The tax law places certain limitations on tax deductions for start-up expenses.

  • No deduction is available until the business becomes active.
  • Up to $5,000 of accumulated start-up expenses may be deducted in the tax year in which the active business begins. This $5,000 limit is reduced (but not below zero) by the excess of total start-up costs over $50,000.
  • Any remaining start-up expenses may be deducted ratably over the 180-month period beginning with the month in which the active business begins.

Example: Brooke spent $20,000 on start-up costs before her new business began on July 1, 2019. In 2019, she may deduct $5,000 and the portion of the remaining $15,000 allocable to July through December of 2019 ($15,000/180 ? 6 = $500), a total of $5,500. The remaining $14,500 may be deducted ratably over the remaining 174 months.

Instead of deducting start-up costs, a business may elect to capitalize them (treat them as an asset on the balance sheet). Deductions for “organization expenses” — such as legal and accounting fees for services related to forming a corporation or partnership — are subject to similar rules.

Kimberly Bagley, CPA

I absolutely love helping business owners gain valuable insights into their business through monthly accounting services and tax planning. My goal is to give every client the gift of having the peace of mind knowing that all of their bookkeeping and tax needs are taken care of so that they can do more of what they love ... run their business!


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