How to save money in marketing

You might be wondering if marketing expenses are tax-deductible, whether you’re just starting a campaign digitally or looking to hire a marketing agency.

The answer is yes You can deduct marketing expenses that are used to keep or generate customers from the government. Marketing and advertising expenses are eligible for an ordinary, reasonable and necessary tax deduction. Marketing and advertising can yield a high return on investment if done correctly and with professionals.

Advertising and marketing expenses are not difficult to deduct tax. As long as they are directly related your business activities, they won’t be a problem. We’ll show you how to determine which marketing expenses are tax-deductible and tell you which are.

8 Common Marketing Costs that are Tax-Deductible

1. Website Expenses

Website design, development, and creation

Hosting and maintenance fees

Continued website content creation

Keep track of all the accounts and companies that you pay each month in order to deduct your website expenses.

2. Marketing and advertising expenses

Marketing Plan

Content writing

Sales enablement

SEO Services

Email Marketing


Graphic Design and Branding

Banner advertising campaigns (except for political sites)

Paid Media Marketing: Google AdWords and Search Pay-Per Click (PPC) campaigns

3. Consultant or Marketing Agency Retainer

The cost of hiring a consultant/marketing agency to run any of these campaigns is not included.

4. Social Media Expenses

You can hire a consultant to manage your social media.

Companies that manage your social media accounts and subscription-based social networks like LinkedIn Pro may charge fees.

Ad campaigns: Linked In, Facebook and Twitter

Influencer marketing (May need 1099 contracts depending on the amount paid).

5. Technology and Marketing Software Costs

Software like the following can be purchased as either a monthly or an annual subscription.




Any CRM, marketing software, or social scheduling tools

6. Advertising Print Expenses

Advertise in newspapers, magazines and billboards

Printing and creation of marketing materials such as brochures, mailers, and business cards

7. Multimedia Advertising Expense

Advertisements on TV Radio and Other Multimedia

8. Special Promotions

Publicity campaigns

Sponsor a local event, or pay to have the logo of your company featured on a jersey. (Expenses for special events can be deducted with the goal of exposing people to your business.

Host seminars, webinars or workshops to promote your business’s services

Promotional items such as water bottles, notebooks, and t-shirts can be used to promote your brand among clients, influencers, staff, and customers.

Comparing Marketing Expenses to Selling Expenses Selling Expenses

Both marketing and selling costs are deductible, but they will be listed separately on your tax return.

Take, for example:

You can deduct web maintenance costs if you advertise on your website.

This is an additional cost if you are using your website to sell (e.g., a shopping cart).

Advertising costs include temporary signs.

Permanent signs that last longer than one year are not considered advertising. Signs can be depreciated to make them long-term assets.

Advertising is not deductible as an indirect contribution to political campaigns.

Advertising on your vehicle: The cost of advertising on your vehicle is deductible, but the cost of operating and driving it is not. Learn more about the IRS’s position on ads for vehicles.

While help-wanted advertisements are a deductable business expense, they are not marketing or advertising.

Donations to charities and non-profits do not count as marketing or advertising expenses. These expenses can be deducted in your personal tax return or other areas of your business. For more information, consult your accountant.

Marketing Expenses Not Tax-Deductible

Costs that are primarily personal, or hobby-related, cannot be deducted. If your daughter gets married and invites some of your most trusted clients, the costs of the wedding cannot be deducted. Personal hobbies that are shared with business associates cannot be deducted. If you and your client enjoy NASCAR events, for example, these expenses cannot be deducted as marketing or advertising costs.

Advertising expenses related to research and development cannot be deducted.

You can deduct the advertising cost for your business that you place on your car (business or personal), but you cannot deduct the cost to drive your car around the town. This subject is specifically addressed by the IRS because it is often misunderstood.

Advertising as an Indirect Contribution to Political Action. Advertising in any publication or website that is used by or on behalf of a candidate or political party cannot be deducted. Businesses cannot deduct political expenses.

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