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Office Supplies

Can Office Supplies Purchased Be Deducted from Your Taxes?

Milford, NH Resident Has Questions

Self-employed individuals can claim office supplies on their taxes.  This includes printer ink, paper, pens and pencils and other everyday supplies that are used for business purposes.  Individuals that work for an employer are not eligible for this type of deductions.  Instead, you should be able to seek reimbursement from your employer for out-of-pocket expenditures for office supplies.

A Milford resident was working out of her home office.  Since she was having to purchase many of her own office supplies, she wanted to find out if these expenses could be deducted on her taxes.

Which Office Supplies Are Eligible for a Tax Deduction?

To be eligible for office supply deductions you must be self-employed.  Beyond this, the purchased supplies must be necessary for your work and used primarily for the business.  These office supplies must be claimed in the year that they were purchased, keeping receipts and paperwork to show your expenses. 

Larger expenses such as computers and other equipment necessary to do your job are also tax-deductible.  Since you will use these larger ticket items well past the current tax year, in some cases the cost should be spread over several years taking into consideration depreciation.  Items such as computers can be deducted if they are used over 51% of the time for business purposes.

Furniture and office décor can likewise be deducted on your taxes, given that these items are used for a home office and that you are self-employed.  Like computers and other larger equipment, the cost of the furniture can be depreciated and spread out over several years.  The IRS considers seven years the life cycle for office furniture. The Milford resident’s home office and supplies were not able to be deducted from her taxes.  Since she was an employee for a company, without the benefits of ownership, she was not eligible for these types of deductions.  However, she was able to pass on the receipts to her employer who reimbursed her for most of these out-of-pocket expenses.

Tax credits, tax deductions, Tax Rate, taxes