Free work for before/after pictures, tax write offs

Hello guys, just made my account after lurking and reading for the past few months.

I’ve got to say, this is an entirely different animal of a business than I took it for, thank you guys for all the advice for us newbs out there.

I’ve searched for the answer to this here and other forums but I wasn’t able to find an answer.


Could doing a few free washes, for marketing purposes I:E before and after pictures, would the “job price” be considered a tax write off?

Filed under business expense, or marketing expense?

Or would I just be able to write off the actual chemical cost?

Thank you again guys

First off, welcome to the Forum!

if you count it as a write-off, then you have to count whatever services, photos, etc. that you received as a form of income. It gets real messy. It’s simpler to just leave it off the books, imo. Even though the IRS technically wants you to report anything received in trade, it will not change your tax bill to do it either way. Just your gross figures at the end of the year.

Also, anything received in trade should be for the business (like you are suggesting) vs. for personal gain. For instance, I shouldn’t wash Pizza Hut’s windows for free pizza, if buying that pizza outright couldn’t be considered a business expense in the first place.

if you had employees that you paid to do a pro-bono job, that’s easier. just deduct their payroll costs as you normally would.

and chemical costs get deducted when you buy them, not when you use them.

But don’t take my word for it. Please consult with your CPA


Thanks for the advice, I’m coming from the 1099 private contractor world so I’m wired to write off as much as humanly possible.

As you said I’ll probably keep it off the books if its going to be a pain, just get a review and shout out off of them.

Again much appreciated

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