How Your Personal Branding Photoshoot Can Save You On Taxes | Ft. Tiffany Bastian
Have you ever wondered if you’re allowed to write off the cost of a Business Photoshoot or Headshot session on your taxes? The short answer is: Yes, you can - & here to tell us more is Tiffany Bastian, MBE EA!
Tiffany is an Accounting & Tax Pro who specializes in helping Photographers resolve their bookkeeping & accounting challenges - she offered to write a guest blog post for me & my clients on this topic & I am so excited to share her advice with all of you. Keep reading to learn more details & to find out how to write off the cost of your business-related photoshoot, headshot, or personal branding session!
Written By: Tiffany Bastian, MBA EA
Book your Branding Photography Session and get a tax deduction!
Business branding involves many things, from creating your company’s logo to selecting the perfect colors and mood for your website. But a critical part of the process is often overlooked: the business branding photo shoot. Hiring a professional photographer to photograph you and your team can significantly benefit your business and improve your visual connection to your ideal client while lowering your bottom line.
Branding is advertising:
Branding is one way to differentiate your business from the competition. When you pay for a branding session, you can use the photos in many places, such as on social media and on your website. The cost for the photoshoot can be considered a deductible expense that lowers your taxable income. This IRS considers expenses like a branding session to be advertising because you are incurring these expenses to bring awareness to your brand and to attract future clients.
Wait, there's more! (Hair & Makeup are deductible too):
You can also deduct the cost of getting your hair and makeup done for your branding session. This way, you'll look and feel your best in front of the camera. Plus, you'll have a great excuse to go out to dinner afterwards, all while reaping the benefits of a bona fide business deductible expense: lowering your taxable income while looking fabulous. Because the hair and makeup are a direct expense to complete the branding session, it is also deductible.
Your Props may ALSO be deductible:
What props do you need for your branding session? You can purchase or make props specifically for your shoot that help to communicate your brand even further to your ideal client. The cost of buying these props may be deductible as a business expense, depending on their usage and how you plan to use them in the future. For example, I'm an accountant, and I book quarterly branding sessions. I purchased an adding machine and a coffee mug with my company logo to use in my quarterly brand shoots - these items are deductible as they are specifically for my branding session.
Watch out, clothes are NOT deductible:
Unfortunately, any clothing you purchase for your photo shoot is not deductible unless it has your company logo on it or it is something you cannot regularly wear anywhere else (which is very hard to prove). The IRS is very strict about clothing. Think about the last time you went to Target - Target employees are no longer issued uniforms. The company saves money by giving the team a dress code of red tops and khaki bottoms. Employees cannot deduct red shirts and khaki bottoms because they can wear those items to other places besides work. You can see how hard it is to prove you cannot wear an item elsewhere. In most cases, your clothing cannot be deducted.
IRS Related Articles:
IRS Advertising Deduction:
IRS Publication 535:
Have more questions about how to write off the cost of your photoshoot? Ask your Tax professional, Accountant, or CPA if you aren’t sure whether or not a photography or branding-related expense is deductible for your business - it’s always best to doublecheck!