Tax Deductions for Resellers: Save Time and Money

In the world of e-commerce, resellers stand at the forefront of a rapidly growing industry. With a multitude of tax deductions available in 2024, savvy resellers have an unprecedented opportunity to save significant time and money​​​​. These deductions, ranging from home office expenses to inventory storage, not only reduce taxable income but also enhance overall profitability. Read on to discover what tax deductions for resellers are available to you and how to claim them. 

Who Can Claim Reseller Tax Deductions?

Individuals or entities engaged in reselling as part of their business activities can claim reseller tax deductions. These deductions apply to various expenses incurred in the course of conducting a reselling business. The eligibility to claim these deductions depends on whether the activity is conducted as a business rather than a hobby. Factors such as profitability, expertise, and time spent on the activity are considered to determine if the IRS views the activity as a business​​.

For those running a reselling business, several tax implications need to be considered. Net profit from reselling (gross profit minus expenses) is subject to federal, state, and local income tax. This requirement to report income and pay taxes applies even if a 1099 or other tax document is not received from the marketplace (e.g., Amazon, PayPal, eBay)​​.

Deductible business expenses include various federal, state, local, and foreign taxes directly attributable to the trade or business. However, it’s important to note that you cannot deduct federal income taxes, estate and gift taxes, or state inheritance, legacy, and succession taxes. Generally, taxes can only be deducted in the year they are paid, regardless of whether a cash method or an accrual method of accounting is used​​.

Common Tax Deductions for Resellers

Resellers have a range of tax deductions available to them, which can significantly reduce their taxable income and enhance their overall profitability. Here are some common tax deductions for resellers, each with an explanation of how they work.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

This deduction allows resellers to deduct the direct expenses associated with purchasing inventory or products for resale, including the wholesale price, shipping fees, and other related costs. Proper tracking and documentation of COGS are crucial to accurately determine taxable income.

Shipping and Packaging Costs

Resellers can claim deductions for expenses related to shipping and packaging products. This includes costs for shipping services, boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and other packaging materials.

Business Travel and Vehicle Expenses

Travel expenses for business purposes, like trips to post offices or thrift stores, are deductible. If a vehicle is used for the reselling business, expenses such as gas, maintenance, repairs, and insurance can also be deducted.

Professional Services

Fees paid for professional services such as accountants, lawyers, or tax consultants are fully deductible as ordinary business expenses.

Advertising and Marketing

Expenses incurred in promoting the reselling business, including online ads, printed materials, business cards, website development, and social media marketing platform fees, are typically deductible.

Business Insurance

Premiums paid for business-related insurance, including general liability, product liability, and professional liability insurance, are deductible.

Software and Subscriptions

Expenses for software, subscriptions, or online services directly used for the business, such as inventory management software or e-commerce platform fees, are deductible.

Office Supplies and Equipment

Purchases of office supplies and equipment, including paper, ink cartridges, postage, computers, printers, and packaging machinery, are deductible. These expenses can be deducted either immediately or through depreciation over time.

Home Office Deduction

If a reseller operates from a dedicated space in their home, they may be eligible for the home office deduction, which allows them to write off a portion of their housing expenses based on the percentage of the home used exclusively for business.

Travel and Meals

Expenses for attending trade shows, conferences, or travel for sourcing inventory are deductible. This includes airfare, lodging, meals, and other related costs.

Expenses That Resellers Cannot Claim as Tax Deductions

While resellers can claim various expenses as tax deductions to reduce their taxable income, there are certain expenses that cannot be claimed. Understanding these limitations is crucial for resellers to ensure compliance with tax laws and avoid potential issues with the IRS. 

  • Personal Expenses: Expenses that are personal in nature and not directly related to the business cannot be claimed. This includes personal living or family expenses.
  • Capital Expenditures: Costs for acquiring or improving a permanent structure or asset that adds value to the business over time are typically not deductible as immediate business expenses. Instead, these costs are capitalized and depreciated over time.
  • Federal Income Taxes: Federal income taxes paid are not deductible as a business expense.
  • Estate and Gift Taxes: Taxes related to estates and gifts cannot be claimed as deductions for business purposes.
  • State Inheritance, Legacy, and Succession Taxes: These types of state taxes are not deductible as business expenses.
  • Fines and Penalties: Fines and penalties paid to the government for violations of any law are not deductible.
  • Political Contributions: Contributions or donations made to political parties, political campaigns, or candidates for public office are not deductible as business expenses.
  • Entertainment Expenses: Expenses for entertainment, amusement, or recreation that are not directly related to the active conduct of a trade or business are not deductible.
  • Personal Legal Expenses: Legal fees and expenses incurred for personal matters, which are not directly related to operating the business, cannot be claimed as deductions.
  • Charitable Contributions as a Sole Proprietor: While corporations can deduct charitable contributions, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, or S corporation shareholders must claim any charitable contributions on their personal tax returns, not on the business return.

How to Prepare for Tax Filing and Monitor Tax Deductions for Resellers?

Implementing effective strategies and practices can streamline the tax preparation process and help resellers take full advantage of available deductions. Here are some tips for resellers to prepare for tax filing and monitor their tax deductions:

  1. Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of all business transactions, including income, expenses, receipts, and invoices. This will simplify the process of identifying deductible expenses and provide necessary documentation in case of an audit.
  1. Separate Business and Personal Finances: Use separate bank accounts and credit cards for business and personal transactions. This separation makes it easier to track business expenses and income and ensures personal expenses do not mistakenly get claimed as business deductions.
  1. Stay Informed on Tax Laws: Keep up-to-date with tax laws and regulations, especially those that pertain to reselling businesses. Tax laws can change annually, and being informed helps in identifying new deductions or changes to existing ones.
  1. Use Accounting Software: Consider using accounting software designed for small businesses or resellers. These tools can help track income and expenses, categorize transactions, and provide reports that are helpful during tax preparation.
  1. Categorize Expenses Properly: Properly categorize each expense to ensure it aligns with IRS guidelines for deductions. This practice helps in accurately calculating deductions and avoiding errors in tax filings.
  1. Consult with a Tax Professional: Work with a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax advisor who has experience with reselling businesses. They can provide advice on tax planning, help identify all applicable deductions, and assist with complex tax situations.
  1. Plan for Estimated Taxes: If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes, make estimated tax payments throughout the year. This approach can help avoid underpayment penalties and manage cash flow more effectively.
  1. Regularly Review Financial Statements: Periodically review your profit and loss statements and balance sheet. Regular financial reviews help monitor business performance and ensure that all deductible expenses are being tracked.
  1. Stay Organized Throughout the Year: Don’t wait until tax season to organize your financial records. Continuously organizing and maintaining your financial information throughout the year can significantly reduce the stress and workload during tax season.
  1. Understand Home Office Deductions: If you use a part of your home exclusively for business, understand the requirements and calculations for the home office deduction. This deduction can be valuable for resellers operating from home.

How to Claim Write-Offs as a Reseller on Your Tax Return?

Claiming tax write-offs as a reseller on your tax return involves a series of steps to ensure that all eligible expenses are accurately reported and deducted. Understanding this process is crucial for maximizing tax benefits and maintaining compliance with tax laws. Here’s a guide on how to claim tax write-offs as a reseller:

Gather Financial Records

Collect all relevant financial documents, including receipts, invoices, bank statements, and credit card statements that detail your income and expenses throughout the tax year. Utilizing an online bookkeeping service helps to streamline the tedious process of managing and organizing your financial records. This not only saves time but also provides a clear and organized financial snapshot, essential for making informed business decisions and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.

Categorize Expenses

Organize your expenses into categories that align with IRS guidelines for tax deductions. Common categories include cost of goods sold, advertising, travel, office supplies, and home office expenses.

Use the Correct Tax Forms

Depending on your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc.), use the appropriate tax forms. For sole proprietors and single-member LLCs, Schedule C (Form 1040) is commonly used to report business income and expenses.

Calculate Deductible Expenses

Add up the total amount spent in each expense category. Ensure that you only include business-related expenses and exclude any personal expenses.

Fill Out Schedule C

Complete Schedule C by entering your total income and deductible expenses in the respective sections. The form calculates your net profit or loss, which is then reported on your Form 1040.

Consider Special Deductions

Be aware of specific deductions like the home office deduction. If eligible, calculate this deduction using either the simplified method (standard deduction based on square footage) or the regular method (based on actual expenses).

Report Income Accurately

Report all business income, including sales and any other revenue streams. Ensure that your reported income matches any 1099 forms you may have received from payment processors or marketplaces.

Review for Accuracy

Double-check your calculations and entries for accuracy. Ensure that you have documentation to support each deduction in case of an IRS audit.

Consult a Tax Professional

Consider consulting with a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax advisor, especially if you have complex tax situations or need guidance on specific deductions.

File Your Tax Return

Once your tax return is complete and reviewed, file it with the IRS by the tax filing deadline. You can file electronically using IRS e-file or mail a paper return.

Unlocking Tax Savings with Smart Deductions

For business owners, especially resellers, claiming eligible tax deductions is a key strategy to lower tax liability and enhance overall profitability. Effectively managing and claiming these deductions requires thorough record-keeping, an understanding of tax laws, and often, the assistance of professional tools and services.

One such tool that can be immensely helpful is doola, which offers specialized bookkeeping services tailored for small businesses and entrepreneurs. By using doola, business owners can streamline their financial tracking, ensure accurate categorization of expenses, and maintain comprehensive records essential for tax purposes.


Are there limits to how much I can deduct for certain expenses as a reseller?

Yes, there are limits to certain deductions for resellers. For example, the home office deduction is limited by the proportion of your home used for business, and deductions for meals and entertainment are typically limited to 50% of the cost. It’s important to understand these limits to accurately calculate your deductions.

What records should I keep to support my reseller tax deductions?

To support your reseller tax deductions, maintain detailed records of all business transactions. This includes receipts, invoices, bank and credit card statements, mileage logs for business travel, and documentation for home office use. Keeping accurate records is essential for substantiating deductions in case of an IRS audit.

How do tax deductions affect my overall taxes owed as a reseller?

Tax deductions reduce your taxable income as a reseller, which in turn can lower your overall taxes owed. By claiming legitimate business expenses as deductions, you decrease your net income, resulting in a potentially lower tax bill. The more deductions you can accurately claim, the greater the impact on reducing your tax liability.

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