Deductions for MLM/Direct Marketing

If you work in MLMs or direct marketing, this list of possible deductions is a must have for ensuring you’re deducting all you can on your taxes as well as some examples of items that qualify for in each deduction category. For additional guidance on what you could be deducting, call us and set up an appointment today!

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Gross receipts from sales and/or services

  • Copies of checks, invoices from sales, commissions, and/or bonuses, statements, 1099 Forms

Other Income

  • Income from ownership in another business (K1 forms) interest on bank accounts or loans made to someone else



    • Receipts for your accounting kit, computer programs, tax preparation, phone apps, accountant fees


    • Business cards, information packets, free samples, flyers, product testing, social media, contest prizes, promotional costs that create good will such as sponsorships of sports teams

    Bank Charges

    • Fees charged by banks to maintain an account, wire fees, ATM withdraw, or other bank services

    Children Paid

    • Money paid to children for helping with such things as delivering flyers and/or product, stuffing envelopes, cleaning office and/or car, modeling, helping with events. Must keep a detailed log of tasks and how paid.​

    Commissions and Fees

    • Commissions to down line or up line, yearly and/or monthly fees

    Computer, Internet, and Tech

    • Software, Online services, Internet expense, computer maintenance

    Contract Labor

    • Services paid to individuals and sub-contractors. You must issue a form 1099 MISC to any individual that is paid over $600 in a year.

    Costs of Goods Sold

    • Cost of products sold whether sold wholesale or retail, initial kit purchase

    Demonstration/Trade Shows

    • Rent of venue, samples, give aways, downline, presentation supplies, etc.

    Dues and Subscriptions

    • Dues to professional organizations and magazines that have to do with your trade or business, yearly dues to maintain position

    Educational Expense

    • Books, classes, conferences, and seminars

    Event Expense

    • Exhibits for publicity. Costs include venue expense, displays, food, samples, etc.

    Home Office

    • A separate room in your home to do business and accounting. A percentage of utility bills, home owners or renters insurance, property tax, mortgage interest, refinance fees, repairs and maintenance, cleaning supplies, office decor, etc may be taken. It is determined by square footage of office space vs square footage of the entire house


    • Professional insurance, liability, vehicle, health, property, key man life, unemployment, workers comp, cyber liability


    • Interest paid on loans for equipment, mortgages, business buildings, business loans, lines of credit, credit cards, etc.

    Janitorial Expense

    • Costs for an individual or company to clean office space, shop space, and grounds

    Laundry and Cleaning

    • Includes uniforms and protective clothing and when you are out of town. Uniforms mush have company logo

    Legal and Professional Services

    • Attorneys, accountants, and consulting 


    • Business, professional, city, and state licenses


    • Rent or lease of a building refreshments, pens, handouts, samples, etc.


    • Meals with clients, potential clients, and associates. Note: entertainment is no longer deductible


    • There are two ways to take a vehicle expense. If you choose mileage, you take the mileage used when picking up product, supplies, office supplies, meetings, handing out advertising or business cards, meals with clients, etc. The second option is Vehicle (see Vehicle deduction).

    Merchant Fees

    • Credit card convenience fees to take payments by credit card such as merchant services Square, PayPal, etc.  

    Office Expense other than consumables

    • Office supplies, forms and receipt books, postage, and/or phone apps

    Office Space Rent

    • Rental fees for equipment booths for shows, technical equipment, storage of equipment or products, and/or rooms for meetings

    Officer Wages

    • The IRS law states that an officer (owner) of a corporation, must be paid a reasonable wage for services rendered to the company. They must be paid with a W-2 just like all employees.


    • Any equipment, office furniture, computers, vehicles that cost over $500


    • Repairs to equipment such as computers, office equipment, electronic equipment, furniture, etc.

    Refunds and Allowances

    • Money refunded for returned products or services, discounts given and rebates on sales


    • Cost to mail or ship products and general postage

    Small Equipment

    • Any equipment that costs less than $500


    • Product samples, supplies to demonstrate products, refreshments, and supplies for meetings, motivational materials, catalogs, and/or brochures


    • Taxes on property, payroll, sales tax


    • Cell phone, extra phone lines into home for business, fax, Internet, office land line


    • Hotels, airfare, cab fare (ex. Uber or Lyft), public transit, parking, cleaning while away from home, business trip log, bus, train, shipping business materials, parking, tolls etc.


    • Electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash, HOA fees for office, shop or any other facility. See Home Office deduction for deductibility of home utilities


    • There are two ways to take a vehicle expense. If you choose vehicle, you take the expense using the vehicle: fuel, parts, mechanics, oil changes, car washes, insurance, etc. Along with taking the vehicle expense you can also depreciate the vehicle. Note that unless the vehicle is used solely for the business you must track business use vs. personal use. The second option is Mileage (see Mileage deduction).


    • Salaries, wages, bonuses, and commissions paid to employees. An Employee is an individual who an employer controls where, when, and how the work is done, hours worked and use of equipment.

    Website Expense

    • Internet hosting and services, website design, and maintenance​
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