List of tax deductions for lawn care business owners: 8 landscaping write-offs

List of tax deductions for lawn care business owners: 8 landscaping write-offs

Meg Furey-Marquess
By Meg Furey-Marquess
Feb 29, 2024
8 min read

If you run a lawn care or landscaping business, you should review this list of tax deductions for lawn care business owners.

Knowing about all the tax write-offs for lawn care and how to use them can help you minimize your payments and earn more income.

To make sure you get everything you can to help reinvest in your small landscaping business, jump ahead to learn:

What are lawn care tax deductions?

The reasons for tracking your income are clear: The IRS requires each individual and business to submit tax returns and pay taxes according to their income. This process gets more complicated when you’re a small business owner than when you’re an employee.

As a small business owner, you will have to pay self-employment tax (Social Security and Medicare) and potentially other necessary taxes. And if you’re self-employed, you have to submit estimated taxes quarterly.

It’s a lot of work — and a lot of taxes! — but to offset some of these tax burdens, self-employed individuals are offered many tax deductions to lower their tax bills. As we’ll see, small business owners can deduct most business-related expenses from their income. As a result, you will owe fewer taxes, increasing the amount you take home.

While each business should check with a certified public accountant (CPA) or other tax professional about its specific deductions, many common landscaping tax deductions may be available to you.

List of 8 tax deductions for lawn care businesses and landscaping

These are some of the most common tax write-offs for people in the lawn care industry, but more self-employed tax deductions may be available.

1. Self-employment tax

Self-employment tax can be a frustrating expense for small business owners. You’ll have to pay this tax if you’re considered a sole proprietor or independent contractor.

Basically, this tax means you pay both the employee and employer sides of your Social Security and Medicare. This cost totals 15.3% of your income.

The good news is that part of the self-employment tax is deductible – in fact, half of it is. This is because the IRS considers the employer portion of the tax to be a business expense. If you have an accountant, they can explain exactly how much and will adjust the amount accordingly on your tax return.

2. Home office deduction

While you are most likely on the move as a landscaping business owner, you probably keep an office as well. If that office is part of your home, you can deduct some of those expenses. 

Whether you use the space for administrative work, scheduling jobs, bill paying, customer interaction, or more, as long as you exclusively use it for your business, you can write off a portion of it.

Additionally, some of your home office expenses are also tax deductible.These deductions may include the cost of internet, phone, office supplies, furniture, computer, printer, and more.

Learn more about the home office tax deduction.

3. Equipment and supplies deduction

Equipment and supplies are a big lawn care and landscaping expense category. To grow a successful business, you’re investing a great deal of money into equipment and supplies for your business.

Some are one-time large purchases that you may only make every few years (for example, lawnmowers, tree trimming tools, etc.). Other landscaping costs may be recurring expenses, such as materials for gardening or daily supplies.

No matter the size of the expenses, include them as deductions. You may also be able to write off equipment depreciation.

4. Rent expense deduction

Many landscapers and lawn care professionals rent storage space to keep their equipment and supplies. Or, if they have a separate work vehicle, they might rent a secured garage to keep their vehicle and equipment.

You can deduct these rental property expenses if they’re used expressly for business purposes and you don’t own them in any way. If you have equity in or a title to the property you rent, it’s not deductible.

Also, renting isn’t limited to property; you can deduct equipment rentals necessary for business use. For example, if you are a landscaper and rent lawnmowers, this counts as a tax write-off.

5. Advertising deduction

Getting the word out about your business is essential in any field, but especially in the competitive world of lawn care and landscaping. Fortunately, the money you spend on advertising your business is tax deductible.

That counts for everything: Business cards and flyers. Facebook or LinkedIn ads. A billboard, a TV commercial, or a radio spot. Even website design and maintenance. Any advertising expenses can be written off and help lower your tax burden.

6. Car expenses and mileage deduction

As a landscaping professional, your vehicle is likely an important part of your work. You may even have a dedicated car or truck for work purposes. 

Good news: Car expenses and mileage can be significant deductions for you. Make sure to keep track of your yearly mileage on each vehicle related to your business throughout the tax year and save all gas receipts.

The IRS decided to bump up the standard mileage rate for the 2023 tax season due to rising fuel costs. You can deduct 65.5 cents per mile when you use your car, truck or van for business purposes.

In addition to everyday deductions related to your vehicle, you can also write off some repairs and maintenance on your tax return.

7. Business insurance deduction

No matter your field, business insurance is critical for all small businesses. If something unexpected happens, you want some protection both legally and financially. 

We recommend landscaping insurance or lawn care insurance to help protect you from some of the risks involved with your job. With insurance, you may not be solely responsible for the financial loss of paying for costs like a cracked window due to a rogue rock flung from a lawnmower.

Even better, you can deduct the premium (meaning the cost) for many different kinds of business insurance, including general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, and more.

Learn more about business insurance tax deductions.

8. Employee wages and contractor expenses

If you have employees or freelancers/contractors working for your landscaping or lawn care business, you can deduct their wages from your taxes. This can be a significant amount that can help reduce your tax burden.

Not only is their salary deductible, but also other payments related to their work, such as Social Security and more.

How NEXT helps support lawn care and landscaping business professionals

NEXT helps thousands of self-employed business owners protect their business with customized business insurance.

We’re 100% online, so you can get a quote, see your coverage options, buy insurance and get a certificate of insurance in about 10 minutes. Manage your policy 24/7 via web or mobile app.

If you have questions, our licensed, U.S.-based insurance professionals are available to help.

Start a free quote with NEXT.

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Meg Furey-Marquess
About the author

Meg Furey-Marquess is an experienced writer from Austin, Texas. With a special interest in both small business and personal finance, she believes that big ideas often start small. With a knack for narrative and a relentlessly curious nature, her goal is to amplify the “little guys.”

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