3 Min.

What can self-employed and freelancers deduct from their taxes?

Self-employed and freelancers have to file a tax declaration.

Not everyone has to file a tax return with the tax office. However, self-employed and freelancers have no choice. Even with low incomes or only a few euros of income in the secondary trade, the submission of a tax return is obligatory for them.

Many self-employed people do not even know what they can deduct from their tax, however. From a laptop to continuing studies, the spectrum is broadly varied. In the following, we will give you an example of the costs you can include in your tax return.

Self-employed and freelancers can reduce their tax burden

Self-employed and freelancers do not have to pay tax on the income they earn, but only on their profits. In a tax return, all costs incurred within a calendar year can be deducted from the tax. These expenses reduce the profit and, consequently, the tax burden.

At this point, we have listed the most common deductible items as examples that self-employed and freelancers can claim for tax purposes:

  • Company car
  • Tools
  • Technical literature
  • Website costs
  • Leasing costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Telephone and Internet costs
  • Education
  • Contributions
  • Tax software
  • Work clothes
  • etc.

Deductible costs of a self-employed person – Example

Victoria hat sich ihre Steuererstattung gesichert

Victoria Bacon is a freelance artist and works as a performer and DJane, earning her income from several activities. In principle, she can deduct everything from her tax bill that she needs for her job. It should be noted, however, that the purchases are not used in private life. Otherwise the tax office would only partially or not at all recognise the costs.

Acquisitions that Victoria can include in her tax return

Stage wardrobe: Must be purchased explicitly for the stage or the character portrayed. Street clothes can also be worn in everyday life and are therefore not tax-deductible. Make-up: A woman cannot remove make-up from a drugstore because she can also wear it in everyday life. This is different with special stage make-up. A travesty artist has it easier, since the tax office rather assumes that the make-up will not be used privately. Travel costs to the show: Taxi costs for a performance can be claimed for tax purposes. Equipment: Everything that is necessary for the show can be tax deductible. As a DJ these are for example also the records and the Spotify account.

Purchases that are used both in the show and privately can be deducted to the extent that they are used professionally. For example, a DJ uses 70 percent of his Spotify account to research new music and listens to 30 percent privately, so the cost of the account can be set at 70 percent.