Can I write off purchases for a company that doesn't yet exist?

5 Replies

Hello, pretty self-explanatory question but I'll flesh it out a bit. 

I've been reading the bigger-pockets tax strategies book and it got me thinking...

I currently do not have any properties or any entities. However, I do have every intention of starting this endeavor sometime in 2018. I have purchased several books (recommended from this site) and have been working through them. Can these books be written off? What about if I visit properties for research or use any of the other mentioned strategies, do I first need to buy a company / create an entity?


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Basically expenses incurred to operate or expand an existing enterprise could be deductible. Enterprise being something that is currently active and earning income.

Education and such to learn for a future enterprise is like college and not deductible.   Can you imagine if everybody could deduct college expenses?

I read a thread on here where someone wanted to deduct their $30,000 guru program.  Because they didn't have an existing and active business the answer was no from the pros.    

My $.02 @Kevin Krato

You could roll up a entity, and write off the office supplies or whatever you want to catalog it as, but the write off value on them books will likely be worth less than the cost to form the entity, documents, and tax filing cost.

Once you have a working business, you can absolutely write off software, books, seminars, guru program, etc.. Small business owners are famous for booking business with their vacation trips, just so they can write the trip off!

Get busy to get an investment. If you claim money loss, IRS will want to know about your deductions and why you are not making profit. 

Establish a DBA, to be reported on schedule c. Can write off then. But with all the changes coming, hard to plan.

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