To begin with, some landscaping and pest control eligibility is dependent on where your business operates. For instance, if your startup is currently run from your home, then the parameters are different from someone running their business out of a commercial office/building.
If you work from home, then you need to consider direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses are any expenses that directly benefit the “office” portion of your home. By comparison, indirect expenses serve both the office and the home as well. So, with regards to pest control, yes it benefits your home, but it also benefits the office. This would be an indirect expense. Therefore, when calculating your taxes, you need to separate the amount (in this case labor and sq. footage) that’s been spent on the office versus the house.
If I own income properties, then is landscaping and pest control fully tax deductible?
With a rental property (or any other type of real estate business), the rules are indeed different. For a rental property, the IRS gives the option of deducting landscaping, pest control, or any other expenses considered “ordinary”; basically, anything that is necessary to maintain the property you rent out to people.
This extends beyond pest control and can include things like:
- mold removal,
- interior/exterior painting,
- piping fixtures.
It does not matter whether the property is occupied or not, provided it is in the market to be rented out. For business owners working out of a commercial property (under normal circumstances), the same applies and you will deduct it as a cost under maintenance.
One thing to note is expenses can only be deducted in the year they are paid, regardless of when the service was conducted. For instance, if you hired pest control in November of 2019 but you paid the bill in January 2020, you will deduct the pest control expenses while filing your 2020 returns.
For those with a home office, when it is time to file your taxes, rest a little easier knowing all your home improvement chores can assuage some of the cost of your next tax return.