Tax Deductions for Grass Cutting Companies

Tax Deductions for Grass Cutting Companies
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According to the Internal Revenue Service's instructions for Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, grass cutting companies can deduct all of the "ordinary and necessary expenses" they incur while running their businesses. This gives you the ability to aggressively reduce your business' taxable income, saving you money on April 15, or throughout the year as you make your estimated tax payments. Three categories of expenses are particularly valuable for landscaping concerns — equipment costs, labor costs and car and truck expenses.

Equipment Expenses

Grass cutting and lawn maintenance can be an equipment-intensive business. Mowers, blowers, edgers, trimmers and other tools all need periodic maintenance and repair. You can claim the cost of maintenance and repairs as an expense directly on your company's tax return form. Buying new or used equipment is also a writeoff. You can depreciate it by spreading its acquisition cost over its useful life, claiming a portion of it every year, or you can use the Section 179 deduction to claim some or all of your capital purchases as an expense in the year that you buy them. Because the IRS frequently changes the size of the Section 179 deduction, consider talking to a tax accountant before making major purchases so you can time them to make them all deductible.


Your hard work isn't an expense from the IRS' perspective, so you can't write off an imputed value for your time. You can write off the cost of salaries and wages that your business pays to third parties. This deduction is not limited. While it's technically possible to pay yourself a salary as well and have your business write off that expense, you'd just be transferring the income to your personal taxes. Generally, you wouldn't do this unless your tax adviser specifically directed you to because of your company's structure.

Vehicle Expenses

Driving to job sites is a normal part of many grass cutting businesses, and the IRS allows you to deduct your mileage costs. One option is to claim a flat rate per mile that varies periodically and is 56.5 cents for the 2013 tax year. Your other option is to claim the actual expense you incur in using your car or truck for business purposes. The IRS lets you write off fuel, repairs, tires, oil, insurance, registration fees and a depreciation allowance for the vehicle. Given that many grass cutting businesses use trucks that are not particularly fuel-efficient and, as such, are expensive to drive, the extra paperwork involved in claiming actual expenses may be worthwhile.

General Business Expenses

Your grass cutting business can also write off a range of general business expenses. IRS forms contain spaces for items like advertising, office expenses, supplies, taxes and licenses and professional services. The "other expenses" line allows you to fill in any other expenses as long as they meet the "ordinary and necessary" text. You can also write off the cost of maintaining a home office, if it is the primary place where you run your grass cutting business.