Motor vehicle costs are an issue

Business expenses: You can deduct these expenses from tax

Separate personal and business expenses

Expenses that exclusively the private lifestyle are not deductible as business expenses, even if they are triggered by your economic or social position. This applies even if they are made to promote your profession or your activity. Is there a professional or private expense Co-initiation of minor importance (each less than 10%), this is not to be observed.


Other mixed expenses are to be divided into business expenses and non-deductible costs of private living if the Division according to objective characteristics (Time, amount, area, by head) light and flawless can be made.


The part of the expenses that is to be considered as operating expenses can be estimated if necessary. If, in the case of mixed expenses, an easy and perfectly verifiable separation between business and private reasons is not possible, the costs are the costs a total of not removable.


Divisible costs are in particular:


  • Motor vehicle costs (kilometers driven)
  • Telephone charges
  • Traveling expenses


Expenses for the outward and return journey of a business and private The arranged trip can be divided into deductible business expenses and non-deductible expenses for private life in accordance with the business and private incurred Time shares be divided.


Costs for a trip to a foreign holiday resort, which at the same time for relaxation and z. B. is used to update textbooks, but cannot be split up and therefore no operating expenses.


The principles can also be applied to other mixed expenses:


  • PC and internet costs (time share)
  • professionally used rooms in otherwise privately inhabited house (area); [s. Workspace]
  • general educational literature


Tip: In contrast to the usage costs, you can claim the acquisition costs in full as a business expense. The only requirement: The office space is not in your private home (which means that the tax office could rate the investment as "also privately motivated") and the range of equipment offered corresponds to your company's requirements (principle of appropriateness).


Business expenses from A to Z

Here is an overview of other business expenses that you can claim for tax purposes:


  • Depreciation (depreciation), even if the acquisition costs have not yet been paid (see depreciation / acquisition and production costs, depreciation in operation, depreciation / building)
  • Legal fees
  • Contributions to professional associations
  • Consulting costs (business, legal, tax)
  • Operating taxes (e.g. property, vehicle and sales tax)
  • Office costs (rent, cleaning, telephone, office supplies)
  • Theft losses, if the loss can be assigned to the operational sphere (in particular money theft)
  • Maintenance expenses for business assets
  • Specialist books and journals
  • Financing costs (interest including current account interest, discount, notary fees for land charges) for obtaining loans
  • Training costs
  • Business and information travel
  • Incentive trips
  • Motor vehicle costs, insofar as this is professional (including accident costs)
  • Pension payments
  • Personnel costs (including those for spouses and children)
  • Commissions
  • Litigation costs
  • Compensation payments, insofar as they are operationally necessary
  • Sponsoring to promote people or organizations in sporting, cultural or similar social areas
  • Tax consultancy costs for the company (annual financial statements and bookkeeping), including travel expenses to the tax consultant including any accident costs on the journey, specialist tax literature
  • Criminal defense costs if the underlying offense was professional (fines and penalties are not deductible)
  • Tips for business purposes
  • Moving costs
  • Insurance contributions (but not practice failure, life, occupational accident insurance for the entrepreneur)
  • Advertising expenses

These operating expenses are not deductible or only to a limited extent

Business expenses are generally fully deductible. A distinction must be made from this non-deductible or limited deductible business expenses. Although they belong to the area of ​​business expenses, their deductibility is restricted by statutory provisions (in particular Section 4 (5) and Section 12 of the Income Tax Act). But they do not belong to the private withdrawals.


These operating expenses, which cannot be deducted or can only be deducted to a limited extent, include, for example:


  • Expenses for gifts to persons other than employees if the acquisition or production costs per recipient exceed a total of EUR 35 in the financial year
  • Hospitality costs if they are inappropriate or exceed 70% of the reasonable hospitality costs
  • Additional expenses for meals, insofar as they exceed the legally stipulated lump sums for business trips
  • Expenses for journeys between home and business, insofar as the expenses exceed the flat-rate distance allowance (see also company car)
  • Expenses for a home office
  • Additional expenses due to double housekeeping due to operational reasons
  • Inappropriate expenses affecting the way of life
  • Business representation expenses, such as B. particularly expensive motor vehicles or an excessively luxurious equipment of the business premises. The prohibition of deduction applies to that part of the expenses that is to be regarded as inappropriate according to the general public opinion.
  • Interest on evaded taxes
  • Debt interest based on overdrafts
  • Fines, administrative fines, warning fines, fines
  • Kickbacks and bribes
  • Cost of using spiritual services to drive sales
  • Trade tax for years from 2008
  • Expenses for the promotion of state political purposes; they can be deducted as donations if necessary


Anticipated business expenses


Anticipated business expenses arise before a business opens. They are to be understood as start-up / start-up costs (e.g. planning, financing, travel costs or official fees). Your deduction assumes a sufficient connection with the profit making. If a business does not start up, business expenses are in vain. Your deduction depends on whether proof of the operational cause can be provided. Please also read the key word start-up.


Subsequent operating expenses


After the end of the commercial activity, subsequent operating expenses may arise that lead to negative income from commercial operations, e.g. B. Interest payments for liabilities that arose from operational reasons and could not be repaid until the sale or abandonment of the business despite the realization of the existing assets.




The taxpayer bears the burden of proof for the correctness of his information. If he does not comply with this, the prerequisites for an estimate can be met. While business expenses can also be estimated if receipts have been lost, this only applies to a limited extent to input tax amounts.


Expenses for, among other things, Gifts, entertainment costs, costs for a home office and expenses that affect the lifestyle are to be recorded separately from the other operating expenses and individually.

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