Handling Start-Up Expenses

Starting a business? How should you handle start-up expenses? Taxpayers can generally deduct the ordinary and necessary costs of operating a business. But tax law requires that most costs to get a business started must generally be amortized over time.

In one case, a patent attorney/ inventor and his wife were denied a deduction for the expenses of their visual device manufacturing company. The husband testified that during the years in question, the company was still in the process of “creating a manufacturable item” and didn’t produce its first units until later. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the company was in the start-up phase and must amortize the related expenses. (Provitola v. Comm., 6/11/21)