Here's a question that probably never entered your mind when your fiance popped the question: “Is our wedding tax-deductible?” As wedding expenses add up, you may be pining for a little extra cash. Surprisingly, some wedding expenses can actually increase your US tax return when filing in 2022.
While your wedding – on the whole – isn't tax-deductable (shucks!) there are ways to include both wedding expenses and donations when you file your taxes this year. Believe it or not, wedding tax write-offs can include costs like the venue, your wedding dress, flowers & even the catering.
However, before you start tallying up your wedding expenses and planning to claim them on your tax return, it's important to understand the rules and limitations of these deductions. Some expenses may only be partially deductible, while others may not be deductible at all. Additionally, there are income requirements and other eligibility criteria that must be met in order to claim these deductions. So, let's take a closer look at which wedding expenses might be tax-deductible and what you need to know to take advantage of these potential tax breaks.
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Which wedding expenses are tax-deductible?
The key to earning a wedding-related tax break is to consider which of your wedding expenses make a charitable impact. We talk all about how donating your wedding flowers and hiring do-gooding wedding vendors can make a positive local & global impact. Throwing a ‘give back' wedding is not only great for the planet & society but also can help you when filing your taxes post-wedding. Below are examples of expenses that may be included in the donations portion of your tax filing process.
The Church: Ceremony fees donated to churches are often tax-deductible. Ask the church or officiant if this is the case and you can include this fee in your charitable tax deductions.
The Venue: Are you marrying on public lands? Hosting your wedding ceremony in places like National Parks, historical gardens & properties or city land often comes with a nominal donation fee. If so, this too can be included on the donations section of your tax deductions.
Wedding Dress: Donating your wedding dress after you get married is a great way to help another bride marry in style and increase your tax-deductible donations.
Bridesmaid Dresses: The same goes for bridesmaid dresses & flower girl attire as well!
Flowers: In our Wedding Vendors Who Give Back feature, we shared a few companies who find heartwarming ways to recycle your wedding flowers after your celebration, bringing blooms to hospitals, care facilities and other charitable organizations. Work with one of these companies or organize a pickup or delivery yourself and include this floral donation on your charitable tax write-offs.
Food: Have extra food leftover after your wedding reception? Donate them to a local food bank or charity. Then, you can include the cost of the extra meals as a charitable contribution on your taxes.
Wedding Favors: Ditching the wedding favor tradition? Rather than little gifts & sweets, consider donating the money you would have spent on favors to a charitable organization of your choice on behalf of your guests. This donation, too, can be included when filing your taxes.
Registry: Similarly, many couples are opting for charity registries rather than gift registries. We've listed our favorite options for such in this registry guide. Encourage your guests to gift to your favorite causes making your wedding a true give-back wedding. These donations are tax-deductible as well!
Keep in mind that in order to claim a tax deduction for charitable donations, you have to donate to a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization and typically you have to have enough tax deductions to itemize your deductions.
Extra deductions for wedding industry professionals.
Are you a wedding planner, florist, cake baker or another participating wedding vendor? If the photos of your wedding will be used as promotional material for your business then your opportunities for wedding-related tax deductions may increase significantly.
In this case, we must first advise you to consult a licensed tax preparer as each small business tax scenario is completely unique. The possibility to present to your accountant is that any wedding-related expenses made to create your advertising material (i.e. the wedding photos) could be deducted from your small business taxes.
We can't legally confirm this for your own specific tax scenario. But, an example would be deducting the cost of the photographer you hire to take the photos you'll use on your website. Or perhaps, deducting the venue fee where the photos are taken. Similarly, deducting the cost of flowers used in the photos. So on and so forth. Imagine your wedding was a photoshoot you planned and paid for marketing purposes. This would be a small business expense included on your taxes.
Now, which specific wedding expenses qualify for a tax deduction, in this case, will be up to your licensed accountant. For instance, clothing worn in photoshoots is often not included as a tax-deductible item. As a small business owner, you may already have a CPA or tax preparer. If you'd like to explore deducting wedding expenses as advertising costs we advise you to consult a tax professional. We can not give legal tax advice so best to bring your questions to the experts.
Wedding budgeting stressing you out? Try using our all-encompassing wedding budget spreadsheet that you can download for free! It includes loads of budgeting advice and shopping tips. So, you can splurge on your priorities & save on the rest. We'll help keep you well within your wedding budget.