When Do Flowers Count as a Business Expense? A Breakdown of Potential Write-Offs

December 18, 2022

Who doesn't love flowers?

As a business owner, you may use flowers and plants to decorate your office and as gifts for your employees and clients.

With tax season approaching, you’re beginning to wonder, “Are flowers a business expense?” 

In this article, we will take a look at how floral purchases factor into income tax write-offs, including when you may — or may not — be able to count flowers as a business expense.

Table of Contents

Are Flowers a Business Expense?

Under certain circumstances, flowers may be seen as a business expense. 

These may include flowers used as:

  • Decorations for your office
  • Gifts to your employees
  • Gifts to your clients
  • Landscaping; and
  • Achievement awards

The best way to find out if you can deduct flowers as a business expense is to check with your tax specialist or visit the IRS website.

Can You Write Off Flowers?

The short answer is, “yes.”  Businesses are able to write off flowers as a business expense. 

However, not every case may qualify, so it is best to discuss the details with your accountant.  

Click here to shop for flower delivery for Portland/Vancouver Metro area today!

5 Circumstances Where Flowers May Be Considered a Business Expense

#1: Decorating the Office

Do you know the feeling you get when you walk into an office and are greeted by a tastefully arranged bouquet? 

It makes you feel as though the owner has been expecting you and that you are welcome in their place of business.

If you are a business owner, you may be able to count any potted plants or flowers you purchase for your … 

  • Waiting area
  • Reception desk
  • Meeting rooms

… or other areas of your office as a business expense.

Like most of the other products and services that relate to running your business, flowers and plants may be tax-deductible. 

#2: Gifts to Employees

Your receptionist finally tied the knot. 

Your office accountant’s father passed away.

Your virtual assistant had a bouncing baby boy.

Of course, you sent flowers. 

Are flowers a business expense if they are sent as gifts to your employees?

As long as they are given in recognition of a particular event (as opposed to a reward for services) the answer is, “yes.”

According to the IRS, you will be able to deduct all or part of the expense of flowers gifted to your employees as long as you stay within these limitations:

  • You may deduct no more than $25 of the cost of the flowers.
  • You will need to keep a record proving that the gift was business-related.
  • You will need to keep your receipt for the purchase of the flowers.

#3: Gifts to Clients

What about the flowers you sent to your best client to thank them for 10 years of business?

Are flowers a business expense when they are sent as gifts to clients? 

Possibly. While not all of your costs incurred by giving gifts to your clients will be fully deductible, you will be able to claim a percentage of them. 

When you give flowers as a gift to one of your clients, the cost will be deductible up to $25 for each client. 

For example, if you spend $125 on a glorious bouquet of … 

  • Garden roses
  • Parrot tulips 
  • Ranunculus; and 
  • Snapdragons

… for a new client, you will be able to claim a tax deduction of $25.

#4: Landscaping

Maybe you decided to spruce up the outside of your business by adding:

  • A few Ocean Spray shrubs
  • Black-Eyed Susans; or 
  • A trio of ferns

If you are a work-at-home, sole proprietor who meets with clients in your home, you will be able to deduct a portion of the cost of landscaping as a business expense.

The reason for this is that investing in landscaping is an integral part of keeping your home —  and home office —  looking neat and inviting to your clients.

The amount you will be able to deduct will be limited to the percentage of your home that is strictly set aside for your business. 

For instance, if you have 10 rooms in your home, and use one of those rooms as your home office, you will be able to deduct 10% of the total cost of landscaping.

If you choose to hire a company to maintain your plants, you may also be entitled to a deduction on your taxes.  

These rules also apply to business owners who do not operate out of their homes, but own the property on which their business operates.

Be sure to save your receipts or invoices in order to prove your expenses.

Click here to shop for flower delivery for Portland/Vancouver Metro area today!

#5: Achievement Awards

Flowers given out during award ceremonies or for employee promotions within your business are tax-deductible under de minimis fringe benefits.

According to the IRS guidelines …

“A de minimis benefit is one for which, considering its value and the frequency with which it is provided, is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or impractical.” 

There are special rules that allow you to exclude specific employee achievement awards. The awards must be of tangible personal property and given in appreciation for length of employment or safety. 

These achievement awards:

  • May not be disguised wages
  • Must be presented to the employee as a part of a meaningful presentation
  • Must be given for safety or length-of-service
  • Cannot be in the form of

    • Cash
    • A cash equivalent
    • Vacation time
    • Meals
    • Lodging
    • Securities; or
    • Sports or theater tickets

How to Deduct Flowers as a Business Expense

If you would like to deduct flowers as a business expense, here are the initial steps you need to take:  

  1. The first thing to do is complete and file Schedule C with your tax return. On this form, you will itemize your total business costs (including floral purchases) and calculate how much business income is left over after deducting your costs. 
  2. You will then enter the resulting number from the Schedule C form onto line 3 of Schedule 1 of Form 1040. This will show the taxable income from your business. 
  3. Finally, you will transfer the total of the Schedule 1 form, which is found on line 9, to line 8 of Form 1040.

Please consult the Internal Revenue Service website or talk with your accountant to learn more about how the flowers and plants you purchase may be used as a business expense. 

Botanica Floral + Home: Providing Your Business With Bountiful Flowers and Plants for Every Occasion

At Botanica Floral + Home in Portland, flowers aren't just our specialty — they're our passion. 

Whether you are looking for a … 

  • Succulent garden for your waiting area 
  • Congratulatory, fresh-cut bouquet for an employee; or
  • Potted fiddle leaf fig to brighten up your front window

… our friendly, knowledgeable staff are always happy to direct you to the perfect selection. 

We even offer our Plant Enabler Club — a.k.a. Plant of the Month Club — where you can receive a new houseplant each month to beautify your home or office. 

Give us a call, or better yet, stop by the shop today! 

Click here to shop for flower delivery for Portland/Vancouver Metro area today!