Can You Write Off Gas and Electric Bills on Your Taxes?

Utility costs like gas and electricity are a necessary expense for any home or business. With rising energy prices, many people wonder if you can claim these bills as a tax deduction to lower your taxable income. The answer depends on your specific situation. This article will examine when you can and cannot write off utility expenses on your federal income taxes.

Overview of Tax Deductions

A tax deduction lowers your taxable income. There are two main types of deductions:

  • Standard deduction – A set amount based on your filing status. You don’t need to itemize.
  • Itemized deductions – Specific expenses you track and claim if the total exceeds the standard deduction.

To lower your taxable income using utilities, you must itemize deductions on Schedule A and meet eligibility requirements.

When You Can Deduct Utilities

You may be able to deduct gas, electric, water, trash pickup, cable/internet, and other utilities in these situations:

Dedicated Home Office

If you rent or own office space separate from your home, you can deduct 100% of any utility bills for that space. The space must be used exclusively for business.

Home Office Deduction

If you use part of your home regularly and exclusively for your business, you can deduct a percentage of household utilities based on the square footage of your home office space versus total home square footage.

Rental Property Utilities

Utility expenses for a rental property are deductible, but rules differ for active rental income versus passive rental income.

Business Property Utilities

Any utilities for a space used regularly and exclusively for business operations are fully deductible – for example, a retail storefront.

When You Cannot Deduct Utilities

You cannot deduct personal household utility expenses for your primary residence. And you cannot deduct utilities for a secondary home or vacation property that is not rented out.

Other situations where you cannot claim a deduction:

  • Home office does not meet exclusive use test
  • Portion of utilities is for personal (non-business) use
  • Rental property was not in service for the tax year
  • Expenses are reimbursed by your employer

How To Claim the Deduction

To write off eligible utility expenses:

  • Maintain receipts and proof of payment for all utility bills.
  • Calculate allowable business percentage for home office deduction.
  • Claim expenses on Schedule A under “Taxes you paid” and “Other expenses.”
  • Report amount on Schedule C or E if related to your business or rental property.

Other Important Tax Facts

  • Itemizing may not be best if your total exceeds the standard deduction.
  • There are income limits on certain itemized deductions.
  • Improper home office deductions increase your audit risk.
  • Hiring a tax professional can help maximize your deductions.


Tax rules around deducting utilities are complex. With proper documentation and by meeting eligibility requirements, you may be able to write off certain gas, electric, water, and other utility expenses to lower your taxable income. However, you cannot claim a deduction for basic utilities in your primary residence. Consult a tax professional to ensure you maximize allowable deductions without increasing audit risk.


Can you write off electricity on your taxes?


You can write off a percentage of your electricity bill that is equal to the percentage of space that your office occupies in your home. For example, if your home office occupies 20% of the space (square footage) in your home, then 20% of your electricity bill can be used as a tax deduction.

Can you claim utility bills on your taxes?


The home office deduction Form 8829 is available to both homeowners and renters. There are certain expenses taxpayers can deduct. They include mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance, depreciation and rent. Taxpayers must meet specific requirements to claim home expenses as a deduction.

How much gas can I write off on my taxes?


You can usually deduct unreimbursed vehicle expenses using one of these methods: Standard mileage rate — $0.655 per mile in 2023. If you use the standard mileage rate, you will not qualify for the IRS gas reimbursement and therefore cannot deduct the gas separately.

What is tax deductible for homeowners?


Your house payment may include several costs of owning a home. The only costs you can deduct are state and local real estate taxes actually paid to the taxing authority and interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest. These are discussed in more detail later.

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