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Tax Write Offs: Are Legal Fees Tax-Deductible?

Most for personal legal work are not deductible; many for business are. Legal fees are among many of the professional service fees that qualify as tax-deductible when filing business income taxes. The expenses incurred must be considered ordinary and necessary to the business in order to be written off.

If you are getting divorced, starting a new business, or suing someone, then you’re probably going to have to enlist the services of a lawyer. Will you be able to deduct any of the fees your attorney charges you?

In some cases, the answer is yes. Although there are still a few types of personal legal fees that are deductible, the vast majority of them currently are not—at least until the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) expires in 2025.

Percentage deductible: 100%


  • The legal fees must be business related. This is also true of legal cases the taxpayer did not win.

Example deductions:

  • Fees for resolving tax issues