Carson Thorn CPA hero background

The Qualified Business Income Deduction – What You Need to Know

If you are self-employed or own a small business, you're probably looking at every possible way you can ethically and legally reduce your tax payments. While deductions for expenses like tax preparation and your home office can make a big difference, you may be missing one of the biggest deductions for small business owners - the qualified business income (QBI) deduction. Our small business accounting firm in Raleigh are sharing everything you need to know about this key money-saving deduction.

What Is the Qualified Business Income Deduction?

The QBI deduction allows business owners of pass through entities to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified income.

What's a Pass Through Entity?

A pass through entity is one in which you pay your business taxes through your personal tax returns. Most small businesses are pass through entities, and this includes sole proprietorships, limited liability corporations (LLCs), and S-corporations. Independent contractors also fall under this umbrella.

Are there Exceptions for Qualified Business Income?

Not everyone is eligible for the QBI deduction and not all income falls under qualified income, so this deduction can be more complicated than it seems.

First, the amount of your taxable income is taken into account when determining if you can claim the full 20 percent deduction.

Additionally, your qualified business income is not the same as your taxable income. You can only claim a deduction on income directly earned from your business, which according to the IRS, does not include:

  • Items not properly includible in income, such as losses or deductions disallowed under the basis, at-risk, passive loss or excess business loss rules.
  • Investment items such as capital gains or losses, or dividends.
  • Interest income not properly allocable to a trade or business.
  • Wage income.
  • Income not effectively connected with the conduct of business within the U.S. (For more information, go to
  • Commodities transactions or foreign currency gains or losses.
  • Income, loss, or deductions from notional principal contracts.
  • Annuities (unless received in connection with the trade or business).
  • Amounts received as reasonable compensation from an S corporation.
  • Amounts received as guaranteed payments from a partnership.
  • Payments received by a partner for services other than in a capacity as a partner.
  • Qualified REIT dividends.
  • Qualified PTP income.

Basically, foreign income, investment income from dividends or capital gains, and interest income are not included.

There are also other limitations for "specified services." Doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. fall under this category.

Call for Raleigh CPA Small Business Tax Accounting Services

Contact Carson Thorn, CPA, PLLC for small business accounting and tax services at  919-420-0092 or fill out the form below.

Contact Form

Feel free to call our office or to complete the contact form below:

"*" indicates required fields

Your Name*
By submitting this form, you are consenting to our privacy policy.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.