Businesses can generally deduct the costs of marketing and advertising on their tax returns. Costs must be “ordinary and necessary,” which means common and accepted in the industry and helpful and appropriate to the business, such as reasonable advertising costs directly related to a company’s activities. An expense doesn’t have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. Money spent to keep the company’s name before the public may be deductible if there’s a reasonable expectation of future business gains or customer retention. The costs of providing meals, entertainment and recreation to the public as a way to promote community goodwill are also typically deductible.