I doubt I can write it off, but I just figured I'd check anyway. What if I took a class in it and needed the software to take the class?

  • Are you self-employed, or a regular employee? Aug 31 '10 at 19:10
  • @Chris Presently I'm unemployed. I'd like to be employed however, and I think learning .NET might help with that.
    – leeand00
    Sep 1 '10 at 1:01
  • 3
    @leeand00 - make sure you learn C# not VB. C# is much more marketable.
    – Jack
    Sep 3 '10 at 16:51

I am by no means a tax professional, which is who you should probably ask, but from I understand about tax law: - If it is for a class or some other form of formal education, then yes, it can be written off. - If you just teaching yourself a new skill, then no, it can't be written off.

but like Bryan Denny said, if you are just learning, you can get the express edition for free.

  • 1
    +1 for mentioning express edition. Also see microsoft.com/express - you don't even need DreamSpark verification, etc. The express edition is free for everyone. Oct 25 '11 at 8:44
  • 1
    As an update starting with vs 2013 there is a community edition which has more features than express.
    – Andy
    Dec 16 '14 at 0:30

I don't know about taxes on this issue, but you might be able to save some money!

Are you a student? Checkout the DreamSpark program from Microsoft and get it for free here. Additionally, your school might have a MSDN license or be able to get you a copy for cheaper than retail.

Alternatively, there is also the free express edition if you don't need the features of the professional edition.


If you are currently employed as a programmer or similar job, you may be able to deduct the cost of Visual Studio, if it is part of a professional development program and exceeds 2% of your income.

  • What does the 2% mean? 2% of my yearly income?
    – leeand00
    Sep 7 '10 at 3:24
  • Yes 2% annual income. You need to be very careful about this and talk to a tax professional or consult a tax guide. The IRS is pretty aggressive at disallowing these sorts of deductions. Sep 7 '10 at 16:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.