I work for myself as a 1099 software engineering contractor and I have a Spotify streaming service account. I listen to it all day while I work.
I understand that many companies and offices listen to music each day and even though music may be playing within the business, this is usually not considered a "necessary" business expense.
However, when I listen to Spotify I listen to specific types of music-- music that has a chill-tone, often without vocals. The idea is to create a specific, background audio atmosphere. Personally, I can't explain it but I am easily 15-20% more productive by having some background music playing.
Another way of looking at it is by "investing" $9.99/month into a streaming audio service I am increasing my net-value to my customers by approximately 25%. It's difficult to come up with a legitimate value of increased productivity but, under oath and observation, I am more than confident that the music is making me or productive as software engineer.
Would such an argument likely convince an auditor that streaming audio expenses are legitimate business expenses? At the end of the day the $120 a year expense of streaming Spotify isn't that much but I'd like to take what I can legitimately get because who wants to pay more than they have to in taxes. Is this a viable write-off?