(916) 415-8377

Get in touch

Tax-Saving Strategies: How Construction Businesses in California Can Maximize Their Returns

Tax Savings

The construction industry, with its intricate web of expenses, subcontractors, and fluctuating revenues, presents unique financial challenges. For construction businesses in California, where regulations and tax codes can be particularly complex, it’s crucial to have a robust tax strategy in place. By leveraging specific tax-saving strategies, construction companies can maximize their returns and ensure they’re not leaving money on the table. Here’s how:

1. **Understand California-Specific Deductions**

California offers several tax deductions tailored for construction businesses. For instance, the state allows deductions for certain energy-efficient building materials and designs. If your construction company specializes in green building or retrofitting older structures to be more energy-efficient, you could be eligible for significant tax breaks.

2. **Leverage the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit**

While the R&D tax credit is a federal program, California has its own version that’s even more generous. If your construction company is innovating—whether that’s developing new building techniques, designing unique architectural features, or creating proprietary construction materials—you could qualify. For example, a construction firm that develops a new, earthquake-resistant building technique could claim the R&D credit on both federal and state tax returns.

3. **Stay Abreast of Sales and Use Tax Refunds**

In California, construction companies can sometimes get a refund on sales and use taxes for certain types of purchases. For instance, if you’re buying equipment or materials for a project that’s funded by a tax-exempt entity (like a government agency), you might be eligible for a refund on the sales tax.

4. **Maximize Deductions on Large Equipment Purchases**

Section 179 of the federal tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment bought or financed during the tax year. This can be a game-changer for construction companies, given the high costs of machinery like cranes, bulldozers, and excavators. While there’s a federal limit on these deductions, California conforms to these federal limits, allowing businesses to benefit doubly.

5. **Take Advantage of Work Opportunity Tax Credits**

If you hire employees from certain groups, such as veterans or those receiving government assistance, you could be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This federal program can result in thousands of dollars in tax savings per eligible employee, and California offers its own complementary program.

6. **Consider the Benefits of Incorporation**

Many construction businesses start as sole proprietorships or partnerships. However, incorporating in California can offer significant tax advantages, especially as your business grows. Corporations can deduct health insurance premiums, retirement contributions, and other expenses that individual business owners can’t.

7. **Keep Detailed Records**

This might seem obvious, but meticulous record-keeping is one of the most effective tax-saving strategies. By keeping detailed records of every expense, no matter how minor, you can ensure you’re not overlooking any potential deductions. For instance, if you’re renovating a historic building in downtown Los Angeles, you might be eligible for federal and state historic preservation tax credits. But without detailed records of your expenses, you could miss out.


Navigating the tax landscape in California can be intricate, especially for construction businesses. However, with the right strategies and insights, companies can ensure they’re maximizing their returns and making the most of every dollar. If you’re seeking expert guidance in this arena, consider reaching out to E.R.L. Business Solutions. As a trusted partner for numerous construction companies, they specialize in helping businesses like yours amplify their income and achieve significant tax savings. Don’t leave money on the table; let E.R.L. Business Solutions guide you to financial success.