The Sole Proprietor has a multitude of legitimate deductible business expenses. Line 10 of Schedule C describes an expense that is often overlooked (and for good reason). When you go to the IRS instructions for Schedule C, there is literally no description at all for commission and fees. No wonder folks aren't sure what to put here. So let's take a closer look to make sure you aren't missing out on this deduction.
Let's discuss commissions first. And let's start by remembering that any commissions you pay to employees would not be reported on Line 10. Any employee compensation such as wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions should be reported on Line 26. Unfortunately, Line 26 is labeled "Wages" (only), but it is actually used for any type of employee compensation. So if you are going to report commissions on Line 10, it must be commission paid to non-employees, such as an independent contractor.
Now let's discuss fees. Again, the IRS has not been very clear when it comes to the reporting of fees expense on Schedule C. Could there be a word more vague than "fees"? In addition, there are other line items that refer to expenses that could be considered a fee, such as Line 17, Legal and professional services (which would include attorney fees, accountant fees, consulting fees, and the like). And then there's Line 27, Other expenses, which is the perfect place to report any miscellaneous expenses not reported anywhere else on Schedule C, such as internet service provider fees, website hosting fees, and so on.
So if you have already put all your "fees" elsewhere on Schedule C, and are hard pressed to find any fees to report on Line 10, don't be concerned. As long as you have reported those fees somewhere on Schedule C, you are in good shape. It doesn't really matter to the IRS whether you put internet service provider fees on Line 27 or Line 10. The important thing is whether any fees you deduct are bona fide business expenses. The specific line you use to report those fees is not that important.