As a self-employed individual/business owner, you are allowed a laundry list of business tax deductions. These are expenses that are necessary and relevant to your business tax filing.
Every tax season business owners (small and large) neglect to maximize their chances of a sizable tax return because they overlook qualified deductions that they could have taken.
Remember: “Uncle Sam” is not out to just give money away. But if you claim tax deductions fairly and legitimately, then there should be no issue with the government crediting your money to you — It’s the law!
Below is a list of tax deductions for you to consider. Use this tax write off list as a checklist/reference. All may not apply to your particular situation. And some tax deductions may be limited.
Consult a business tax accountant or use a professional business tax software for maximum results.
- Office Rent / Home Office
- Phone / Cell Phone
- Internet Service
- Computer & Related Expenses
- Fax Machine
- Copier / Printer
- Maintenance & Repairs
- Business Startup Expenses
- Upkeep (sanitation, landscaping, etc.)
(…and ANY & EVERYTHING else you can think of related to Your Overhead Expenses!)
Marketing & Advertising
- TV, Radio, Print, Internet
- Advertising Specialties (pens, magnets, cups,etc.)
- Automobile Signs
- Market Research
- Mailing List
- Search Engine Optimization
- Tradeshows / Booths
- Business Cards / Promo Cards
(…and ANY & EVERYTHING else you can think of related to Your Marketing/Advertising Expenses!)
Education & Training
- Books / Ebooks
- Workshops & Seminars
- CDs, DVDs, Learning Software
- Magazine Subscriptions
- Professional Membership Dues
- Business Kits
- Conference Calls
(…and ANY & EVERYTHING else you can think of related to Your Education & Training Expenses!)
- Stationary (bus. cards, letterhead, etc.)
- Office Supplies
- Internet Service
- P.O. Box or Suite Box Rental
(…and ANY & EVERYTHING else you can think of related to Your Administrative Costs!)
- Air Fare
- Cab Fare
- Train Fare
- Hotel / Motel
- Travel Agency Costs
- Travel Membership Expenses
- Car Rental
- Gas / Mileage
(…and ANY & EVERYTHING else you can think of related to Your Travel Expenses!)
- Gas / Oil
- Car Washes / Waxes
- Tags / Registration
- Vehicle Purchase
- Parking / Toll Charges
- Drivers Training Expense
(…and ANY & EVERYTHING else you can think of related to Your Auto Expenses!)
Note: Also if you’ve made any charitable donations as a business – or gave away business gifts, then those are possible deductions that you need to apply for as well. Be sure to round up all your receipts and documentation.
The above list of business tax deductions is designed to be used as a reference and “mind jogger” as to what may be possible for you to deduct in your business. Keep this list handy when consulting with a tax professional – or when preparing your own taxes through a professional online tax service or other method. With this tax write off list combined with your own additions, you WILL lower your tax liability and increase your chances of a refund:)
Don’t pay Uncle Sam more than you have to!
How Much Money Do You Have to Make to File Taxes?
If you fall in the category of self-employed, sole proprietor or independent contractor (which are all very closely related) and have made $400 or more in annual net income (meaning after deducting operating expenses) — then as a general rule you are required to file taxes on that income.
Typically, all you have to do is report this income on what is called a schedule C or schedule C-EZ along with Form 1040. Your accountant, tax professional, or professional tax software can ensure that you’re on track with the latest tax updates, as well as provide you with any tax forms that you may need.
Note: If your business structure is set-up as a corporation or other, then your situation is a bit more complex and you may require more detailed guidance. Consult with your accountant or tax professional for more details.