For many small business owners, tax time can be very scary!! It was for me when I first got started, until I did my research and learned how easy the IRS makes filing taxes for small business owners. Plus, many things you never would even think of, can be written off at tax time. When you own your own business, remember that any expense you put into your business, is a tax write off. Whether it is training, supplies, work meetings etc. Make sure to always save your receipts though and keep documentation of what you are spending and bringing in with your business. And never be afraid to ask someone for help in filing your taxes. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Here are a few expenses you can write off at tax time:
- Home Office. No matter if you rent or own your home, if you have a designated space where you do your work, then you can write that off at tax time. Keep in mind it needs to be a true office space, not your kitchen table or bed. You can write off $5 per square foot of the office area for up to 300 square feet. So if your office is 150 square feet that is $750 you can write off! http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
- If your office is at home, you can also deduct the cost of utilities. You need to figure out what percentage of your day is your work time though to get the cost you can write off.
- Internet used for your business can also be written off at tax time. Like utilities, you need to figure out what percentage is used for work vs leisure.
- If you have a car payment, and use your car for doing your business, that can be deducted. This is tricky though in that you must be driving to meet a client, pick a client up, or delivering products. Going to get coffee or groceries does not count.
- Retirement Plans- If you have set up a plan for retirement that is tax deductible. Even if you only put in a little bit each month.
- Office Supplies- Items like paper, pens, ink cartridge, work computer, work printer, work fax machine, mailing supplies, business cards, thank you cards for business, etc are all tax deductible
- Health Insurance- If you pay for your health insurance yourself and are a small business owner, that is tax deductible
- Child Care- If your kids are in child care at anytime while you are working, that is a tax write off
- Training- If you attend training events for your business, that and the cost to get there is tax write off
- Start Up Costs- If your business required money up front to get started, you can write all of that off at tax time
- Hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes!
- Advertising for your business
- Websites, domains, and maintenance that promote your business and company
Remember, when in doubt at tax time, always ask for help!! This is not something you want to mess up on. I personally do my own taxes as a small business owner and while its time consuming and tough, it can be done. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, hire someone to help you!
Great Sites to Check Out For More Information: