Many people who are self-employed often overlook numerous tax deductions throughout the year, and as the tax filing extension for 2011 draws to a close, below are some overlooked items that many individuals shouldn’t overlook. Remember, you must be able to successfully defend the deduction as the cost of doing business when claiming it on your tax return.
1. Promoting Your Business Through Advertising – t-shirts, web sites, printed hand-out materials, novelty items with your company information on it
2. Dues / Subscriptions to Media Outlets and Organizations – subscribing to an association or review industry news for business purposes
3. Consulting Services – did you see an attorney, accountant, or someone you needed help in assisting you with your business
4. Telephone – how else can people contact you outside of e-mail; this also includes cell phone usage and the cost of your internet
5. Supplies – anything related to the cost of working on your business, from office to manufacturing items which helps make your business run
6. Meals and Entertainment – taking out clients, potential employees, or attend networking events in your industry (up to a 50% deduction)
7. Office Equipment – computers, desks, cell phones are all considered deductions if it is used in the operations of the business
8. Auto Expenses – you have a few options in this avenue, whether deducting mileage/toll roads/parking or a percentage of business use of the vehicle to include such things as insurance, depreciation, fuel, repairs and maintenance
While these are very broad areas that leave some potential gray area, you should contact a trusted tax advisor or review the findings on the IRS web site at www.irs.gov for a more detailed explanation. Again these are some of the key areas that self-employed individuals often overlook, and isn’t the money better in your pocket than Uncle Sam’s?
About Our Show Advisor: Dwayne Briscoe is the founder and owner of Bookkeeping-Results, LLC. Dwayne began his company in January 2007, based on the foundation to educate small business owners and bookkeepers who use QuickBooks®. Working as a full-charge bookkeeper and trainer in a variety of industries for over 15+ years, he is a certified Pro Advisor with 5 certifications, including Enterprise Solutions and Point of Sale. He is also an instructor at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, where he teaches basic accounting, QuickBooks®, and basic payroll, along with hosting his own private classes.
Bookkeeping-Results, LLC has focused more on quality and not quantity for their clients, by paying attention to the details. Through regular continuing education participation, as well as exploring additional ways of “thinking outside of the box” to help expand people’s knowledge of their own financial well being, it’s important to focus on not only saving the client money but also making the client money.