Just the thought of taxes can scare people out of their minds. You have to keep all your records and documents in order to be able to file easier at the end of the year. Home business owners have their own set of allowable deductions that differ from other businesses. You have a chance to save a lot of money by knowing how to take advantage of you home business situation.
Know what your deductions are.
There are several deductibles that the home-based business owner is entitled to. There are auto/vehicle deductions that can help with mileage, gas, insurance, and/or other related expenses. You can write off your business cards and stationary, plus any business meals and entertainment. All business traveling expenses, education, and even the interest on your business credit card can be counted in your favor. Your Internet service and web page related expenses could be deducted as well. Office furniture, supplies, your phone and other communication devices are also necessities that have deductions. Any postage or delivery of goods charges is also considered a business expense. The home-based owner can also get deductions on rent and utilities that keep the business running. Deductions that you will want to use are:
* Half of your self-employment tax amount, which can offer you a huge savings.
* As much as 100% of your medical insurance costs for you and your family.
If you make more than $600 per year in self-employment you must file your taxes. You may qualify for the C-EZ form if you have had a bad year or just got started. Your total business expenses will have to be less than $5000 for that year; you have no inventory, or have to file a 4562 form (depreciation and amortization form). Make sure first and foremost that your expenses are less than $5000 and that you have taken all the deductions you are entitled to.
A large decision is who will be doing your taxes. You need to decide if you plan to do them yourself or if you want someone else to do them for you. There are several advantages in using a tax professional. They can save you much time and unneeded frustration. They can spot deductions you might miss or not know about. It also saves you from being responsible for any errors that were made in the preparation, which could end up saving you thousands. No matter how you decide to prepare your taxes be sure to claim all possible deductions to save you money in the long run. A business has many breaks for the taxpayer for a reason and you should make sure you know what you qualify for and how to save.
Home Office Tax Expenses
America is a country built on small businesses. Yes, the big companies are the darlings of the media, but the guts of our economy are the little guys pursuing the American Dream from the extra bedroom. Fortunately, the tax code contains deductions tailored to help cut your tax bill.
When claiming home office tax expenses, it is important to keep a receipt for each and every amount you are claiming. When dealing with the IRS, receipts are your ammo. Keep them at all costs.
When maintaining a home office, taxpayers often wonder how they differentiate a business expense from a simply home expense. The key is the square footage. Simply divide the square footage of your office by the total square footage of the home. This number is typically represented by a percentage such as 20 percent. Put another way, the home office represents 20 percent of the square footage of the house. Once you have the above answer, you can multiply it by the total yearly amounts paid for rent or mortgage interest, insurance, maintenance, utilities, taxes, depreciation of the home and repairs. Each of these home office tax expenses figures can then be deducted.
In addition to the above, you can also deduct expenses completely related to the business. For instance, the purchase of a desk for the office is entirely attributable to the office and can be deducted in full.
Words of Caution
There are some limitations to home office tax expenses. If you are reimbursed by an employer for various home office expenses, you cannot also claim those expenses as a tax deduction. Sorry, no double dipping.
For some time, there has been an urban myth that the Internal Revenue Service keeps a close eye on home-based businesses. This may have been true ten years ago, but is clearly not the case today. To this end, the IRS has actually come out and issued clear statements to the contrary. Do not fail to claim home office tax expenses because of a fear of an audit. It is simply not a rational fear!
Running a small business can be both stressful and incredibly gratifying. Make sure you claim home office tax expenses to help your cash flow.
The Bean Counters Bookkeeping team would love to help you sort out your books, loans, credit cards, and taxes. Book a free consultation today and let's get you compliant this year.