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I always postpone taxes to Oct 15th and then send it in. I need some help thinking of stuff to write off. I've got so far:
Ontrac delivery of exhibits to office
SEP IRA investment
I'm stumped as to what else to write off. Anyone have any suggestions?
Aside from organizations, licences, health insurance, you have
mileage (to every depo, to the post office, fed ex, ups), all business related mileage - it really ads up. Toll costs. And every time you have lunch with a business person, pay for both and keep the receipt (that lunch is tax deductible). Business meals are tax deductible.
Do you have a home office? You can write off a portion of your PG&E bill used to light/heat that office. Just make sure it really is just an office in case you get audited because the IRS is strict about that. You can even write of things in the office like paint for the walls.
I've been audited five times and writing off office is a huge red flag and that's one of the reasons in the past I've been audited.
Also, if you write off gas, you cannot write off mileage; one or the other I was told.
I'm writing off my car lease too. Didn't know I could write off health insurance. I'll put that down. Thanks.
You can't write off the whole premiums and expenses for health care, according to my accountant. He said I'd have a have a huge amount of out-of-pocket expenses before I could write off my healthcare expenses. But that is just according to him. I never researched it more.
It has to meet a certain amount of money, but don't forget prescriptions, doctor visits. Also, cell phone, house phone, internet, DMV fees, property tax (I have to double check - I can't find my taxes at the moment), donations, water/garbage (but that's part of the home office). How frustrating that you've been audited because of home office. I've been claiming a home office since I started reporting and have never been audited (knock on wood).
Here's my categories:
1. telephone (land line & cell; I stopped using a fax a few years ago)
2. parking and tolls (garage receipts and ezpass statements)
3. co-op info (since I claim a home office, I keep each month’s maintenance bill and the annual letter from the atty for the board telling me how much money per share I can deduct for mortgage interest and real estate taxes) and some percentage is claimed.
4. postage and shipping
5. business supplies (anything I’ve bought related to work: newspaper & magazine subscriptions, research materials, new hardware, software, tech support)
6. client entertainment and gifts (basically just Mon-Thurs dinner receipts where we talk about work)
7. car (gas, maintenance, and insurance, mileage on Jan 1 and Dec 31 to help account allocate)
8. taxes (investment statements, 1099s, copies of my cancelled checks for estimated payments, IRS mail, last year’s CPA bill, etc)
10. medical and dental (out-of-pocked expenses + health insurance premiums)
12. conventions, seminars, license renewals, notary renewals, professional associations
13. internet (cable modem bills, yahoo mail $20/year)
14. advertising (website and anything else that pertains)
If you office at home, most accountants will help you come up with a pro rata share of your household expenses that can be written off as a biz expense. Things such as electricity, telephone (including the hardware cost), household goods like cleaners and toilet paper, even housekeeping expenses if you have a housekeeper can be written off. MIleage to and from stores to pick up supplies, meals can be expensed as client entertainment.
Wonder if I could write off the $10,000 I spent on my teeth last year. I saw "dental" below. That'd be nice for sure. Somehow I think not, though.
I think my accountant does write off the home office expense. My husband just told me he does write off the Internet bill already. I didn't think of that one.
I need to find some receipts for restaurants for sure. I'm not all that great on keeping up on that sort of thing.
Kelli, I think you can write off your health insurance premiums. I have an insurance premium for my business equipment and I write that off. Oh, if you take classes for CEUs or go to conventions, those expenses are deductible.
My husband said he writes all that stuff off already. Can never have enough write-offs you know!
I really think every business person should do a practice TurboTax every year. You don't have to file it. Just do one as a dry run. The cost of the software (maybe $100) is well worth the frustration and relief you will get from having more knowledge.
Last time we did TurboTax, it told us we owed 97,000 in taxes. I was like, what??? I don't think so. And you're right, we did not file that tax return.