Tax Deductions for Home Businesses
For most home business owners, tax deductions may be the key that can help put a little extra cash back into their pocket. Tax deductions vary from business to business but it is worth your time to familiarize yourself with some of these common tax deductions.
First, determine if you qualify for a home business tax deduction. A home office is generally defined as a place where you meet with clients, patients, or customers. Or if this part of the house is used exclusively for business purposes. Most people have a general image that comes to mind when they hear the words “home office”. In reality, tax deductions can apply to a variety of places. Your home office can be a garage, basement, or a studio. If you do qualify as a home business, it is crucial to keep all records, receipts, and paperwork that you have accumulated throughout the year.
It will make tax time a much less stressful experience for the home business owner. Do not overlook the small things. This can be as simple as keeping the receipts when you purchase paper, staples, or toner. Any item that is purchased for your home business is usually considered a tax deduction. This may seem tedious and unimportant but nothing could be further from the truth. You might be amazed when all these little things add up at the end of the year.
Home business deductions can be separated into two categories. The first is for Direct Expenses. These are expenses that are needed for your actual home office. Direct expenses include office furniture, decorating costs, or equipment. Indirect Expenses are the expenses that must be paid the entire house. This includes heating, electricity, or mortgage interest payments. You can deduct the percentage of your business expenses from your utility costs.
Another tax deduction to consider is telephone expenses. If you have one telephone line, the IRS is usually not going to believe that you use this only for your home business. The second phone line installed in your home is purely one hundred percent deductible. Another common deduction that is often missed is the lost distance charges incurred because of business calls.
An overlooked tax deduction for some home business owners are the meal expenses when they entertain an employee, a customer, or a client. Save all your receipts from these business dinners. It is possible to deduct fifty percent of meal expenses. Education expenses can also be a tax deduction if it is required by law to update your skills or if you are trying to enhance your skills for your current position.
Most home business owners use a vehicle as a means of transportation for their business. This vehicle can be used for running to the post office, or meeting with a client. Keep a log book in the vehicle to keep track of the mileage on these errands. Vehicles can be vital to run your home business, and overtime these kinds of charges can hurt your profits. There are many valuable tax deductions for vehicles, such as car repairs and car insurance. Airline fare can be another costly, but necessary aspect for home business owners. The IRS does allow your trip expense as another tax deduction.
As you can see, home business owners have a variety of options when it comes to tax deductions. Remember to keep records of all your home business activities and consult with a tax advisor to get the best deductions for your home business.