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Tax Tips and Tricks

CC - Photo by IRS EIN at Flickr

CC – Photo by IRS EIN at Flickr

Tax season is a stressful time for most Americans, but it can be even more so for the self-employed and small businesses.

USA Today has some tax tips and tricks to help take the edge off of tax preparation and help you save.

9 Tax Tips for the Self-employed:

1. Remember you didn’t pay taxes upfront.

You should set aside money to pay your taxes and make a plan for 2013 taxes now.

2. Don’t fear the home office deduction.

If it is a space dedicated specifically for your job, go for it.

3. Don’t fear vehicle and travel deductions.

If you keep good travel records of business trips, you can file for this deduction.

4. Supplies and professional dues.

You should keep good records of special supplies or fees that are a part of your cost of doing business.

5. Don’t forget depreciation.

If you have any big fixed-asset expenses, like a copier, write off part of the value as it ages.

6. Be diligent about income records.

It’s important to keep accurate records of your income and have all the relevant documentation. You could be audited if the numbers don’t add up.

7. Deduct your health insurance.

If you’re paying for your own health insurance, you can deduct the FULL cost.

8. Don’t get greedy.

Qualified business expenses “must be both ordinary and necessary” keep this in mind as you figure out your expenses.

9. Write off tax preparation.

Tax-preparation expenses, tax tip books and tax-preparation software are all deductible.

5 Small Business Tax Breaks

1. Legal and consultancy fees

Tax preparation is a tax write-off for businesses

2. Marketing expense

Anything related to brand building and promotion is tax deductible.

3. Bad debt and theft

Stolen goods can be written off, but bad debt for services cannot.

4. Loan interest

The biggest tax break a business can get is on the interest and carrying charges used for loans and credit.

5. Networking

Networking related write-offs range from business gifts sent to clients to dues for professional associations.

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About Hanna Russmann

I am a graduate of Simpson College with a degree in Multimedia Journalism.

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