Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by. When it comes to tax season, we all want to write off as much as possible to save the pennies in our pockets. When it comes to business, you want to be able to write off EVERYTHING because we don’t pay taxes until the end of the year. This means if you don’t have anything to write off, you could be giving the government a lot more money than you should. When it comes to your business there are basic things you can write off that apply to almost everyone. If you sell products, or if you offer services, I hope you find some new things that you didn’t know you could write off.
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Small Business Tax Write Off
Website and Hosting –
Most businesses have a website, and that website needs to be maintained to schedule and get business. When starting a website there are a few things that you need to pay for in order to get your site up and running. Some of the fees will include:
Now you may not use all of these, for example, I created my own website. Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to do on your own. A domain name is required, you don’t want to use a free domain. Google won’t like this and won’t rake you as high on google. Be sure you have a URL that looks like this: www.utahmobileoilchange.com and not like this: www.104939384.blogspot.com. This doesn’t look as professional, and if you’re collecting payment….. Well, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trust a site that had numbers like that in the domain. These are the few things that you can write off on your taxes each year. Most of these fees are reoccurring each year, so don’t forget about them! Every bit helps.
Miles & Vehicle Maintenance –
Now, some of you may not have a vehicle for your business, so if you don’t have one this won’t apply to you and you can move forward down the list. So with a vehicle, you can write off a couple of things. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but owning a vehicle is a great write-off. You can write off:
-vehicle payments or vehicle purchase amount
-maintenance for the vehicle
When it comes to your vehicle, the first year you do your taxes will determine what you can write-off for the rest of that vehicle’s life. For example, if you decided that you would get a better write off with your milage, once you have written off the milage for that vehicle you have to do that every year. You won’t be able to write off your miles one year, and your maintenance costs the next. So be sure to do the math before deciding what will benefit you the most. For me personally, I write off mileage, but this is only because my brother is a mechanic and can fix anything for dirt cheap. If you have an older car, you may want to think about the future costs the car could give you. For example, if you have an older car and you decide to write-off your miles, but then your engine blows, you aren’t able to write off the thousands of dollars it cost you to fix your vehicle. Just keep that in mind when deciding during tax season.
Subscriptions and Dues –
We all have subscriptions and we almost ALWAYS forget about them! This is because the amounts we pay each month aren’t big enough to feel that they make a difference, but it adds up! So be sure to count everything, even the little things. Some of the subscriptions I pay for are the following:
Now I don’t have a lot of subscriptions, but you may. If you’re a blogger, you will have a lot more of these. If you own a service business you may not need as many of these. These are a tax write-off, so be sure to get receipts and give them to your accountant. Part of what you spend will be deducted from your income, which could put you in a lower tax bracket and could save you lots of money.
Credit Card Processing Fees –
This one is pretty straight forward, if you make payment via card, you will be paying credit card processing fees. Well, these fees are a write-off! So be sure to get a statement at the end of the year on how much you paid so you can write these off as well. Credit card fees sure do add up quick! You may be surprised.
Meals during meetings –
With writing off your meals, you will get to write-off 50% of what you paid. For example, if you went out to eat with a client and paid $100 for your meal. You will get to deduct $50 from your taxes the following year. This also includes any traveling that you do, let us say you go to a trade show that is out of state. While you are out on business, you can write off any food that you eat.
If you have hired an accountant to manage your books, you can write off your accountants fees. If you do them yourself, you’re able to write off the software you use. For example, I pay $20 a month for QuickBooks, at the end of the year I will get to write-off $240 for this service.
Any tools or equipment you purchase for your business is a write-off too! I own a mobile oil change business, and so at the end of the year, I will get to write-off all of those purchases because they were necessary to get my business off the ground.
Product costs –
Any products that you purchase you can do as well. For example, with my oil business, I have to purchase oil. This would also include filters, fluids, brakes, or anything else I have to purchase. You get to write-off the costs of those.
Advertising and Promotions –
This is a great one to keep track of! Advertising can be expensive and it can add up really quick. Be sure to track how much you’re spending on advertising and promotions that you’re doing.
If you can avoid this one, please do! Most banks will charge you a fee if you don’t have a certain amount of money or deposits in your account. With a credit union, they usually don’t have fees. If you have to use a big bank that charges fees, at the end of the year you can ask them to provide you with a statement that shows how much you paid in fees. Have them print this information and give it to your accountant to write-off for you.
Business licensing fees
I feel like this one is forgotten about often. We only do it once a year (usually), so it can slip your mind easily. Some of these fees may include:
-business name registration
-business registration with the city
-business registration with the state
This may also include any licenses you need to operate your business. However, these are the most basic business fees that will apply.
Rent & Utility
Keep track of anything you need for your place. Now this may not apply to everyone, but if you have an office you can write off some of the following:
-paint or anything you needed for remodels to open doors
If you get into a new building and it needs a lot of work, make sure to keep track of all the money you put into it. This is a necessary cost and is a write-off.
If you have a home-based business with an office, you can write off the square footage of your home. For example, if you have a 1000 sqft home, and 100 sqft of that is your office, you can write-off 10% of your mortgage costs. There are a few rules with this like it has to be an actual office (can’t be your bedroom). You will need to ask your accountant what else is required to do so. But if you get to write off a portion, you could probably write-off part of your utilities as well.
If you have a phone specifically for your business and you only make business calls with it, you can write off the entire amount of that phone bill. If you have a shared business/personal phone, you can only write off a percentage for your business.
If you travel for your work, you can write off things like the following:
This would be great for those who do a lot of trade shows or have to meet with clients in person.
If you start a business, but you need to keep up-to-date with industry standards and have to take a course, you can write that off as well. Education is one of the best write-offs you can get. I believe you get 20% back on what you paid. So take that course, just remember to keep track of it.
Office expenses are one of those that might slip through the cracks. Here are some of the things you can write off, there is a lot of items so I will only list a few.
Now, as you can imagine there are a lot of things that go into an office, anything in your office that you use for business, keep track of.
Some of you may not need insurance, but service-based businesses may need this. For me, I have to pay for insurance so when my employees and I are driving, if we were to crash their vehicle the insurance would cover it. Insurance is a blessing when you need it, but sucks when you aren’t. Paying for insurance isn’t the best, but when you gotta do it, write it off!
Some of us love helping out during the holidays. I LOVE doing things for others. One thing I will be doing this year is the festival of trees. This is where we decorate a tree and they auction it off, and the money goes to a children’s hospital. Everything you purchase for this is a write-off. So not only do you get to help others by donating items, you can get a kick-back during tax season.
Tax Write Off for your small business
I hope you were able to find some value in this. In the first year of business, you’re going to have a LOT of write-offs. That is normal! You have to purchase all the equipment, tools, and other things that are required to get your business off the ground. Just be smart, make sure you are always tracking things so at the end of the year, you have it all ready to go and you aren’t digging for receipts. Please remember that there are many more write-offs to take advantage of. These are just the basics. Most write-offs are customized based on the business, talk with your accountant and make sure you’re writing off as you can!
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