The Blog Of TL Wall Accounting

Archive for July, 2012

5 Items You Can Deduct From Your Taxes

Most people don’t itemize, but for those that do, especially if you’re self employed, you will find that there are lots of little ways you can save some money on your taxes, which could end up gifting you a refund if you’re lucky. Let’s look at 5 of these things.

1. Health care costs. Actually, you won’t save money on medical bills per se, but you can write off any health insurance you pay for right now if it’s a business expense, and once the health care bill kicks in you can write that off if you end up having to pay out of pocket for it. Right now you can also write off some of your expenses if you have a Health Savings Account.

2. Mileage. Almost everyone with a small business knows that they can write off mileage, but many people forget to track it. You might need to either start carrying around a notebook or track the mileage once for those places you visit often and then remember to track that whenever you go to those places again.

3. Cell phone costs. If you pay for your cellphone and you use it for business you can write off certain portions of your bill. You won’t be able to write off the entire amount if you’re on a family plan but you can certainly write off half of it. If your bills are exorbitant you might be asked to prove which calls were for business and which ones weren’t, but if you’re under control you should be fine.

4. Home office expenses. Not only can you write off all the things you buy to use in your home office but you can also write off a portion of the house expenses that you use while you’re in your office. This includes your mortgage, electricity, if you have someone who cleans the house and even if you have someone who cuts your grass, although that one might be harder to track. If you have any maintenance done in your office such as painting the walls you can write that off. Don’t push things like trying to get a discount on your cable because you have a TV in your office though.

5. Travel. If you’re a small business you actually get to write off one business trip a year whether you really take one or not. You have to be incorporated to do this however, and it’s a way to get a deduction from taking a family trip. You get to claim at least one night of your trip as a shareholders meeting, and if you conduct any type of business at all you can claim other days as well. However, you won’t get away with claiming an entire cruise as a business trip unless you were hired by the cruise line so don’t even try.