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Archive for June, 2013

5 More Things You Can Write Off On Your Taxes

We’ve had two other articles here on expenses you can deduct from your taxes if you’re a business. The first was titled 5 Items You Can Deduct From Your Taxes. The second was called Trip Expenses You Can Deduct For Your Business.

We could go on and on but we like spacing things out some; after all, we don’t want to overwhelm anyone all at once. With that, here are 5 more things you can write off that we haven’t covered yet.

1. Education. If you need continual education to keep a certification, or if you need to go to any types of classes where you’re learning something you can apply to your business, you can deduct those expenses. This includes joining networking groups because often many of them have educational programs you can partake of.

2. Costs of goods sold. Anything you have to buy to create something for a client, to ship something to a client, or in representing your client in any way that the client doesn’t immediately reimburse you back for you can write off. For instance, the client might reimburse you for sales portfolios you create but you might feel silly billing them for the paper or copying charges. If you don’t bill that to them, but if you do you can write things like that off.

3. Services you hire that help you concentrate on your business. If you hire an accountant you can write that off. If you pay for internet services for your business you can write that off. If you want the landscape around your office to look good you can write that off. Even maid services if you work from home can be written off in some fashion. Of course it’s best to talk to an accountant to find out what percentage of it you can take for some of these and other things.

4. Advertising. Anything you spend on advertising, whether you pay someone else to do it or you do it yourself, is allowable. Of course if you’re advertising on Twitter and handling it yourself you can’t write that off, but if you’re paying for a service that sends out occasional tweets promoting your business you get to write that off.

5. Clothing. Of course this one is within reason, but there are clothing items you can write off if they’re part of your business. For instance, lawyers can write off suits and shoes. Plumbers can write off the costs of their uniforms. If you’re on the road and you need to buy new clothes because your baggage got lost and you can’t get reimbursed by anyone, you can write that off, although the airlines might pay you back for some of that. However, if you’re trying to write off a $500 pair of sunglasses… you’ll want to talk to your accountant about that.
 

4 Important Things You Should Be Budgeting For

We talk budgets all the time because things come up that we all suddenly need money for. Just last week one of our clients needed to pay for a quick airplane ticket and if he hadn’t had the extra $1,000 available, even if it left his account depleted, he’d have had some real problems.

Suffice it to say, most of us live paycheck to paycheck. If we budget at all, it’s to make sure we can pay the bills we currently have, buy food and maybe partake in a bit of entertainment. And yet danger is always lurking around the corner. Thus, these 4 things you probably need to think about:

1. Your vehicle. Think about it; you’re driving around all nice and comfy when you hear that little clunk, maybe a squeal or even a pop. Are we talking engine, brakes, or tires? Doesn’t matter because all of them will cost you something. If you took your car for inspection and it didn’t pass because your brakes are bad, would you have the money to repair them, which could run somewhere between $350 and $800? One tire might cost you $150 but what if you had serious issues? And engines… I don’t want to depress you.

2. Family situation out of town. What if a family member suddenly got sick or someone passed away, and it was imperative for you to get there? Could you afford the cost of a last minute trip, even if you have a credit card? What if it was incumbent upon you to help pay for medical services? Or what if you got there, the family member didn’t survive, and now you have to stay there for upwards of a week or more; what would your financial situation be like?

3. Something fails in your house. What could go wrong? Plumbing, appliances, windows… you name it, something could happen to it, and none of it is inexpensive. Even if it’s not your fault and someone else has to pay for it eventually, you might have to find the money to take care of something now and try to get your money after the fact. What if the situation was bad enough that you had to leave your house and stay in a hotel? How long could you afford that, and could you afford food and clothing if it was that critical?

4. Job loss. We all saw what happened between December 2008 through the end of 2010. Millions of people lost their jobs, and a lot of them had problems finding new work. Unemployment only lasts so long, and the amount it pays is way less than what anyone who has to go on it needs. How long could you survive on that and whatever you’ve saved, if anything?

We hope against hope that any of these things do happen to you but odds are that somewhere along the line you’re probably going to have to face one of these. Will you be ready because you’ve budgeted or saved for it?