Tag Archives: business expenses

Business Expenses You Should Think About Tracking

Even though tax season is almost over, it’s a good time to think about the types of information you’ll want to have available for your accountant next year. Hopefully you’ve taken care of some of the information that’s pertinent since the beginning of the year. If not, you might have lost some of your possible deductions and expenses. Here’s a few examples and ideas for how to handle these items.

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Business Burger!

Let’s look at meal expenses. Whether you’ve had meals with clients or meals when you’ve been traveling, it’s always a good idea to try to save your receipts. Everything you do isn’t covered unless you can indicate why it might be pertinent.
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5 Small Business Expenses Worth Paying For

One of the problems with having a small business is that sometimes you don’t have much of one of two things: time and cash. There never seems to be enough time to get everything taken care of that you want to get to, and even if you’re making money, there doesn’t seem to be enough for everything you need to pay for.

cleaning service expenses
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I can’t help you specifically with the time issue, but I can definitely help you start thinking better about the expenses side of things that actually might help you with time.
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Determining Business Expense Needs Vs Wants

In the last quarter of every year, all companies start to take a look at their income. If they’ve had a profit, they start thinking about ways to spend some of it before the year ends so they can write it off their expenses.

Overall it’s a great strategy. If you haven’t had to spend a lot of money during the year and you have a nice profit, it’s the best time of the year for purchases. You could even possibly save money because many businesses have sales in the last quarter of the year because of the holidays.
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Cameras, Folders, Apps & Paper

As we get close to the time when corporate taxes need to be filed and other taxes need to be calculated, it seems proper to mention that every year many people forget to not only keep their receipts but also to log all the important information they need so they can get proper write-offs to reduce their tax liabilities. We understand how time consuming it can be, as well as how hectic life can be, so we decided it was time to offer some suggestions on what could be helpful… without advertising anyone or any company in particular.

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Let’s start with cameras. Anyone who has a smartphone these days also has a camera. This means it can be used as a helpful work tool to help record a lot of different types of information that you can use later on to help figure out and track expenses. For instance, it can help you track mileage if you take pictures of your odometer when you start and stop a journey. You can take pictures of meal receipts instead of lugging around a lot of paper. You can probably figure out other ways cameras can help you out, and nothing says you have to save every picture you take. This also allows you to set up a digital file if you’d like to submit your receipts that way; accountants love things like this.

Next, folders. The majority of us pick up receipts, stuff them in our pockets and bags and move on with life. The problem is we get home pull all that paper out of our pockets and put it… somewhere. Later on, we might throw it all away because we forgot what it was or the possible significance of it. We’re not saying to carry folders around with you everywhere you go (although that’s not a bad idea), but it would help if you had a folder or two close to where you put all the paper you pull out so that it’ll spur your mind into thinking about some possible business purchases you might have made.

Back to the smartphone thing. There are a lot of apps out there that can help you track receipts, mileage and expenses. Some are free while some you’ll have to pay for. We haven’t spent a lot of time evaluating these which is one reason we’re not recommending anything, but we have noticed that there seems to be a generational gap as to who likes using these more than tracking information in other ways. Still, it’s something to think about because it might help.

The last thing to talk about is good ol’ reliable paper. One of our clients carries around a 3×5 index card notebook to capture mileage, write down where he’s been when making business purchases and highlight other information in case he forgets to log it all into a calendar. Other people carry steno-type notebooks, full folder folios or planners with them. These are all great… just try to remember not to throw away the pages in case you need to refer back to that information for your end of year expense calculations. 🙂

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.