Many small business owners leave a lot of money on the table when it comes to taxes. Especially the “artrepreneur” category I work with a lot tends to forget about important tax advantages that might be available to them as entrepreneurs. In this article I’ll be sharing some of the expenses most forget about when preparing their annual tax return.
It’s not the standard monthly operating expenses I’m talking about, such as cell-phones, the internet bill, insurance, and rent for your (home) office space. Most people get that part right. But during tax season they forget about the thousands of dollars in miscellaneous receipts. Maybe they’ll promise themselves that next year they’ll be more diligent with tracking receipts, but meanwhile these miscellaneous expenditures can save a small business owner hundreds if not thousands of dollars in tax liabilities.
1. Advertising Cost – The standard tax deductions are always there (Newspaper Ads, Business Cards, Outside Signs, Yellow Page Ads if anyone still does those). But what about the renewal of your three domain names, and the pay per click campaign, or that marketing course you took to optimize your website?
2. And what about the little thank-you gift cards you purchased for clients that had referred new business to you?
3. Shipping cost – especially when doing rush orders or international shipments they can add up quickly. You probably lost those receipts on the way back from the post office, or even more expensive, you used a courier like FedEx or UPS.
4. Maintenance costs: for example when you rented a carpet cleaning machine to clean the (home) office carpet?
5. And don’t forget the books you purchased to further advance your knowledge. Those often are used 100% for business purposes.
I hope that got the creative juices flowing, and helped you remember some overlooked expenses. You can probably come up with some more. The total amount of legal tax deductions listed in my examples above is over $5,000.00. Can you afford to loose $5000 worth of deductions?
You might have forgotten about most of the above deductions… which would have been no problem if you had tracked your expenses throughout the year. I started doing this several years ago, and all it takes is to snap a quick picture of every business related receipt. I use an online service where my receipt is verified (by a real human being) and turned into usable data that I can report on. And should I get audited I have nothing to worry about as I can export all my receipts and associated data with the click of a button – instead of having to go through my shoeboxes of receipts at tax time every year trying to make sense of it all.
Simply send Shoeboxed your receipts, business cards, bills and other documents and everything will be carefully sorted and scanned into a secure online account. All of the organized data, including an IRS-accepted image of each document, is then human-verified, categorized, accessible from anywhere and ready for export into dozens of powerful tools.Free Shoeboxed trial