Small Business

Business Travel: What can I deduct?

The general rule: whatever expense is necessary and ordinary in making money for your business is a legitimate business expense.  Especially in today’s global economy, this involves traveling.  Many of our fabulous clients ask us which expenses come under the tax-deductible business travel umbrella and how to claim them.  First, if you are a business owner, these expenses for you and your employees will be an expense to your business on your company’s books.  However if you are an employee and your employer does not reimburse you for your business travel (most will), hang on to the receipts and hand them over to your accountant as they can be itemized deductions on your personal taxes.  In either case, and as with anything, the key to maximizing this deduction is to keep great records. Continue reading…

Claim your home office as a business expense: The home office deduction

  Tax season is upon us. That nervous sense of dread is pitting in your stomach; Lady Liberty is waving signs that say “Tax Special” on street corners; Turbo Tax is stocked, it seems, in every store.  And if you are like most business owners, you are scrambling for any missed tax deductions. There is one very helpful deduction that we at Sweeten CPA are always sure our clients who can take it do take it! It’s the home office deduction. (Another deduction we always recommend our clients to take when possible is the business mileage deduction. Read more about that by clicking here.)

So let’s get right to it.

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Is the worker an independent contractor or employee?

It finally happened! You worked your fanny off and your business is growing. Congratulations! In fact, it is growing so much you need to hire help. You are a service professional who could greatly benefit from an administrative assistant. You are a photographer and need the help of hair and make-up artists. You offer delivery service and could use another driver.

In today’s complex world, striking an employment agreement with someone is not the final step; not even close! Among other things, you must determine whether your helper is going to be an independent contractor or an employee. Why is this important? The IRS and the ever-powerful dollar say so! Make the right choice (and stay out of trouble!) by reading on.

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Your Car as a Business Expense

Insurance salespeople, architects, realtors, contractors,  and property managers; these are just a few of our clients that use their personal car to get from business point A to business point B.  As a business owner, if you use your personal car to drive anywhere needed to conduct business (to a meeting, client site, post office, office supply store, etc.) these miles are deductible to you as an expense.

So let’s cut to the chase. The whole process is made more complex by the fact that there are two ways to account for your car expense. Which one is better? Each situation is individual (of course!) so you will need to weigh each option. Or get a CPA to help you weigh each option. (Us?)

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