Tax Deductions That Aren’t Allowed By the IRS

tax deductionsGetting a tax deduction for an allowed expense on your taxes is great. Making the mistake of claiming a deduction that is not allowed by the IRS can you get into trouble and a possible audit. For example, you can deduct the expense of a dinner with clients up to 50% of the bill only. If you claim more than the 50% allowed or you do not properly record the business purpose of the meeting, the deduction could be thrown out.

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Travel is similar to entertainment were only the part of the travel that is business related can be deducted. If you take your family or your spouse with you and do things on your trip purely for pleasure, those parts of the trip cannot be deducted on your return.

Commuting costs are only allowed from one business location to another business location. The commute from your home to the office is not something you can deduct on your taxes.

Make sure your charity giving is to IRS recognized organization or the donation will not be deductible. And if you get something, like a night at the opera, in exchange for you donation, you need to subtract the fair market value of the benefit you receive from the donation that you claim.

And the  IRS has made giving to charities without a proper record not something you can deduct. You could previously deduct small amounts of cash that you gave to charities. But now it is required that you have proof of the donation to get the deduction. So write a check instead of giving cash.

Tax Deductibles for Internet Marketers

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Just like any group of freelancers or workers who run their own businesses, one of the advantages of being an internet marketer is that there are quite a number of expenses and deductions that you can claim when it comes to filling in your tax return. There are of course a number of items specific to your particular business that you will be able to claim and these should be discussed with your accountant. But there are certain areas that every one who works freelance and online will equally be able to claim as a legitimate part of their business expense and some of the more common areas will be outlined here in this article.

The first and most important thing to note is that no matter what it is you are going to claim for you will need to keep records of each and every transaction and keep hold of all your receipts. If it is for a piece of online software or a hosting account, print it off and file it for later. This will save you a massive effort and printing session when it comes time to do your taxes!

Secondly, no matter if your entire business is online, the first place to look for expenses is the physical space of your home or office.  If you work from home, add up what percentage of your home is dedicated to conducting your business. You will then be able to claim this back as a percentage of your rental or mortgage payments. In addition, any expense related to the running of that premises for the purposes of business will also be deductible This includes the cost of utilities such as electricity and phone, as well as anything to do with the maintenance of the property for business purposes. Your computer is essential business equipment so this should be deducted too. This also applies to the furniture surrounding that computer, so keep receipts for the desk, chair, monitors and printers and anything else you use in the office.

Once you have taken care of the physical space of your business, you should look at deductions for the virtual space. Obviously, just like electricity and phone, you can claim for your broadband service. Your website (or for most internet marketers your multiple websites) are also rented space so you can claim for their domain name purchase, their hosting accounts and any maintenance or site add-on’s you might get from your hosting provider. Any support calls will also be deductible. After that, think about any plugins or scripts, software or ebooks you might have purchased for the business – most of them will be deductible. Most importantly, think about any outsourcing you might have done, from backlinks to paid articles, design work to a virtual assistant. All of these expenses can be reclaimed.

Lastly, think about your advertising. Did you spend any money on adwords or Facebook ads, or even put an advert in a trade publication or website? All of these can be fully reclaimed.

Remember, there’s no point in not claiming. Through use of a good accountant and a bit of discipline each time you make a payment through the year, you could find that when it comes time to pay your taxes, you have significantly reduced your arrears.

Alex Simmonds is a journalist and blogger. He currently writes a blog about the contracting sector covering everything from contractor mortgages to payday loans.

Common Tax Deductions That Are Overlooked For Small Businesses

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Having a successful tax season involves proper planning throughout the year to maximize on the deductions that relate directly to your business and its income level.

Starting up Expenses

Capital expenses are one of the expenses that are constantly overlooked when looking for ways to reduce your tax expenses. They usually include marketing, overheads and other related expenses needed to start off your business. You can only deduct them for the first five years after your business opens and cash starts flowing into the business.

Education and training expenses

These are some of the other expenses that most businesses tend to overlook as deductions. Any training and education carried out to improve the skills of your workers and the business in general can be used to reduce the tax liability. However the training and education needs to be related to the business and this rule has to be strictly followed for the expenses to qualify as deductions.

Fees for Professional Services

Some of the professional services sought by the business such as accounting and architect fees qualify as deductible expenses. The only rule that one has to consider is that the services need to relate to the current year. If they relate to the future, the expenses then need to be distributed over the years.

Bad Debts Expense

Debts that you never recover from your customers qualify as deductible expenses. However this only applies to businesses that sell goods and not those that provide services.

Other Expenses that Qualify

Businesses differ and hence there may be other expenses that may qualify as deductibles in your business. IRC and 162 can help you identify some of the unique expenses to your business. In case you find them too confusing, refer the matter to your tax accountant with some of the codes that you think fit in with your business. He or she will be in a position to guide you to identify the respective expenses.

This is one thing that you should be very sure about in your small business. Your tax accountant can help you ensure that you take advantage of the tax deductible expenses.

5 Tax Write-offs for Freelancers

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2010 is officially over, and you know what that means–it’s almost time to prepare your taxes (cue groaning.) Tax preparation can be a daunting task, especially if you plan to do it yourself.  And for freelancers or self-employed individuals, there may be even more confusion.  Luckily, there is a lot of information available online today to help us all through the process.  Terms likes 1099s, Schedule SE, Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, will be words you soon become familiar with, if you aren’t already.

Below are 5 great tax write-off opportunities for freelancers and the self-employed.  It’s important to be aware … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

2010 is officially over, and you know what that means–it’s almost time to prepare your taxes (cue groaning.) Tax preparation can be a daunting task, especially if you plan to do it yourself.  And for freelancers or self-employed individuals, there may be even more confusion.  Luckily, there is a lot of information available online today to help us all through the process.  Terms likes 1099s, Schedule SE, Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, will be words you soon become familiar with, if you aren’t already.

Below are 5 great tax write-off opportunities for freelancers and the self-employed.  It’s important to be aware of what tax write-off options are available because, as freelancers and self-employed individuals, you’re paying much more taxes than someone employed by an employer.  Freelancers and the self-employed pay not only the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, but also the employer’s share.

1.    Job Hunting Expenses and PayPal Fees: Freelancers with long-term projects are fortunate in not having to continuously search for new gigs, however, for most freelancers, we’re always on the hunt for more projects to keep the pay-flow going.  This may mean signing up with job boards where there may be a fee to join or a fee to bid on projects.  These are expenses that may be written off.  PayPal fees for accepting payment from clients for work completed may also be written off.  Just make sure you keep receipts and print off all online documentation pertaining to the expenses and fees.

2.   Health Insurance Expenses: If you are buying your own health insurance (meaning you are not part of a health plan offered by your employer or your spouse’s employer), then this is an area that is deductible. Health insurance premiums are costly so this is an area where you can see the biggest deductible from your freelance work income.

3.    Home Expenses: This particularly applies to individuals who work directly out of their home.  A portion of your utilities, cellphone (if used for business), insurance, and mortgage interest may be deducted.  The amount deductible is based on a percentage calculated from how large your office space is within your home.  You’ll need IRS Form 8829.

4.    Research and Technology Expenses: If you are working in a particular industry and have expenses related to research for that industry, such as attendance cost for a conference, a book purchase, a magazine subscription, or something else related, gather your receipts as these items that qualify for tax write-off. Technology equipment, such as the cost of a computer, a printer, and other equipment you use for work also qualify.  And don’t forget about Web site hosting fee and design and maintenance fees, these are also expenses you may write off.

5.    Travel and Transportation Expenses: Travel associated with doing business may be written-off.  Whether the expense is for airfare, hotel, car service, gas, tolls, mass transit, or car payment and insurance cost, these are all expenses you should have a tally of to determine the amount that can be written off.  Business-related travel includes any transportation required to attend a business meeting, to purchase office supplies, to attend an event, and other related-business purposes.  Business travel does not include going to and from work.

Want to know more?  Check out these 50 blogs about taxes!

Wendy Lau is a New York City-based guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on the subject of becoming a nail technician for the Guide to Career Education.

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Free Tax Return Filing

Free Tax Return Filing

If you are in search of an online service that still provides a way for you to file your 2008 taxes before the end of the year, Free Tax USA is the solution you have been looking for. Although e-filing of tax returns for 2008 ended on October 15, 2009, you can still prepare your tax return online for free and mail in your completed forms. Something you may not have know until now. FreeTaxUSA is one of the few online providers that helps individuals complete their taxes online for past years that they have failed … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Free Tax Return Filing

If you are in search of an online service that still provides a way for you to file your 2008 taxes before the end of the year, Free Tax USA is the solution you have been looking for. Although e-filing of tax returns for 2008 ended on October 15, 2009, you can still prepare your tax return online for free and mail in your completed forms. Something you may not have know until now. FreeTaxUSA is one of the few online providers that helps individuals complete their taxes online for past years that they have failed to file for.

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