Friday, November 23, 2007

Ten Commonly Missed Tax Deductions For Businesses

There is nothing worse than preparing Income Taxes and finding that there were many deductions we didn't keep track of. Not keeping track of deductions can be very costly come tax time. It is very important to keep good records all year round.

For every dollar you don't deduct, you could be paying up to 35% back to Uncle Sam. If the dollar has been spent, taxes shouldn't have to be paid on it. Think of the productivity of your business if you could put 35% of your income back into your business rather than in the hands of politicians. What kind of advertising campaign could you do with 35% extra cash flow every month. With a little organization and planning this can be possible.

Most business owners remember to take the big obvious deductions such as cost of goods sold, materials, tools, supplies, and employee expenses. But often times it is the small seemingly insignificant deductions that can make or break a company. Lone Peak Business Solutions has the 10 most commonly missed business deductions.
  1. Advertising - Business cards, newspaper ads, information packets you hand out, free samples, flyers, product testing, videos and CD's.

  2. Children - Money paid to children for helping with such things as delivering flyers, product, stuffing envelopes, cleaning office and car, etc.

  3. Dues and Subscriptions - Dues to professional organizations and magazines that have to do with your trade or business.

  4. Educational Expense - Classes or seminars that you take to improve your business.

  5. Gifts - Gifts to clients and associates.

  6. Laundry and Cleaning - This includes uniforms and Protective clothing and also your clothing when you are out of town.

  7. Travel - Hotels, airfare, cab fare, parking, cleaning while away from home, trip log.

  8. Home Office - A home office must be a separate room in your home to do business and accounting. Part of your living room or bedroom will not count. A percentage of utility Bills, home owners insurance, property tax, mortgage interest, refinance fees, repairs and maintenance, cleaning supplies, office decor, etc. are deductible. You find out the percentage by dividing the square footage of the office by the square footage of the entire house.

  9. Mileage or Vehicle - There are two ways to take a vehicle expense. One is to take the mileage you use when picking up product, supplies, office supplies, meetings, handing out advertising or business cards, meals and entertaining clients, etc. The other way is to take the expense of using the vehicle: fuel, parts, mechanics, oil changes, etc. Along with taking expenses, you can also depreciate the vehicle.

  10. Telephone - Cell phone, long distance calls on home phone, extra phone lines into home for business, fax or Internet.
Items such as paper clips, bank charges, credit card charges and home office expense seem small and unimportant at the time, but multiply those little things over a year or two and then multiply it times 35% and it can add up to quite a bit of money that should be in your pocket rather than in the government's pocket.

Along with keeping track of expenses it is important to evaluate your income and expenses on at least a quarterly basis. This allows you to determine if too much is being spent any one place. It allows you to determine if all the deductions that can be are being claimed. It allows you to determine how to better increase sales and decrease costs.

Christopher Anderson is part owner of Lone Peak Business Solutions, Inc. He wants to share his success as a business owner with others who desire to own their own business. He also believes that the economy is stronger with more business owners, and as a result, he is focused on helping business owners succeed.

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