Tax Deductions for Home Based Business

Seeking tax advice and tax tips is never a bad idea. When it is time to file your home based businesses taxes online you want to have every weapon that is legally at your disposal. Having a list of acceptable deductions for your home business will allow you to quickly and legitimately flow through the tax season with little to no hiccups. Here are a few things to think about when beginning to file taxes online. First, do you have a home office in the same way the IRS sees a home office? Is your home business run in one designated room in your home or are you working from the computer in your family room? If it is the later it is not considered a home office by the IRS. The room you run your business from must have no other use except working. If you do run your business from a singular room then the square footage of that room can represent the percentage of your mortgage or rent that can be deducted from your taxes. Also, the utilities that you use in your business ventures such as electricity and internet can be deducted. Typically a percentage of the total cost is deducted.

Second, what office supplies do you purchase? Even if you are not able to use the home office deduction, you can still deduct the office supplies that you purchase. Keeping well organized receipts will help you know what you can deduct and what you can not.

The third type of deduction is for office furniture. You have two choices when it comes to this deduction. One, you can deduct 100% of the cost of the furniture for that year. For that deduction, you would fill out the Section 179 deduction sheet in your tax form. In 2006, you could claim $108,000 in expenditures. If you don't wish to claim the entire cost of your furniture that year you also have the option of depreciation, which allows you to deduct a part of the cost over a seven year period.

The other equipment such as computers, scanners, and fax machines can be deducted under the same principles as the office furniture. You would use the same Section 179 sheet to deduct these things. Any software or subscriptions used by your business can be deducted in the same way.

You can deduct any traveling you might do for your business but remember to keep accurate data of the trip mileage, tolls, or any other trip orientated expenses which includes your lodging and meal expenses. Only 50% of your meal expenses can be deducted. The IRS is a stickler for documentation, so have it readily available. You will also need to check what the gas rate was for the tax year in question and make the appropriate calculation. If you have purchased a vehicle, that too can be deducted. Just make sure to calculate the interest and depreciation for the vehicle.

There are several other deductions that you can find for a home based business. However, it is important that you make sure you follow the guidelines set forth by the IRS and they maintain documentation for everything that you are claiming.

Natalie Aranda writes on finance and small business. Seeking tax advice and tax tips is never a bad idea.

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