by Blake Herzog
Most of us approach tax filing season with trepidation, especially if we’re responsible for a business as well as our personal income.
If you have a small business or are self-employed there are some deductions and strategies you may not be aware of that can lower your overall bill and help your process go more efficiently.
- Up to $5,000 in startup expenses for a new business venture can be deducted in the first year, including market and labor market analyses, salaries for new employees and the instructors who train them, travel to secure customers, suppliers and distributors, plus salaries and fees for executives and consultants or similar services.
- The business restaurant meal deduction rose from 50% to 100% for 2021 and 2022, so go through all of the paper and digital receipts you have from last year from business-related meals, whether they were eaten at the restaurant, carried out or delivered. This rate is expected to revert back to 50% for the 2023 tax year, so take advantage of it while you can. This does not apply to anything purchased at a grocery store or other type of outlet.
- Home office deductions can apply to older equipment as well as new, so if you began using a several-years-old desk or computer in your office this year look up its current market value, since you’ll be able to deduct it from your total, and every little bit helps.
- Donating appreciable stock contributions to nonprofit organizations can beef up the deductive power of your charitable gifts because you can subtract their current value from your tax total, which is likely to be higher than what you paid for it — yes, even after the year we just had.
- Educational expenses incurred by self-employed individuals to increase your expertise within the field or improve your skillset can be deducted from your total at 100%. These can include books, trade publication subscriptions, workshops, seminars and courses applicable to the field you work in. Certificates and licensing needed to meet the minimum educational requirements are excluded.