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Tax Tips: Small Business Deductions Checklist

By Cassidi Heltcel, CPA

As if running a small business was not stressful enough, tax season is around the corner. This usually means that most businesses are either putting off the dreaded tax season or keep it off their radar because they have a multitude of other issues that need to be addressed.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that tax season is only intimidating if you are not prepared for it. If you have your documents in order, learn exactly what you need for filing and work with a seasoned professional during the process, it can be smooth sailing - promise!

To help navigate the deductions landscape, we have looked through a variety of sources (some of them can be viewed here) to compile a comprehensive checklist of the top 5 small business deductions you should be aware of as a small business owner:

1) Car usage

If you are using your car for business purposes, it is deductible. Small businesses often overlook this method of tax-saving, but it is available. Whether it is maintenance or mileage, if it is done for a business purpose (or while doing business), it can be deducted. Keeping track of mileage and maintenance might not seem feasible, but it is definitely worth it in terms of saving.

2) Furniture and office supplies

If you bought/are buying furniture and office supplies for your business, save those receipts! Costs that are incurred in maintaining your office and other operational costs associated with its set up are deductible. Keep track of what office supplies you are buying, the frequency, and of course, proof of purchase as those could be deducted from your tax bill.

3) Utilities

If your office has a utility bill, it can be deducted. Operating costs incurred for utilities such as gas, water and, of course, electricity are deductible but many small businesses overlook this. There is a large potential for tax savings within this, so start collecting and tracking these bills so that you are able to save.

4) Marketing and advertising

You likely have some sort of marketing strategy in place. It might be in the form of sponsored Facebook ads, or perhaps posting flyers and other print material - or likely a combination of that and more. Make sure that you are tracking the expenses incurred for promoting your business because these are deductible.

5) Travel expenses

It is important to note these are not all the deductions available, but some of the more common ones that small businesses overlook.

Most small business owners do not realize this, but nearly all business travel expenses can be deducted. Whether this is actual travel such as airfare, hotels, or AirBnBs or even expenses incurred during travel - that is all deductible! Whether you bought meals while traveling, or used hotel amenities such as dry-cleaning if it was charged during a business trip, you might be able to deduct it.

keep track all your business expenses no matter how large or small. 

Those small purchases can easily add up to a chunk of tax savings, but only if you are diligent in tracking. 

To really take advantage of tax season and ensure that you are maximizing your tax savings, it is recommended to work with a professional. They are able to navigate deductions far more easily and will be able to provide tips and best practices in order to ensure that you are saving as much as possible.

We understand the unique challenges small businesses face, and we have years of experiencing helping businesses save on taxes and maximizing their revenue. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us.

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