Ways to Maximize Business Deductions 

As a small business owner, you should always be on the lookout for legitimate ways to minimize your taxes. Waiting for year-end to do your tax planning can be too late and you may miss many possible opportunities. The following are valuable tips that help you maximize your business deductions. 

New Business – Normally the costs of starting a business must be amortized (deducted) over 15 years. But taxpayers can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of start-up expenses and $5,000 of organizational expenses on the return for the first year of the business. A qualifying start-up cost is one that would be deductible if it were paid or incurred to operate an existing active business in the same field as the new business, and the cost is paid or incurred before the day the active trade or business begins. Examples of qualified start-up costs include: 

• Surveys/analyses of potential markets, labor supply, products, transportation facilities, etc.; 

• Wages paid to employees, and their instructors, while they are being trained; 

• Advertisements related to opening the business; 

• Fees and salaries paid to consultants or others for professional services; and 

• Travel and related costs to secure prospective customers, distributors and suppliers. 

Each of the $5,000 amounts is reduced by the amount by which the total start-up expenses or organizational expenses exceeds $50,000. Expenses not deductible in the first year of the business must be amortized over 15 years. 

Self-employed Health Insurance – If you are a self-employed individual, you can deduct 100% (no AGI reduction) of the health insurance premiums without itemizing your deductions. This above-the-line deduction is limited to net profits from self-employment. 

Home Office – Small business owners may qualify for a home-office deduction, which will help them save money on their taxes and benefit their bottom line. Taxpayers can generally take this deduction if they use a portion of their home exclusively for their business and on a regular basis. Plus, this deduction is available to both homeowners and renters. 

Advertising Expenses – Once the business is operating, all forms of advertising are generally currently deductible expenses, including promotional materials such as business cards, digital or print advertisements, and other forms of advertising. However any adverting expense incurred before a business begins functioning would be treated as a start-up expense. 

There are so many ways to maximize business deductions much as vehicle expenses, business meals, websites costs, the cost of business equipment and many more. If you’d like to find out more information on how to maximize business deductions, or if you’d just like to speak to an accounting professional about your own needs in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact this office today.