I am a sucker for office supplies. I am that woman that you will bump into in an office supply store that looks as though I've been transported to heaven. While I work on a computer - mostly - I still take notes on paper (at any given time, I have 2 different Leuchtturm bullet journals plus an array of notepads). I love Post-It notes. And I have a ton of pens ( a section for blue pens and a section for black pens, perks of being a notary). The plus side to this all? I can deduct those supplies as necessary and ordinary business expenses. And depending on where you work, deductible office supplies may also include such mundane out of pocket costs as copy paper and toilet paper (you need them anyway).
If you drive to client meetings, to the airport for a business trip, or even to the post office to mail out Etsy orders, you should be tracking your mileage. Since the mileage rate is $0.545/mile in 2018, this can add up to a pretty sweet deduction if you drive frequently for your business. Look for an app that you can have on your phone to track the miles for you. A popular mileage tracking app is MileIQ.
Think about all the online services you use to run your business. So many of them have monthly or annual fees that can be easy to forget about. Do a clean sweep of your business bank account and see if you find any subscriptions that you’d forgotten about.
SELF-EMPLOYED HEALTH INSURANCE DEDUCTION (& OTHER MEDICAL EXPENSES)
Health insurance is one of the most expensive purchases you may make all year for your business. Fortunately, you may be able to deduct the amount you paid for health insurance, including Medicare premiums you voluntarily pay, for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents (including your child under age 26 at the end of 2018). To qualify for the self-employed health insurance deduction, you must have a net profit for the year reported on Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, or Schedule F, and the insurance plan must be established, or considered to be established, under your business. If you qualify, you'll deduct the cost of the premiums on the front page of your tax return on line 29 (highlighted above). As with retirement savings, if you have employees, you can deduct the cost you pay for a corresponding plan (sole proprietors would deduct those on Schedule C or Schedule F while partnerships and corporations would deduct them on their entity's tax form).
Claiming the self-employed health insurance deduction doesn't bar you from deducting other medical expenses: if you itemize, you can still include your out-of-pocket medical expenses, like doctor's visits and prescriptions, on a Schedule A (with the exception of your health care premiums, obviously).
ADVERTISING & PROMOTION COSTS
You're allowed a deduction for the costs associated with getting the word out about your business. This can include not only obvious advertising like Yellow Pages or newspaper, magazine, TV or radio advertising but also less in-your-face promotions like the cost of printing business cards and business related swag. And it's not just the final product that's deductible: you can also deduct reasonable costs of coming up with ad copy or slogans, as well as creating graphics and logos. The costs associated with your website are deductible, including the cost to purchase and maintain the site and hosting fees. Think outside of the box, too: the costs of creating and hosting seminars and workshops meant to lure in customers can be deductible as are community sponsorships, like putting your business name on Little League and other team tee-shirts.
CAR & TRUCK RELATED EXPENSES
You can deduct the cost of expenses related to a car or truck, such as gas, oil, repairs, insurance, and license plates. Limits and other rules may apply so check with your tax professional for details.
You can typically deduct premiums that you pay for business related insurance. This can include errors and omissions insurance; professional malpractice insurance; general liability insurance; and workers compensation insurance, as well as the cost to insure your premises from fire, storm, theft, accident, or similar losses ( remember that health care insurance is deducted separately).
LEGAL & PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FEE(S)
Nobody likes to pay their lawyers, but luckily, business-related legal fees are deductible, as are fees you pay your accountant and/or tax preparer to keep your reporting up to date and accurate. Also deductible? The costs associated with payroll services, insurance brokers, consultants, human relations (HR) personnel and other professionals that you hire to keep your business going.
Online courses, in-person conferences, eBooks, and physical books are all examples of education expenses that can be deducted. Yep, investing in education right here at Think Creative Collective is tax deductible.
When you pay to sponsor a post or run ads through Facebook, these costs should be included as an Advertising expense. Those costs of doing business are write offs, not just things you have to pay for.
If you have a home office, be sure to include your monthly internet costs in the home office deduction. This shouldn’t be deducted directly as a business expense, unless you have internet for an office space outside of your home.