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Writing Off Self-Employment Expenses

If you’re self-employed, there’s a treasure trove of expenses you can deduct.

There are all sorts of expenses you can deduct as a result of being self-employed. It’s important to note that even if you’re a full-time employee at a company but have a business on the side you can still deduct those expenses.

Here’s a list of expenses you can deduct:

  • Home office: If you use your office for just an office, you can figure out what you pay for mortgage or rent by the total square footage of your home and then take the portion that is your home office to figure out what you pay for your office. It has to be an office though, a bedroom, kitchen or living room doesn’t count.
  • Office supplies/Computers etc: Be careful of writing off that big screen TV you bought. You may need to prove that it was bought for the primary purpose of your business.
  • Business Books: Books that are geared toward your industry or professional development like Good To Great.
  • Subscriptions: This can be for software like Adobe Creative Suite and website hosting, or things like industry periodicals.
  • Mileage: Commuting is not considered deductible. However driving to a client meeting is a deductible. The standard IRS rate is .55/mile as of 2013.
  • Travel: Travel expenses such as flights, hotels, and meals can be deducted when traveling primarily for conducting business.

Check out the IRS’ self-employment tax center for more information. And of course, we are always ready and willing to help you with any questions about what you can and can’t deduct as a self-employed individual. It’s a best practice to always work with a professional like us to clear up any ambiguity around your unique situation.

Do you have the support you need to manage your small business bookkeeping? Schedule a 30-minute appointment to speak with a local small business adviser.