How to Determine Your Home Office Qualifies for a Tax Deduction

What are your tax obligations as an independent contractor?

Over the past couple of years, controversy rose around independent contractors. The line between employee and independent contractor has thinned, and many are confused over how workers should be classified. In general, the independent contractor is considered to self-employed, and the company is their client. This means that there are some vast differences between the tax obligations for independent contractors and employees.

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Claiming Expenses: A Comprehensive List for the Self Employed

StockbrokerWhilst working as self employed you are bound to incur expenses that are required for the running of your business. These can then be offset against your revenue to reduce your overall tax liability.

You never want to pay more tax than you need to, so it makes sense to claim for all the expenses that you can. Just remember that an expense has to be ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business purposes, so you can’t claim your weekly food shop.

To give you an idea of what you can claim, here is a comprehensive list of expenses for the self employed. (more…)

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Don’t Fret Because It’s Tax Season Again!

Don't Fret Because It’s Tax Season Again!Let’s just start out by being completely honest with each other, shall we? We all hate, hate tax season! Either we completely despise it or we run around in circles with our hands flailing about just thinking about it. I hated filing my returns too. I procrastinated until the last minute on the dreaded date – April 15th. I felt like there was ticking time bomb, ready to explode somewhere, but let me just wait till 10 seconds on the clock and do something trivial while time flies by. Have you ever felt the same thing? Don’t worry though, tax season does that to you.

I know procrastination can seem like the best idea in the world, but here’s some friendly advice: don’t do it. Just don’t. When it comes to filing your returns, planning in advance really helps. It may even help you reduce your income tax liabilities, because you’re thinking about it more thoroughly than you would if you were filing at the last minute. So, no more last minute fretting. Follow these tips and you’ll do just fine.

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The Vehicle Deduction: Who Can Claim it and How

By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant.com Writer

Driving a vehicle is something many of us do without putting much thought into it. From sedans to trucks to SUVs, we all have to transport ourselves from one location to another for various reasons. We also have to deal with the expenses associated with driving and maintaining a vehicle that can add up quickly over time. If you spend time behind the wheel for business reasons, however, have you explored the tax deductions on vehicle costs that you may be able to claim on your tax return?

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How to Weatherproof Your Office

You shouldn’t have to live in fear of facing your utility bills each month at the workplace! One of the most effective ways to conserve energy is to cut down on the amount of electricity, natural gas and other fuels we use while trying to bring the temperatures in our office buildings to comfortable levels. According to Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency program that advises businesses and individuals on eco-friendly energy savings, up to 30 percent of the energy generated to heat, cool and light the average commercial building is wasted.

Weatherproofing your doors, windows and skylights is the best way to make sure unconditioned air is not seeping in to or out of your office. And while weatherproofing can help you save on your utility bill, it can also put a dent in your annual taxes by applying your improvements toward tax deductions offered by Uncle Sam.

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How are C-Corporations Taxed?

By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant.com Writer

Do you have plans to launch a brand new small business? Are you ready to take the dive toward a profitable and rewarding future? If you intend to become a newly crowned business owner, it is vital to ensure you know what types of business structure options exist so that you choose the one that is most appropriate for you. This includes understanding how each type of business entity is taxed. One option is to go with a C corporation, which is considered the most traditional type of business structure.

When it comes to filing federal taxes, the IRS treats C corporations as separate business entities. A C corporation can be created when there is an exchange of money or property among prospective shareholders who make up a business. This is done for the capital stock of the business. The advantage of a C corporation is that it typically can claim more tax deductions than the ones available to sole proprietorships or partnerships when calculating their amounts of taxable income. Tax deductions can lead to big savings, helping small business owners hold on to more of the income their companies bring in.

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Y is for… Yikes, I forgot to Incorporate!

All new entrepreneurs have the choice of incorporating or not. By not incorporating, you’ll get out of some hefty paperwork, though you’ll be missing out on some great benefits that come along with incorporating your business. If you are a small business owner and you haven’t gotten around to incorporating yet, here’s what you’re subjecting your business to:

A lack of trust from customers.

Your customers want to know they are giving their business to a legitimate, professional establishment. Having an Inc. or LLC at the end of your business’s name helps make your customers feel comfortable with you. Without it, you may receive some skepticism.
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5 Reasons You Need QuickBooks

The one thing most new business owners really struggle with from the get-go is organization. There’s so much new paperwork and so many bills you need to keep track of! Being organized can really separate the good businesses from the great businesses. Every customer wants to feel as though they are in capable hands. You can be a great business for your customers with the help of QuickBooks.

QuickBooks is an organization tool that, according to their website, “manages your money,  imports from your bank, and gets you ready for taxes. It’s accounting software made easy.”

Sound good? Here are five additional reasons why you and your business need QuickBooks:
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S is for S-Corporation

For this week’s post we will get to know one the incorporation options a bit better and learn what it has to offer a new entrepreneur: the S-Corporation!

First off, what is an S-Corporation?

Well, an S-Corporation (also known as the S-Corp) is a special type of corporation that draws its designation from subsection S of the tax code. To start an S-Corp, a small business owner starts a C-Corporation in the state where it is headquartered, then files for S-corporation status with the IRS. While an-S Corporation is similar to a C-Corporation, it has different income and self-employment tax regulations.
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