10 Tax Deductions You Are Probably Missing
Happy FRI-YAY. Unfortunately for everyone except accountants, it’s a rough time of year…
dun dun dun.
But seriously – if you do your taxes yourself and you are self employed, taxes are the literal worst. I’m not kidding. It’s hard to make sure you are getting all the deductions you can because everyone and their mother has a different opinion on what you should be able to deduct. So, I’ve partnered with Allstate to give you the most comprehensive list of tax deductions including some I know you are probably missing. You’re welcome in advance. 😉
Tax Deductions You Are Probably Missing
Number 1: Sales tax
For your federal income tax, you have the option to deduct sales tax or state income tax. If you currently live and work in a state that doesn’t have its own income tax, this can be a HUGE money saver. The IRS actually provides tables to use as a guide for this deduction.
Number 2: Health insurance premiums
In this case, medical expenses MUST exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income in order to be claimed as an itemized deduction. If you are self-employed and responsible for your own health insurance premiums, sometimes you are able to deduct 100% of your premium. The IRS also has tables to help with this deduction. Be sure to check out THIS POST if you are interested in learning more about your taxes and the ACA.
Number 3: Charitable gifts
This one most people know and do! If you regularly give to your church or other charitable organization, you can write that off on your taxes. We pay a 10% tithe every month, which can be deducted. Keep receipts and keep track of every donation (including Good Will runs) so you can include them in your taxes as deductions.
Number 4: Paying your babysitter
Yes, even paying your babysitter counts as a deduction if they are babysitting so you can get work done. This doesn’t count if they are babysitting because you are going out on a date with your hubby (although don’t you wish it did?). If you are a work-at-home mama and you have in-home childcare, DEDUCT THAT! That is categorized as a business expense so take advantage of that.
Number 5: Home office space
This is obvious and as long as you ONLY do work from that space and nothing else, you can absolutely deduct your home office space. The IRS has a specific formula for calculating your square footage and exact amount you are paying per square foot. It’s important to make sure you grab this deduction so that you don’t miss out.
Number 6: Office supplies
Another no brainer – if you buy something for your home based business, you can deduct it. I’m talking:
- White Out
Basically, any essential office supplies can be deducted. I also deduct things like my camera, camera equipment, ring light, etc. My accountant basically said if you cannot do your business without it, it can be deducted. I use that to determine what I put on my tax spreadsheet.
Number 7: Software, subscriptions and courses.
This is one of my favorites that I just recently discovered. Any courses I take for blogging or photography, deducted. My Lightroom and Photoshop and video editing software, deducted. Subscriptions to blogging sites, etc. can allllllllllll be deducted. Use this to your advantage. Take the courses you need to better your business and write those off, baby!
Number 8: Car mileage / airfare
This is another favorite. I drive ALL OVER THE DANG PLACE. I drive to and from St. Louis (about a 30-45 minute drive) at least once a week and often more than that. It is such a blessing to know I can deduct mileage and gas from my taxes and put them as a work expense. Another blessing is airfare! If I fly somewhere for business and the airfare isn’t covered, I can deduct that flight price from my taxes as well. Be smart and shop around for the best deals but rest easy knowing your travel expenses are all able to be written off (as long as they are being used for business).
Number 9: Phone bill
I use my phone for both business and personal affairs. However, if you can easily separate your phone time from business to personal, or you have two phones – one for business and one for personal, you can deduct almost your entire phone bill. Think about how much time you spend on your phone. For me it breaks down like this: I am working when I go on Instagram, on Facebook, check my email, respond to business calls. I am almost always doing some kind of work related activity on my phone so I was able to write off a portion of my bill.
Number 10: Retirement contributions
This is a new one for me – I had NO idea you could write off your retirement contributions if you are self employed. If you use a SEP IRA or a Keogh, you can deduct your contribution on your personal income tax return.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
If you are gearing up to do your taxes (or you are in the thick of it) – check out THIS POST for five last-minute tax tips to check out before hitting “submit”.
Do you feel ready to make the most out of your taxes this year?? Let me know in the comments below!!
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.