It’s hard to think there’s anything funny about taxes when you’re under a mountain of paperwork, but I do have a bit of comic relief for you today! I did some research about the craziest tax-write offs the IRS has allowed—and some ridiculous things people have tried and failed to slip by the IRS—and you’re not going to believe some of the things I dug up!
Don’t forget these two write offs.
No. 1: Mileage, the often forgotten one– Whether it’s a quick trip to the bank to deposit a client’s check or an overnight ride to meet with a customer, small business owners can write off any mileage they put on their vehicle as long as it’s to conduct business. According to Steven Aldrich, chief executive of Outright, the maker of accounting software, small business owners know about this deduction but often it falls through the cracks because tracking your mileage can get cumbersome. “The IRS lets you deduct 55-and-a-half cents per mile and that adds up,” says Aldrich. “You should make sure you are tracking your trips every time you take one for business.”
No. 2: Home office deduction makes people skittish The home office deduction is one of those big write offs that everyone is skittish about. After all, there are specific rules about what constitutes a home office and run afoul of those rules and fear sets in that an audit will be coming. “The IRS is very specific about what qualifies for your home office. You can’t use it for any other purpose,” says Aldrich. Hand in hand with the home office deduction is the write-offs for any expenses associated with maintaining that office. For instance some of your heat, telephone and electric can also be deducted, as long as it’s the portion that is for your office.
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