5 Commonly Overlooked Small Business Tax Deductions

Small businesses often struggle to make ends meet. In today’s economy, every dollar counts and entrepreneurs need to find any way possible to enhance their bottom line. Fortunately, business owners have numerous available tax deductions to help reduce their overall liability. Some deductions, however, go unclaimed because owners are afraid of raising a red flag with the IRS, or are unaware they exist. Tax Filing Deadlines

Here are five small business tax deductions that are commonly overlooked:

Startup Expenses: It takes a lot of planning and expense to start any type of business, no matter how small. For example, you may have attended a training session out of town that taught you how to start and run your business. If so, the travel expenses and training fees are deductible. You can also deduct filing costs, equipment and other costs associated with getting your business off the ground. There are certain limits on how much you can deduct, and other restrictions apply as well, so always check with your CPA to determine the exact amount you are allowed to deduct.

Unrecoverable Debts: If you have customers/clients who did not pay for your product/service, or you lent money to employees or vendors, you may be able to deduct these amounts. Just be sure the money owed is related to your business and not a personal loan.

Banking Fees and Interest Payments: Unlike most consumer accounts, many business savings and checking accounts incur monthly maintenance fees. If you pay any fees to maintain your business accounts, they are deductible. In addition, if you have a small business credit card and used it to purchase business equipment, the interest on these purchases is also deductible.

Health Insurance Premiums: This one is a little tricky; if you are self-employed or own more than 2% of a Subchapter S Corporation, you are eligible to deduct health insurance premiums paid for yourself, your spouse, and any dependent children under the age of 27 as a personal expense on your Form 1040.

Home Office: Most entrepreneurs are aware of the home office deduction, but many are afraid to take it. In the past, it was widely believed that this deduction was certain to raise red flags with the IRS. But aside from the fact that the IRS is severely understaffed and predicts fewer audits for the 2015 tax year, they have also introduced a simplified calculation method for the home office deduction.

The introduction of the simplified method is likely an acknowledgment of the fact that the majority of small businesses in the U.S. today are home-based, and it probably also means they are not as likely to audit a taxpayer simply for claiming the home office deduction. To qualify for this deduction, you must have a home office you use principally and exclusively for your business.

For more information about which small business tax deductions your business qualifies for, call a professional tax accountant.

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