Small Business Tax Write-Offs for 2014

Every year, the tax laws change a little, and sometimes a lot. For example, some business write-offs such as accelerated depreciation have largely gone away after 2013. However, there are still a large number of deductions available to entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is important to be aware of them now so you can maximize these deductions while the year is in progress.  Cut Taxes

Here are seven of the best deductions available to small businesses in 2014:

Home Office: If you do business out of your home, you are allowed to deduct a portion of the square footage in your dwelling that is devoted to your business. This portion of your overall square footage determines what percentage of your mortgage/rent, utilities, etc. you can deduct. This year, the IRS has made it easier for home-based businesses with the simplified home office deduction. This means that when you file your 2014 taxes, you have the option to claim a deduction of $5 for every square foot of your home devoted to business up to a maximum of 300 square feet or $1500.

Supplies & Equipment: Supplies used for your business such as copier paper, printer ink, pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. are all deductible whether you have a home office or not. In addition, if you purchase any new equipment like a PC or copy machine that is devoted to the business, these items can be deducted as well. With new equipment, you may choose to take a 100% deduction during the tax year of the purchase or depreciate it over five years.

Office Furnishings: If you purchase any new furniture for your office, such as a desk, office chairs, or conference table, you may choose to deduct 100% of it this year or depreciate over seven years.

Travel & Entertainment: Business travel is one area where some entrepreneurs can take significant deductions over the course of the year, especially if you tend to do business in multiple locations. Airfare, train fare, bus, or any other form of travel is 100% deductible if it is business-related. Hotel rooms and other expenses while on the road such as dry cleaning can also be deducted. Meals and entertainment only qualify for a 50% deduction.

Mileage: Another deduction related to business travel is mileage. Whenever you drive your car for business, you can deduct mileage, parking fees, and tolls along the way. For 2014, the mileage deduction is set to drop from 56.5 to 56 cents per mile.

Health Insurance: If you are self-employed and pay your own health insurance, it is 100% deductible. You may also deduct health insurance for your kids if they are your dependents. Your spouse’s portion of the insurance is only deductible if he/she is legitimately employed by you and you offer the same coverage to any other employees you have.

Self-Employed IRA: If you have a SEP IRA or Keogh plan, 100% of the contributions you make are tax-deductible.

There are numerous other ways for small businesses to keep their tax burden low in 2014. With the tax laws continually changing and new deductions potentially being added, it is always best to consult with a professional accountant to assess your business and determine the best strategy to minimize your tax liability.

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