Common small business expenses

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Thanks to Shivangi Agrawal, CPA, for this list of common small business expenses that might be deductible on a tax return. (Note, however, that these do not apply to those who are paid wages on a Form W2).

➖ Office expenses, including rent, utilities, and supplies.

➖ Business travel expenses, including transportation, lodging, and meals.

➖ Equipment purchases, including computers, printers, and office furniture.

➖ Marketing and advertising expenses, including website development and social media advertising.

➖ Professional development and education expenses.

➖ Employee salaries and benefits.

➖ Health insurance premiums for small business owners and their employees.

➖ Home office expenses for those who work from home.

➖ Retirement plan contributions, including 401(k) and SEP plans.

➖ Insurance premiums, including liability and property insurance.

➖ Interest on business loans and credit cards.

➖ Depreciation of business assets, including vehicles and equipment.

➖ Bad debts and collection expenses.

➖ Legal and professional fees, including accounting and tax preparation services.

➖ State and local taxes, including sales tax and property tax.

➖ Business startup costs, including legal and accounting fees.

➖ Research and development expenses.

➖ Charitable contributions made by the business.

➖ Rent or lease payments for business property.

➖ Repairs and maintenance expenses.

➖ Licenses and permits required for the business.

➖ Telephone and internet expenses.

➖ Moving expenses related to the business.

➖ Costs of goods sold, including raw materials and inventory.

➖ Travel expenses for business conferences and events.

In most cases we want to tie the expense payment back to a bank statement and, for larger expenses, an actual electronic receipt when deducting these from income on a tax return. A program like QuickBooks installed on your cell phone makes expense receipt management easy.

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