Filing taxes as a sole proprietor_ what you need to know

Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate and mother of four. Average cost of gas log installation As CEO of, a legal document filing service, Nellie helps entrepreneurs start a business, incorporate, form an LLC or set up sole proprietorships (DBAs) for a new or existing business.

More Americans are working for themselves than ever before. Trip gas cost calculator mapquest Call them freelancers, contractors, micro business owners, entrepreneurs, but a recent report says there are now 17 million full-time independents in the U.S.

Even if this is your first year self-employed, you already know that your income taxes are more involved than those of your colleagues, who only require W-2s. Cost of gas in florida 2016 However, the complexity also brings opportunity, as freelancers can deduct many of their expenses, such as the cost of a computer, office supplies and work-related travel.

Here’s what you need to know when navigating your income taxes as an independent for the first time this year. Calculate fuel cost per trip Reporting Your Income

Sole proprietors need to file a Schedule C with their 1040 to tell the IRS whether their business made a profit or loss for the year. Average cost of lap band surgery with insurance On Schedule C, line 1 (“Gross receipts or sales”), you’ll report all the income made throughout the tax year, including amounts reported on 1099 forms issued by your clients.

Keep in mind that self-employed taxpayers are required to keep track of their income. Cost of gas in canada It doesn’t matter if the income received is cash, check or other form of payment, or whether the amounts are reported by clients on Form 1099-MISC. Propane vs natural gas cost calculator Reporting Your Expenses

The nice thing about a Schedule C is that you can reduce your income with business-related expenses. Cost of gas calculator for trip You pay income tax and self-employment tax only on your net profit (gross income minus expenses). Cost of trip gas mileage Therefore, it really pays to stay on top of your deductions and know exactly what can be expensed. Road trip gas cost estimator For example: 1. Trip calculator gas cost Home office deductions

If you work from home, you may be able to deduct some of your housing costs using Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home. Cost of gas in ireland 2015 To qualify, you need to have a “home office” used exclusively for your business activities (unfortunately, if your office area is your dining room table where you also eat dinner from time to time, you cannot take this deduction).

Many work-at-homers are discouraged from taking the home office deduction because it’s been considered a red flag for an IRS audit. Cost of a gallon of gas in california However, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re legitimately entitled to the deduction, take it.

It can be a significant amount, as you can write off a percentage of certain home expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, insurance (homeowners or renters) and utilities. Best price on gas fireplace logs Read more about home office deductions. Gas price road trip planner 2. Gas prices memphis tn Office supplies and other expenses

You’re allowed to deduct the cost of equipment and supplies you buy for your business; for example, a desk, filing cabinet, printer and small office supplies like pens, envelopes, paper, printer ink, etc. Costco gas quality bmw If you bought a new laptop or tablet last year, it can also be deducted if used for business purposes. How do you calculate fuel cost per mile However, if you have one laptop that you use partly for business and partly for personal, you’re allowed to deduct the percentage based on how much it’s used for business purposes.

Publication 535 gives all the details for business expenses. Fuel cost calculator south africa For supplies and equipment that will last more than one year (like furniture or your laptop), you’ll need to fill out Form 4562: Depreciation and Amortization. How many tanks of gas to drive 2000 miles 3. Calculate gas cost for moving truck Mileage (car and truck expenses)

Freelancers can deduct some of their car and travel expenses. Estimate gas cost for trip google maps However, commuting is considered “personal” and is not deductible. Gallon of gas cost breakdown This means that if you’re self-employed and rent an office somewhere, you cannot deduct your drive to the office. How much gas would it take to drive 1000 miles However, you can deduct travel that involves meeting with a client, purchasing business supplies, attending an industry event, etc.

If you’re driving to meet a customer, you can take a standard mileage rate deduction (it’s $0.555 per mile for 2012). Average gas cost per year This standard mileage rate covers all the general operating expenses, such as gas, oil, repairs, insurance, the original cost of the vehicle. Average natural gas cost per month So if you’re taking the standard mileage rate, don’t think about expensing your gas purchases, too. Average cost of fireplace installation However, you can add on parking and toll fees. Costco gas station hours Check out IRS Publication 463 for more details, even if you decide to calculate your auto deductions based on actual expenses. Average gas price 2013 california 4. How much money in gas will it cost to drive Travel, meals and entertainment

Meals and lodging are deductible when you travel out of town overnight to conduct business. Cost of gas to drive calculator For example, let’s say you flew to a client’s headquarters (and had to foot the bill yourself) or you attended a conference. Mileage gas cost calculator In these cases, you can fully deduct your transportation costs (plane/train ticket, taxi, airport parking, etc.). Current price of gasoline in germany You can also deduct hotel costs and claim a daily meal allowance for any business days. Calculate fuel cost for road trip Refer to Publication 1542 for the per diem rates and other details.

When you take a client out for a meal or other entertainment event (such as a baseball game), 50% of the cost is deductible as a business expense, provided that business was discussed before or after the event. Gas cost to drive 5. Natural gas price per kwh uk Other deductions

The expenses outlined above are just a subset of potential deductions. Gas mileage cost calculator You may also be able to deduct the cost of health insurance for you and your family, membership dues for a professional organization, business-related gifts to clients and more. Rac route planner with fuel costs And don’t forget about contributing to a tax-deferred retirement plan.

As always, it’s best to not stretch things too far; take only the deductions you’re entitled to (keeping all the receipts that support your deductions). How much will gas cost for my trip Talking with a qualified small business tax professional is always a good idea to make sure you’re following the rules and are taking all the deductions available to you. How much does a gallon of gas cost in hawaii Next Steps

If this is your first year filing taxes as a sole proprietor, you’ll soon realize that you need to pay self-employment taxes in addition to income taxes. Cost of gas in hawaii 2013 This can leave you wondering what happened to all your hard-earned money. How much gas to travel 1000 miles Many freelancers start out as sole props and eventually form an S Corporation or an LLC that’s taxed as an S Corporation, in order to reduce self-employment taxes.

While it may be too late to impact your 2012 taxes, the end of tax season is a perfect time to reassess what’s next for your business. Cheapest gas prices by state Talk to a tax advisor about what business structure will be right for you.

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