It’s the most wonderful time of the year: tax season!
Ok, ok, I say that with a lot of sarcasm, because let’s face it: taxes aren’t the easiest thing for the average person to grasp. As a self-employed gal, I’ve had quite a bit of trial and error regarding taxes. When I first went full-time with my blog as a 20-something, I can safely say that I was clueless about bookkeeping and filing. Back in the day, this was a part of running my own business that I absolutely dreaded, and I was super anxious when tax season rolled around! Which is why today I’m sharing five self employed tax write offs everyone should know about.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the years as a business owner is that it’s okay to outsource the things that I might not be great at and the tasks that I don’t enjoy. Investing in a tax professional was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and it makes me way less stressed during tax time. I’ve used H&R Block for over 10 years now, from when I got my first job in high school to running my own business as a 30-something, and it has been a game-changer for me!
One of the things that H&R Block has helped me with immensely is figuring out what I can and can’t write off for taxes as a small business owner. The year before I went full time, I remember my H&R Block Tax Pro encouraging me to invest more in my business, and I took that advice and ran with it! I’m also glad that they are here to guide me with some of my COVID relief-related questions this year since this is all new to me.
Today, I’m breaking down some of the write-offs I can claim as a small business owner that I learned from my H&R Tax Pro over the years. Want to try H&R Block out for yourself? Use code “17293” for $25 off your tax prep at H&R Block this year! (Code expires 4/10/21 and is for new clients only)
Five Self Employed Tax Write Offs
Did you know that if you’re self-employed and when you drive your vehicle for business purposes, you can write off that mileage?
My H&R Block Tax Pro suggested to me years ago was to keep track of how many miles I drive to press trips, photoshoots, and events so that I could write off that mileage come tax time. It was something that I never thought of before, and I’m so glad they suggested this to me. You would be surprised at how much mileage adds up!
Whenever I drive for business purposes, I keep track of my miles in an iPhone app and present that data to my Tax Pro during tax season. I love that I can submit all of my tax documents virtually with H&R Block’s online platform, and my Tax Pro knows exactly what to do with my piles of receipts and mileage logs.
Self Employed Tax Write Offs: Software
If you’re self-employed, you know that you have to use a copious amount of software to keep your business up and running.
From Adobe Creative Suite to Dropbox to Planoly, I pay to use over 20 apps and programs to run my blog and social programs and edit photos. All of these apps that I use add up in the long run!
For all of the apps I use, I make sure to put the invoices I receive in my bookkeeping platform as soon as I get them. Most of the time, I receive a PDF receipt or invoice, but on the off chance that I have a paper receipt, I make sure to scan those immediately to keep tabs on them. Make sure to be diligent about your receipts and invoices you receive from any software or apps that you use and organize them in a safe place so that tax season runs as smoothly as possible!
I’ve been working from home for a few years now, and one of the first things I learned early on in my blogging career is that I could write off my home office space for tax purposes. Pretty cool, huh?
I have no idea how to calculate the deduction on my own, but my H&R Block Tax Pro does. I give them the square footage of my space, and I also send over utility bills as well, and they’re able to figure out how much I can write off.
This deduction may or may not apply to everyone — that’s why it’s best to speak to a professional and see what your options are!
Have you donated to a non-profit in the past year? Give clothes to Goodwill? Make an in-kind donation to a local group? That also might be a write-off, depending on what type of organization you donated to.
I was thankfully in a position last year where I could donate to quite a few groups last year, and while I can’t write off every single donation I made, some of them are tax-deductible. I always go over my donations with my H&R Block tax pro since they have a deep understanding of the process!
Self Employed Tax Write Offs: Student Loan Interest
Still paying off student loans? Same here, my friend!
I’m thankful that my H&R Block Tax Pro reminds me of student loan interest deductions every year. If you’re paying off loans, you should have been sent a 1098-E form, which states how much interest you paid in the last calendar year. You can deduct up to $2,500 of the interest you paid on qualified student loans from your taxable income, which is a gamechanger!
Use code “17293” for $25 off your tax prep at H&R Block this year! (Code expires 4/10/21 and is for new clients only)
Have you finished your taxes yet? Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern
Thank you to H&R Block for sponsoring today’s tax tips blog post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Do you have any other questions about self employed tax write offs? Let me know in a comment below!