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Write it Off: My Favorite Tax Writeoffs

Updated on September 30, 2010

Okay, so it's not quite April 14th yet which might mean that you haven't even begun to actually think about doing your taxes, yet. However, if you can force yourself to sit down with them, you will have the time that you need to take advantage of the number of different tax write-offs which are at your disposal. If that tax turn-in deadline is getting close and you still aren't ready, at least give some quick attention to the following tax-write off secrets which top the list of my personal favorites when I sit down each year to get more money back!

  1. The in-home business write offs. Because I work from home, all of the write offs associated with my home business are my personal favorites. The equipment that I need to get my job done, the losses taken in the initial stages of starting up new home business ventures and even the resources used in home during normal business hours can all be written off by anyone who makes a living out of their homes. The number of people who work from home or telecommute at least part of the time is increasingly as rapidly as the internet grows, so this tax write off tip applies to more people now than ever before. Just be sure that you are keeping good records of what you try to write off because the IRS has been known to look closely at the write-offs associated with working from home.
  2. Business Gifts. Yes, I know, it's a bit cheap, but you can write off certain expenses which you made in the course of business dealings that you might not have thought of at first. I, for one, am always intimately involved in the art of networking and so I frequently send gift baskets as a part of my business. You don't want to overdo the writeoffs in this area, but you also don't want to forget about them since they are legitimate expenses which can reasonably be deducted from your income.
  3. Medical expenses. Believe it or not, you can get a write off for certain medical expenses that you didn't even know were medical expenses. When you go to look at that portion of your tax form, take into consideration any trips to your massage therapist and any memberships that you might have to a gym. They can't all be written off, but if they were for legitimate medical reasons, they make great writeoffs.
  4. Charity donations. Okay, so this one isn't a secret, but it's a great way to give to good causes throughout the year and still get a little bit back yourself. There are strict rules about this one which are changing regularly so check into them before you do your writeoffs but this is one that you can think about all throughout the year.
  5. This one only applies to those off us who happened to lose out in the stock market in the last year. This is one of my favorite tax write-offs because it takes that "let's turn lemons into lemonade" approach to life and applies it to helping you balance out your personal finance situation. If you took a stock loss in the last year, you can report it as "worthless" on your taxes to offset your capital gains.

That's just five of the tips that you can use when you sit down to fill out your tax forms and you're looking to legitimately adjust those lines a little bit. If you take the time to prepare for your taxes in advance, you'll find that there are more write offs at your fingertips than you could ever possibly include on your forms!

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  • billiedaisyallen profile image

    billiedaisyallen 

    8 years ago

    I live in Florida and there's no income tax so I'm curious as to what the "State Sales tax" is that johnr54 is referring to?

  • theblackedition profile image

    Shane Brown-Daniels 

    8 years ago from USA

    Great tips Kathryn (as usual)! I'll keep these in mind.

  • mwatkins profile image

    mwatkins 

    8 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

    Really nice tips. Well thought out and written! Did you know that if you have a flyer to post and you take it to your dentist or doctors office and post it and have a cup of coffee that you can write it all off. Also,If you are making videos for your business (youtube counts) then it is important that you look professional (haircut, clothes, manicure-if appropriate) are a necessary marketing expense. Home business write offs are looked at closely, but do take advantage of legitimate ones. Do you use your children as models - age appropriate modeling fees can be socked away for college funds-tax free. Good job!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 

    8 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for good tips and reminders!

  • Kimber777 profile image

    Kimber777 

    9 years ago from PA

    Very useful information! Great article:)

  • leeroper profile image

    leeroper 

    9 years ago from UK

    I really like the following comment;"any trips to your massage therapist and any memberships that you might have to a gym" It is one that should be exploited as often as possible. The fact that you take time out of your working day to do these activities so you assure you are in good health for your job is important. Only you can run your business, so look after yourself!

  • SoManyPaths profile image

    SoManyPaths 

    9 years ago from West Coast USA

    I thought they look harder at write-offs that are for home-based businesses

  • johnr54 profile image

    Joanie Ruppel 

    10 years ago from Texas

    One that's easy to overlook is the state sales tax writeoff for those who live in states without an income tax. You don't even need to document it, you can just use the lookup tables.

  • profile image

    Dan from Denver 

    10 years ago

    Nice pointers...Every little bit helps...

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