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The Honest Way Forum • View topic - Work At Home Tips: Income Tax Organization

Work At Home Tips: Income Tax Organization

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Work At Home Tips: Income Tax Organization

Postby tam2005 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:51 pm

Work At Home Tips: Income Tax Organization
By Tammy Embrich


Is it really that time of year again? Time goes by so fast, especially if you've been relatively busy with your home business within the past year.

There are so many things to remember when preparing your tax returns, as well as knowing exactly what is considered taxable. Let's take a quick look at what may be taxable in your work at home situation.

Here are just a few that I've listed below:

1. Monthly Internet bill. I know this is the number one item on my list since I work at home and I have to use the Internet to make my income.

2. Monthly hosting bill if you own your own domain name. This is another important write off for your business, especially if you own several domains/websites and your hosting bill is considerably high.

3. Monthly phone bill. If you own a business and you use your phone to run your business, then yes, you need to write off your phone bill.

4. Business transportation mileage. If you use your automobile for business, such as home parties, this is another important taxable write off. Fuel prices has went up considerably. You need to keep careful track of all your transportation expenses (including gas receipts), and file anything and everything that you can.

5. Advertising expenses. Some people pay for advertising for promotion purposes and some do not. If you do pay for advertising, then you need to file these expenses on your taxes. Depending on the type of advertising, it may or may not be taxable, but it's always safe to file all expenses.

6. Charitable contributions. Your contributions must meet specific criteria to be considered taxable. It's still important to record all contributions for the year and your tax adviser will sort it out accordingly.

There are definitely more that need to be listed here. I just wanted to go over a few of the top ones to consider for your business. To do a more elaborate research on what is taxable, you can visit irs.gov.

Tips for organizing your tax documents

Don't wait until the end of the year to start getting those important documents together. Start at the beginning of the year and place all relevant papers in their proper place. There are so many people (and I used to be one of them) that just shove these documents into hiding anywhere they can find, and not where they are supposed to be kept for fast reference.

For example: I have a file folder in my file cabinet that houses my office expense receipts, ink cartridges, paper, pens, pencils, software receipts, new computer/printer receipts, and the like. When you purchase something for your business, immediately when you return home, place those receipts in their proper folder.

Earnings and expense records

I've learned over the years to keep a document for my earnings and also for my expenses in safe folders on my computer. I also actively backup all my files on a regular basis. You can of course figure out your earnings and expenses at the beginning of every year, but wouldn't it make much more sense to do this as you go along with your business and record each transaction? It would definitely save you a considerable amount of time by doing this daily.

Basic office supplies for organizing your work at home office

calendar
file cabinets
interior or manila file folders
hanging file folders and labels
Microsoft Money or Quickbooks accounting software (if you choose), you can always keep active spreadsheets for business accounting purposes
sticky notes

With careful home business planning and organization skills, you will be more career productive.

Important: Also with precise organization, you will know at a moment's notice where these documents are if you are ever audited.

Article Written By: Tammy Embrich

Tammy offers work at home articles, free work at home job leads, and other business resources on her blog.

You can also visit Tammy at offering more free job leads, work at home articles, work at home tips, and more.
Tammy


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