Are You Leaving Money on the Table?
When I started my business in 2014, I had little clue what to count as a business expense. After doing my taxes in 2015, I learned a thing or two about the subject, but was still playing the guessing game. Near the end of 2015, I finally started acting like the high-level entrepreneur I am and strive to be and hired a professional accountant.
Let's just say I came to find out I was leaving a helluva lot of money on the table.
If you haven't hired an accountant who seriously knows her shiz, get on that - stat. With tax season in full swing, I thought it would be beneficial to share a sneak peek into some of things I claim as business expenses. But first, time for that big 'ol disclaimer.
As I'm sure you're fully aware, I'm not an accountant, don't have an accounting background, and although I was tutored in math up to grade 11, I never got higher than a C+ on any math test. The purpose of this blog post is to open your eyes to areas of your business you may have never thought about - it's to inspire you to hire the right help and support in your business, or at the very least speak with a professional accountant to confirm you're on the right track.
I like to set my expenses up in a simple Excel spreadsheet and use a new spreadsheet for each month. Some of the expenses I claim include:
- banking fees
- cell phone
- business coaching/courses
- Facebook ads
- clothing/jewelry/makeup (i.e. wardrobe for Techie Thursday videos/photo shoots)
- fonts/graphics/images purchased
- accounting services, including year-end taxes
- lawyer services
- payment processing
- office supplies (i.e. furniture, stationary, printer ink, etc.)
- gas spent driving for business purchases and meeting clients
- car insurance
- car payments
- car repairs
- postage (rare)
- groceries (I used to do this for my nutrition business if the items were used in recipes for my blog)
- promotional materials (ex. books/journals for giveaways/gifts for clients)
- business lunches
- wealth consciousness and business books (ex. Think & Grow Rich, The Purple Cow, etc.)
- flights + hotel for business purposes
- music for Techie Thursday videos
- computer security software
- photo shoots
- hair salon expenses for photo shoots
- scheduling software
- paid parking for business purposes
- hydro for square footage 0f office (there's a specific calculation for this)
- mortgage for square footage of office (there's a specific calculation for this)
Keep in mind that your business expenses will probably differ than mine and as there are so many, I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot to mention a couple. The point of being diligent in claiming the correct amount of expenses for your business is to ensure that you take full advantage of whatever tax breaks may be issued to you by the government in doing so. The best way to do this? Outsource this task to a bookkeeper/accountant!