Category: Tax Help

Important Tax Deductions For Freelancers

deductAs the world is becoming increasingly centered on digital services and content, many people around the world are transitioning to web-based freelance careers instead of working for just one company. These people are sometimes referred to as digital nomads, and more and more people are working in these types of positions every day. As a freelancer of any kind, the process of managing your taxes is going to be much different than it is for someone who works for just one employer. In particular, there are many tax deductions or tax relief policies you can take advantage of to avoid dealing with IRS debt. Here are some of the most important tax deductions for freelancers.

  • Home office space and supplies: This is very important for anyone who spends most of their time working out of their home. The IRS will allow you to deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage from your taxes if you can show that you do work from home. You can also deduct a portion of your utilities. To do this, all you have to do is calculate what percentage of your home is taken up by your office. For example, if you have five rooms in your home and one is an office, then that number would be 20%. You can also deduct home office supplies,calc such as your computer or printer, as well as phone and internet services. Because of these deductions, you can easily set up a comfortable home office that will encourage productivity.
  • Website and advertising: In today’s competitive market, it is very important for all small businesses to have an amazing website and a great marketing strategy. However, many people are put off from doing this because it can be very costly. Luckily for most freelancers, you can actually deduct the cost of hiring a web designer on your taxes. You can also deduct other costs that go along with that, such as a graphic designer or photographer. Additionally, you can write off the costs of any other ads or marketing strategies that you use to promote your business.
  • Business travel: Although many freelancers can do the majority of their work online, there are still going to be instances when you have to travel for meetings or trade shows. You can deduct the cost of travel in these instances. This means you can deduct airfare or train/bus passes, or the cost of gas if you decide to drive. You can also deduct the cost of a hotel. You can even deduct up to 50% of any meals on the go that are associated with your business.

Although being a freelancer can be financially stressful at times, there are many tax deductions you can take that will significantly ease this burden. Since the government wants to encourage people to start their own businesses, they are quite supportive in this respect. Have questions about what is and isn’t deductible, or need help with back tax relief? Call your local tax professional to find out more about how you can make the most out of your tax return.

How to Make A Budget and Stick To It

Budgeting is an extremely important financial skill that all adults should have. Unfortunately, it can get very difficult and tedious, especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck. That’s why you should aim to make a habit out of it so that it becomes part of your daily routine. Here are our tips for better budgeting.

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Be honest with yourself about your income.

If you use credit cards, it can be tempting to tell yourself that you’ll get a raise to pay off that big purchase eventually, or that you can always pick up more shifts at work. While it is good to be optimistic, you also want to keep a dose of realism involved when you are making a budget. Always plan for the minimum amount of money you’ll make each month, not the maximum (particularly if you are working on an hourly or tipped basis). That way, if you have extra, you’ll be able to feel comfortable and use it for something nice instead of needing it to pay off expenses.

Divide your income up into detailed spending categories.

To make an effective budget, go through your expenses mentally and then write them all down. Obviously, this will include things like rent/mortgage, car payments and gas, food, bills like water and gas, and other essentials. However, if you know that you like to go out to eat once a week or that you enjoy a good shopping trip every so often, you should add those expenses in there as well instead of just assuming that you’ll be able to completely cut them out. If you absolutely cannot afford all of your current expenses, make a plan for exactly how you’re going to cut back instead of saying, for example, that you’re going to cut back on spending cold turkey.

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Keep a record of what you spend.

If you know you have to write it down, you are likely going to be much more conscious of the money that you are spending than if you just swipe your credit card and forget. There are many apps for your phone these days that will help you keep track of your expenses and make sure that you are staying on budget. If you aren’t that tech savvy, keep a budget notebook and start writing down your expenses at the end of each day. You’ll likely notice some patterns that you may not have picked up on before, which can help you improve your day-to-day habits.

Look for cheaper alternatives to the things you love if you need to cut back.

One of the biggest problems with developing a budget is that it can be really difficult to changing your habits if you are used to living a certain kind of lifestyle. For example, many people know that cutting out Starbucks is a great way to save money, but they don’t want to go without coffee. Instead of feeling sad because you can’t drink Starbucks anymore, learn how to make your own coffee at home. If you normally like to go out to the movies with friends on the weekend, make an effort to put together your own movie night with cheaper rental DVDs. Just because you can’t spend money doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stop doing the things you love.