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How Do You Amend Your Taxes Online

How do you amend your taxes online 8. How do you amend your taxes online   Business Expenses Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Bad DebtsAccrual method. How do you amend your taxes online Cash method. How do you amend your taxes online Car and Truck ExpensesOffice in the home. How do you amend your taxes online Methods for Deducting Car and Truck Expenses Reimbursing Your Employees for Expenses Depreciation Employees' PayFringe benefits. How do you amend your taxes online InsuranceHow to figure the deduction. How do you amend your taxes online Interest Legal and Professional FeesTax preparation fees. How do you amend your taxes online Pension Plans Rent Expense Taxes Travel, Meals, and EntertainmentTransportation. How do you amend your taxes online Taxi, commuter bus, and limousine. How do you amend your taxes online Baggage and shipping. How do you amend your taxes online Car or truck. How do you amend your taxes online Meals and lodging. How do you amend your taxes online Cleaning. How do you amend your taxes online Telephone. How do you amend your taxes online Tips. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online Business Use of Your HomeExceptions to exclusive use. How do you amend your taxes online Other Expenses You Can Deduct Expenses You Cannot Deduct Introduction You can deduct the costs of operating your business. How do you amend your taxes online These costs are known as business expenses. How do you amend your taxes online These are costs you do not have to capitalize or include in the cost of goods sold but can deduct in the current year. How do you amend your taxes online To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. How do you amend your taxes online An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business. How do you amend your taxes online A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. How do you amend your taxes online An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. How do you amend your taxes online For more information about the general rules for deducting business expenses, see chapter 1 in Publication 535, Business Expenses. How do you amend your taxes online If you have an expense that is partly for business and partly personal, separate the personal part from the business part. How do you amend your taxes online The personal part is not deductible. How do you amend your taxes online Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses 535 Business Expenses 946 How To Depreciate Property See chapter 12 for information about getting publications and forms. How do you amend your taxes online Bad Debts If someone owes you money you cannot collect, you have a bad debt. How do you amend your taxes online There are two kinds of bad debts, business bad debts and nonbusiness bad debts. How do you amend your taxes online A business bad debt is generally one that comes from operating your trade or business. How do you amend your taxes online You may be able to deduct business bad debts as an expense on your business tax return. How do you amend your taxes online Business bad debt. How do you amend your taxes online   A business bad debt is a loss from the worthlessness of a debt that was either of the following. How do you amend your taxes online Created or acquired in your business. How do you amend your taxes online Closely related to your business when it became partly or totally worthless. How do you amend your taxes online A debt is closely related to your business if your primary motive for incurring the debt is a business reason. How do you amend your taxes online   Business bad debts are mainly the result of credit sales to customers. How do you amend your taxes online They can also be the result of loans to suppliers, clients, employees, or distributors. How do you amend your taxes online Goods and services customers have not paid for are shown in your books as either accounts receivable or notes receivable. How do you amend your taxes online If you are unable to collect any part of these accounts or notes receivable, the uncollectible part is a business bad debt. How do you amend your taxes online    You can take a bad debt deduction for these accounts and notes receivable only if the amount you were owed was included in your gross income either for the year the deduction is claimed or for a prior year. How do you amend your taxes online Accrual method. How do you amend your taxes online   If you use an accrual method of accounting, you normally report income as you earn it. How do you amend your taxes online You can take a bad debt deduction for an uncollectible receivable if you have included the uncollectible amount in income. How do you amend your taxes online Cash method. How do you amend your taxes online   If you use the cash method of accounting, you normally report income when you receive payment. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot take a bad debt deduction for amounts owed to you that you have not received and cannot collect if you never included those amounts in income. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about business bad debts, see chapter 10 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online Nonbusiness bad debts. How do you amend your taxes online   All other bad debts are nonbusiness bad debts and are deductible as short-term capital losses on Form 8949 and Schedule D (Form 1040). How do you amend your taxes online For more information on nonbusiness bad debts, see Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Car and Truck Expenses If you use your car or truck in your business, you may be able to deduct the costs of operating and maintaining your vehicle. How do you amend your taxes online You also may be able to deduct other costs of local transportation and traveling away from home overnight on business. How do you amend your taxes online You may qualify for a tax credit for qualified plug-in electric vehicles, qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, and alternative motor vehicles you place in service during the year. How do you amend your taxes online See Form 8936 and Form 8910 for more information. How do you amend your taxes online Local transportation expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   Local transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary costs of all the following. How do you amend your taxes online Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession when you are traveling within the city or general area that is your tax home. How do you amend your taxes online Tax home is defined later. How do you amend your taxes online Visiting clients or customers. How do you amend your taxes online Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace. How do you amend your taxes online Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work. How do you amend your taxes online These temporary workplaces can be either within the area of your tax home or outside that area. How do you amend your taxes online Local business transportation does not include expenses you have while traveling away from home overnight. How do you amend your taxes online Those expenses are deductible as travel expenses and are discussed later under Travel, Meals, and Entertainment. How do you amend your taxes online However, if you use your car while traveling away from home overnight, use the rules in this section to figure your car expense deduction. How do you amend your taxes online   Generally, your tax home is your regular place of business, regardless of where you maintain your family home. How do you amend your taxes online It includes the entire city or general area in which your business or work is located. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online You operate a printing business out of rented office space. How do you amend your taxes online You use your van to deliver completed jobs to your customers. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct the cost of round-trip transportation between your customers and your print shop. How do you amend your taxes online    You cannot deduct the costs of driving your car or truck between your home and your main or regular workplace. How do you amend your taxes online These costs are personal commuting expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Office in the home. How do you amend your taxes online   Your workplace can be your home if you have an office in your home that qualifies as your principal place of business. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Business Use of Your Home, later. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online You are a graphics designer. How do you amend your taxes online You operate your business out of your home. How do you amend your taxes online Your home qualifies as your principal place of business. How do you amend your taxes online You occasionally have to drive to your clients to deliver your completed work. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct the cost of the round-trip transportation between your home and your clients. How do you amend your taxes online Methods for Deducting Car and Truck Expenses For local transportation or overnight travel by car or truck, you generally can use one of the following methods to figure your expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Standard mileage rate. How do you amend your taxes online Actual expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Standard mileage rate. How do you amend your taxes online   You may be able to use the standard mileage rate to figure the deductible costs of operating your car, van, pickup, or panel truck for business purposes. How do you amend your taxes online For 2013, the standard mileage rate is 56. How do you amend your taxes online 5 cents per mile. How do you amend your taxes online    If you choose to use the standard mileage rate for a year, you cannot deduct your actual expenses for that year except for business-related parking fees and tolls. How do you amend your taxes online Choosing the standard mileage rate. How do you amend your taxes online   If you want to use the standard mileage rate for a car or truck you own, you must choose to use it in the first year the car is available for use in your business. How do you amend your taxes online In later years, you can choose to use either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   If you use the standard mileage rate for a car you lease, you must choose to use it for the entire lease period (including renewals). How do you amend your taxes online Standard mileage rate not allowed. How do you amend your taxes online   You cannot use the standard mileage rate if you: Operate five or more cars at the same time, Claimed a depreciation deduction using any method other than straight line, for example, ACRS or MACRS, Claimed a section 179 deduction on the car, Claimed the special depreciation allowance on the car, Claimed actual car expenses for a car you leased, or Are a rural mail carrier who received a qualified reimbursement. How do you amend your taxes online Parking fees and tolls. How do you amend your taxes online   In addition to using the standard mileage rate, you can deduct any business-related parking fees and tolls. How do you amend your taxes online (Parking fees you pay to park your car at your place of work are nondeductible commuting expenses. How do you amend your taxes online ) Actual expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   If you do not choose to use the standard mileage rate, you may be able to deduct your actual car or truck expenses. How do you amend your taxes online    If you qualify to use both methods, figure your deduction both ways to see which gives you a larger deduction. How do you amend your taxes online   Actual car expenses include the costs of the following items. How do you amend your taxes online Depreciation Lease payments Registration Garage rent Licenses Repairs Gas Oil Tires Insurance Parking fees Tolls   If you use your vehicle for both business and personal purposes, you must divide your expenses between business and personal use. How do you amend your taxes online You can divide your expenses based on the miles driven for each purpose. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online You are the sole proprietor of a flower shop. How do you amend your taxes online You drove your van 20,000 miles during the year. How do you amend your taxes online 16,000 miles were for delivering flowers to customers and 4,000 miles were for personal use (including commuting miles). How do you amend your taxes online You can claim only 80% (16,000 ÷ 20,000) of the cost of operating your van as a business expense. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about the rules for claiming car and truck expenses, see Publication 463. How do you amend your taxes online Reimbursing Your Employees for Expenses You generally can deduct the amount you reimburse your employees for car and truck expenses. How do you amend your taxes online The reimbursement you deduct and the manner in which you deduct it depend in part on whether you reimburse the expenses under an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan. How do you amend your taxes online For details, see chapter 11 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online That chapter explains accountable and nonaccountable plans and tells you whether to report the reimbursement on your employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. How do you amend your taxes online Depreciation If property you acquire to use in your business is expected to last more than 1 year, you generally cannot deduct the entire cost as a business expense in the year you acquire it. How do you amend your taxes online You must spread the cost over more than 1 tax year and deduct part of it each year on Schedule C. How do you amend your taxes online This method of deducting the cost of business property is called depreciation. How do you amend your taxes online The discussion here is brief. How do you amend your taxes online You will find more information about depreciation in Publication 946. How do you amend your taxes online What property can be depreciated?   You can depreciate property if it meets all the following requirements. How do you amend your taxes online It must be property you own. How do you amend your taxes online It must be used in business or held to produce income. How do you amend your taxes online You never can depreciate inventory (explained in chapter 2) because it is not held for use in your business. How do you amend your taxes online It must have a useful life that extends substantially beyond the year it is placed in service. How do you amend your taxes online It must have a determinable useful life, which means that it must be something that wears out, decays, gets used up, becomes obsolete, or loses its value from natural causes. How do you amend your taxes online You never can depreciate the cost of land because land does not wear out, become obsolete, or get used up. How do you amend your taxes online It must not be excepted property. How do you amend your taxes online This includes property placed in service and disposed of in the same year. How do you amend your taxes online Repairs. How do you amend your taxes online    You cannot depreciate repairs and replacements that do not increase the value of your property, make it more useful, or lengthen its useful life. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct these amounts on line 21 of Schedule C or line 2 of Schedule C-EZ. How do you amend your taxes online Depreciation method. How do you amend your taxes online   The method for depreciating most business and investment property placed in service after 1986 is called the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). How do you amend your taxes online MACRS is discussed in detail in Publication 946. How do you amend your taxes online Section 179 deduction. How do you amend your taxes online   You can elect to deduct a limited amount of the cost of certain depreciable property in the year you place the property in service. How do you amend your taxes online This deduction is known as the “section 179 deduction. How do you amend your taxes online ” The maximum amount you can elect to deduct during 2013 is generally $500,000 (higher limits apply to certain property). How do you amend your taxes online See IRC 179(e). How do you amend your taxes online   This limit is generally reduced by the amount by which the cost of the property placed in service during the tax year exceeds $2 million. How do you amend your taxes online The total amount of depreciation (including the section 179 deduction) you can take for a passenger automobile you use in your business and first place in service in 2013 is $3,160 ($11,160 if you take the special depreciation allowance for qualified passenger automobiles placed in service in 2013). How do you amend your taxes online Special rules apply to trucks and vans. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Publication 946. How do you amend your taxes online It explains what property qualifies for the deduction, what limits apply to the deduction, and when and how to recapture the deduction. How do you amend your taxes online    Your section 179 election for the cost of any sport utility vehicle (SUV) and certain other vehicles is limited to $25,000. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see the Instructions for Form 4562 or Publication 946. How do you amend your taxes online Listed property. How do you amend your taxes online   You must follow special rules and recordkeeping requirements when depreciating listed property. How do you amend your taxes online Listed property is any of the following. How do you amend your taxes online Most passenger automobiles. How do you amend your taxes online Most other property used for transportation. How do you amend your taxes online Any property of a type generally used for entertainment, recreation, or amusement. How do you amend your taxes online Certain computers and related peripheral equipment. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about listed property, see Publication 946. How do you amend your taxes online Form 4562. How do you amend your taxes online   Use Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization, if you are claiming any of the following. How do you amend your taxes online Depreciation on property placed in service during the current tax year. How do you amend your taxes online A section 179 deduction. How do you amend your taxes online Depreciation on any listed property (regardless of when it was placed in service). How do you amend your taxes online    If you have to use Form 4562, you must file Schedule C. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot use Schedule C-EZ. How do you amend your taxes online   Employees' Pay You can generally deduct on Schedule C the pay you give your employees for the services they perform for your business. How do you amend your taxes online The pay may be in cash, property, or services. How do you amend your taxes online To be deductible, your employees' pay must be an ordinary and necessary expense and you must pay or incur it in the tax year. How do you amend your taxes online In addition, the pay must meet both the following tests. How do you amend your taxes online The pay must be reasonable. How do you amend your taxes online The pay must be for services performed. How do you amend your taxes online Chapter 2 in Publication 535 explains and defines these requirements. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot deduct your own salary or any personal withdrawals you make from your business. How do you amend your taxes online As a sole proprietor, you are not an employee of the business. How do you amend your taxes online If you had employees during the year, you must use Schedule C. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot use Schedule C-EZ. How do you amend your taxes online Kinds of pay. How do you amend your taxes online   Some of the ways you may provide pay to your employees are listed below. How do you amend your taxes online For an explanation of each of these items, see chapter 2 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online Awards. How do you amend your taxes online Bonuses. How do you amend your taxes online Education expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Fringe benefits (discussed later). How do you amend your taxes online Loans or advances you do not expect the employee to repay if they are for personal services actually performed. How do you amend your taxes online Property you transfer to an employee as payment for services. How do you amend your taxes online Reimbursements for employee business expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Sick pay. How do you amend your taxes online Vacation pay. How do you amend your taxes online Fringe benefits. How do you amend your taxes online   A fringe benefit is a form of pay for the performance of services. How do you amend your taxes online The following are examples of fringe benefits. How do you amend your taxes online Benefits under qualified employee benefit programs. How do you amend your taxes online Meals and lodging. How do you amend your taxes online The use of a car. How do you amend your taxes online Flights on airplanes. How do you amend your taxes online Discounts on property or services. How do you amend your taxes online Memberships in country clubs or other social clubs. How do you amend your taxes online Tickets to entertainment or sporting events. How do you amend your taxes online   Employee benefit programs include the following. How do you amend your taxes online Accident and health plans. How do you amend your taxes online Adoption assistance. How do you amend your taxes online Cafeteria plans. How do you amend your taxes online Dependent care assistance. How do you amend your taxes online Educational assistance. How do you amend your taxes online Group-term life insurance coverage. How do you amend your taxes online Welfare benefit funds. How do you amend your taxes online   You can generally deduct the cost of fringe benefits you provide on your Schedule C in whatever category the cost falls. How do you amend your taxes online For example, if you allow an employee to use a car or other property you lease, deduct the cost of the lease as a rent or lease expense. How do you amend your taxes online If you own the property, include your deduction for its cost or other basis as a section 179 deduction or a depreciation deduction. How do you amend your taxes online    You may be able to exclude all or part of the fringe benefits you provide from your employees' wages. How do you amend your taxes online For more information about fringe benefits and the exclusion of benefits, see Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. How do you amend your taxes online Insurance You can generally deduct premiums you pay for the following kinds of insurance related to your business. How do you amend your taxes online Fire, theft, flood, or similar insurance. How do you amend your taxes online Credit insurance that covers losses from business bad debts. How do you amend your taxes online Group hospitalization and medical insurance for employees, including long-term care insurance. How do you amend your taxes online Liability insurance. How do you amend your taxes online Malpractice insurance that covers your personal liability for professional negligence resulting in injury or damage to patients or clients. How do you amend your taxes online Workers' compensation insurance set by state law that covers any claims for bodily injuries or job-related diseases suffered by employees in your business, regardless of fault. How do you amend your taxes online Contributions to a state unemployment insurance fund are deductible as taxes if they are considered taxes under state law. How do you amend your taxes online Overhead insurance that pays for business overhead expenses you have during long periods of disability caused by your injury or sickness. How do you amend your taxes online Car and other vehicle insurance that covers vehicles used in your business for liability, damages, and other losses. How do you amend your taxes online If you operate a vehicle partly for personal use, deduct only the part of the insurance premium that applies to the business use of the vehicle. How do you amend your taxes online If you use the standard mileage rate to figure your car expenses, you cannot deduct any car insurance premiums. How do you amend your taxes online Life insurance covering your employees if you are not directly or indirectly the beneficiary under the contract. How do you amend your taxes online Business interruption insurance that pays for lost profits if your business is shut down due to a fire or other cause. How do you amend your taxes online Nondeductible premiums. How do you amend your taxes online   You cannot deduct premiums on the following kinds of insurance. How do you amend your taxes online Self-insurance reserve funds. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot deduct amounts credited to a reserve set up for self-insurance. How do you amend your taxes online This applies even if you cannot get business insurance coverage for certain business risks. How do you amend your taxes online However, your actual losses may be deductible. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts. How do you amend your taxes online Loss of earnings. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot deduct premiums for a policy that pays for your lost earnings due to sickness or disability. How do you amend your taxes online However, see item (8) in the previous list. How do you amend your taxes online Certain life insurance and annuities. How do you amend your taxes online For contracts issued before June 9, 1997, you cannot deduct the premiums on a life insurance policy covering you, an employee, or any person with a financial interest in your business if you are directly or indirectly a beneficiary of the policy. How do you amend your taxes online You are included among possible beneficiaries of the policy if the policy owner is obligated to repay a loan from you using the proceeds of the policy. How do you amend your taxes online A person has a financial interest in your business if the person is an owner or part owner of the business or has lent money to the business. How do you amend your taxes online For contracts issued after June 8, 1997, you generally cannot deduct the premiums on any life insurance policy, endowment contract, or annuity contract if you are directly or indirectly a beneficiary. How do you amend your taxes online The disallowance applies without regard to whom the policy covers. How do you amend your taxes online Insurance to secure a loan. How do you amend your taxes online If you take out a policy on your life or on the life of another person with a financial interest in your business to get or protect a business loan, you cannot deduct the premiums as a business expense. How do you amend your taxes online Nor can you deduct the premiums as interest on business loans or as an expense of financing loans. How do you amend your taxes online In the event of death, the proceeds of the policy are not taxed as income even if they are used to liquidate the debt. How do you amend your taxes online Self-employed health insurance deduction. How do you amend your taxes online   You may be able to deduct the amount you paid for medical and dental insurance and qualified long-term care insurance for you and your family. How do you amend your taxes online How to figure the deduction. How do you amend your taxes online   Generally, you can use the worksheet in the Form 1040 instructions to figure your deduction. How do you amend your taxes online However, if any of the following apply, you must use the worksheet in chapter 6 of Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online You have more than one source of income subject to self-employment tax. How do you amend your taxes online You file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income). How do you amend your taxes online You are using amounts paid for qualified long-term care insurance to figure the deduction. How do you amend your taxes online Prepayment. How do you amend your taxes online   You cannot deduct expenses in advance, even if you pay them in advance. How do you amend your taxes online This rule applies to any expense paid far enough in advance to, in effect, create an asset with a useful life extending substantially beyond the end of the current tax year. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online In 2013, you signed a 3-year insurance contract. How do you amend your taxes online Even though you paid the premiums for 2013, 2014, and 2015 when you signed the contract, you can only deduct the premium for 2013 on your 2013 tax return. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct in 2014 and 2015 the premium allocable to those years. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about deducting insurance, see chapter 6 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online Interest You can generally deduct as a business expense all interest you pay or accrue during the tax year on debts related to your business. How do you amend your taxes online Interest relates to your business if you use the proceeds of the loan for a business expense. How do you amend your taxes online It does not matter what type of property secures the loan. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct interest on a debt only if you meet all of the following requirements. How do you amend your taxes online You are legally liable for that debt. How do you amend your taxes online Both you and the lender intend that the debt be repaid. How do you amend your taxes online You and the lender have a true debtor-creditor relationship. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the interest you paid on personal loans. How do you amend your taxes online If a loan is part business and part personal, you must divide the interest between the personal part and the business part. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online In 2013, you paid $600 interest on a car loan. How do you amend your taxes online During 2013, you used the car 60% for business and 40% for personal purposes. How do you amend your taxes online You are claiming actual expenses on the car. How do you amend your taxes online You can only deduct $360 (60% × $600) for 2013 on Schedule C or C-EZ. How do you amend your taxes online The remaining interest of $240 is a nondeductible personal expense. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about deducting interest, see chapter 4 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online That chapter explains the following items. How do you amend your taxes online Interest you can deduct. How do you amend your taxes online Interest you cannot deduct. How do you amend your taxes online How to allocate interest between personal and business use. How do you amend your taxes online When to deduct interest. How do you amend your taxes online The rules for a below-market interest rate loan. How do you amend your taxes online (This is generally a loan on which no interest is charged or on which interest is charged at a rate below the applicable federal rate. How do you amend your taxes online ) Legal and Professional Fees Legal and professional fees, such as fees charged by accountants, that are ordinary and necessary expenses directly related to operating your business are deductible on Schedule C or C-EZ. How do you amend your taxes online However, you usually cannot deduct legal fees you pay to acquire business assets. How do you amend your taxes online Add them to the basis of the property. How do you amend your taxes online If the fees include payments for work of a personal nature (such as making a will), you can take a business deduction only for the part of the fee related to your business. How do you amend your taxes online The personal part of legal fees for producing or collecting taxable income, doing or keeping your job, or for tax advice may be deductible on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize deductions. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. How do you amend your taxes online Tax preparation fees. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the cost of preparing that part of your tax return relating to your business as a sole proprietor or statutory employee. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct the remaining cost on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize your deductions. How do you amend your taxes online   You can also deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the amount you pay or incur in resolving asserted tax deficiencies for your business as a sole proprietor or statutory employee. How do you amend your taxes online Pension Plans You can set up and maintain the following small business retirement plans for yourself and your employees. How do you amend your taxes online SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) plans. How do you amend your taxes online SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plans. How do you amend your taxes online Qualified plans (including Keogh or H. How do you amend your taxes online R. How do you amend your taxes online 10 plans). How do you amend your taxes online SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans offer you and your employees a tax favored way to save for retirement. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct contributions you make to the plan for your employees on line 19 of Schedule C. How do you amend your taxes online If you are a sole proprietor, you can deduct contributions you make to the plan for yourself on line 28 of Form 1040. How do you amend your taxes online You can also deduct trustees' fees if contributions to the plan do not cover them. How do you amend your taxes online Earnings on the contributions are generally tax free until you or your employees receive distributions from the plan. How do you amend your taxes online You may also be able to claim a tax credit of 50% of the first $1,000 of qualified startup costs if you begin a new qualified defined benefit or defined contribution plan (including a 401(k) plan), SIMPLE plan, or simplified employee pension. How do you amend your taxes online Under certain plans, employees can have you contribute limited amounts of their before-tax pay to a plan. How do you amend your taxes online These amounts (and earnings on them) are generally tax free until your employees receive distributions from the plan. How do you amend your taxes online For more information on retirement plans for small business, see Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans). How do you amend your taxes online Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), discusses other tax favored ways to save for retirement. How do you amend your taxes online Rent Expense Rent is any amount you pay for the use of property you do not own. How do you amend your taxes online In general, you can deduct rent as a business expense only if the rent is for property you use in your business. How do you amend your taxes online If you have or will receive equity in or title to the property, you cannot deduct the rent. How do you amend your taxes online Unreasonable rent. How do you amend your taxes online   You cannot take a rental deduction for unreasonable rents. How do you amend your taxes online Ordinarily, the issue of reasonableness arises only if you and the lessor are related. How do you amend your taxes online Rent paid to a related person is reasonable if it is the same amount you would pay to a stranger for use of the same property. How do you amend your taxes online Rent is not unreasonable just because it is figured as a percentage of gross receipts. How do you amend your taxes online   Related persons include members of your immediate family, including only brothers and sisters (either whole or half), your spouse, ancestors, and lineal descendants. How do you amend your taxes online For a list of the other related persons, see section 267 of the Internal Revenue Code. How do you amend your taxes online Rent on your home. How do you amend your taxes online   If you rent your home and use part of it as your place of business, you may be able to deduct the rent you pay for that part. How do you amend your taxes online You must meet the requirements for business use of your home. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Business Use of Your Home , later. How do you amend your taxes online Rent paid in advance. How do you amend your taxes online   Generally, rent paid in your business is deductible in the year paid or accrued. How do you amend your taxes online If you pay rent in advance, you can deduct only the amount that applies to your use of the rented property during the tax year. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct the rest of your payment only over the period to which it applies. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about rent, see chapter 3 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online Taxes You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ various federal, state, local, and foreign taxes directly attributable to your business. How do you amend your taxes online Income taxes. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ a state tax on gross income (as distinguished from net income) directly attributable to your business. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct other state and local income taxes on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize your deductions. How do you amend your taxes online Do not deduct federal income tax. How do you amend your taxes online Employment taxes. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the social security, Medicare, and federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes you paid out of your own funds as an employer. How do you amend your taxes online Employment taxes are discussed briefly in chapter 1. How do you amend your taxes online You can also deduct payments you made as an employer to a state unemployment compensation fund or to a state disability benefit fund. How do you amend your taxes online Deduct these payments as taxes. How do you amend your taxes online Self-employment tax. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct one-half of your self-employment tax on line 27 of Form 1040. How do you amend your taxes online Self-employment tax is discussed in chapters 1 and 10. How do you amend your taxes online Personal property tax. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ any tax imposed by a state or local government on personal property used in your business. How do you amend your taxes online   You can also deduct registration fees for the right to use property within a state or local area. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online May and Julius Winter drove their car 7,000 business miles out of a total of 10,000 miles. How do you amend your taxes online They had to pay $25 for their annual state license tags and $20 for their city registration sticker. How do you amend your taxes online They also paid $235 in city personal property tax on the car, for a total of $280. How do you amend your taxes online They are claiming their actual car expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Because they used the car 70% for business, they can deduct 70% of the $280, or $196, as a business expense. How do you amend your taxes online Real estate taxes. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the real estate taxes you pay on your business property. How do you amend your taxes online Deductible real estate taxes are any state, local, or foreign taxes on real estate levied for the general public welfare. How do you amend your taxes online The taxing authority must base the taxes on the assessed value of the real estate and charge them uniformly against all property under its jurisdiction. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about real estate taxes, see chapter 5 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online That chapter explains special rules for deducting the following items. How do you amend your taxes online Taxes for local benefits, such as those for sidewalks, streets, water mains, and sewer lines. How do you amend your taxes online Real estate taxes when you buy or sell property during the year. How do you amend your taxes online Real estate taxes if you use an accrual method of accounting and choose to accrue real estate tax related to a definite period ratably over that period. How do you amend your taxes online Sales tax. How do you amend your taxes online   Treat any sales tax you pay on a service or on the purchase or use of property as part of the cost of the service or property. How do you amend your taxes online If the service or the cost or use of the property is a deductible business expense, you can deduct the tax as part of that service or cost. How do you amend your taxes online If the property is merchandise bought for resale, the sales tax is part of the cost of the merchandise. How do you amend your taxes online If the property is depreciable, add the sales tax to the basis for depreciation. How do you amend your taxes online For information on the basis of property, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets. How do you amend your taxes online    Do not deduct state and local sales taxes imposed on the buyer that you must collect and pay over to the state or local government. How do you amend your taxes online Do not include these taxes in gross receipts or sales. How do you amend your taxes online Excise taxes. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ all excise taxes that are ordinary and necessary expenses of carrying on your business. How do you amend your taxes online Excise taxes are discussed briefly in chapter 1. How do you amend your taxes online Fuel taxes. How do you amend your taxes online   Taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, and other motor fuels you use in your business are usually included as part of the cost of the fuel. How do you amend your taxes online Do not deduct these taxes as a separate item. How do you amend your taxes online   You may be entitled to a credit or refund for federal excise tax you paid on fuels used for certain purposes. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Publication 510, Excise Taxes. How do you amend your taxes online Travel, Meals, and Entertainment This section briefly explains the kinds of travel and entertainment expenses you can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ. How do you amend your taxes online Table 8-1. How do you amend your taxes online When Are Entertainment Expenses Deductible? (Note. How do you amend your taxes online The following is a summary of the rules for deducting entertainment expenses. How do you amend your taxes online For more details about these rules, see Publication 463. How do you amend your taxes online ) General rule You can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses to entertain a client, customer, or employee if the expenses meet the directly-related test or the associated test. How do you amend your taxes online Definitions Entertainment includes any activity generally considered to provide entertainment, amusement, or recreation, and includes meals provided to a customer or client. How do you amend your taxes online An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business, trade, or profession. How do you amend your taxes online A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate, although not necessarily required, for your business. How do you amend your taxes online Tests to be met Directly-related test Entertainment took place in a clear business setting, or Main purpose of entertainment was the active conduct of business, and You did engage in business with the person during the entertainment period, and You had more than a general expectation of getting income or some other specific business benefit. How do you amend your taxes online   Associated test Entertainment is associated with your trade or business, and Entertainment directly precedes or follows a substantial business discussion. How do you amend your taxes online Other rules You cannot deduct the cost of your meal as an entertainment expense if you are claiming the meal as a travel expense. How do you amend your taxes online You cannot deduct expenses that are lavish or extravagant under the circumstances. How do you amend your taxes online You generally can deduct only 50% of your unreimbursed entertainment expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Travel expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   These are the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business. How do you amend your taxes online You are traveling away from home if both the following conditions are met. How do you amend your taxes online Your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home (defined later) substantially longer than an ordinary day's work. How do you amend your taxes online You need to get sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home. How do you amend your taxes online Generally, your tax home is your regular place of business, regardless of where you maintain your family home. How do you amend your taxes online It includes the entire city or general area in which your business is located. How do you amend your taxes online See Publication 463 for more information. How do you amend your taxes online   The following is a brief discussion of the expenses you can deduct. How do you amend your taxes online Transportation. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the cost of travel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. How do you amend your taxes online Taxi, commuter bus, and limousine. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct fares for these and other types of transportation between the airport or station and your hotel, or between the hotel and your work location away from home. How do you amend your taxes online Baggage and shipping. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the cost of sending baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations. How do you amend your taxes online Car or truck. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the costs of operating and maintaining your vehicle when traveling away from home on business. How do you amend your taxes online You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate (discussed earlier under Car and Truck Expenses), as well as business-related tolls and parking. How do you amend your taxes online If you rent a car while away from home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Meals and lodging. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the cost of meals and lodging if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. How do you amend your taxes online In most cases, you can deduct only 50% of your meal expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Cleaning. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the costs of dry cleaning and laundry while on your business trip. How do you amend your taxes online Telephone. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the cost of business calls while on your business trip, including business communication by fax machine or other communication devices. How do you amend your taxes online Tips. How do you amend your taxes online   You can deduct the tips you pay for any expense in this list. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information about travel expenses, see Publication 463. How do you amend your taxes online Entertainment expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   You may be able to deduct business-related entertainment expenses for entertaining a client, customer, or employee. How do you amend your taxes online In most cases, you can deduct only 50% of these expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   The following are examples of entertainment expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Entertaining guests at nightclubs, athletic clubs, theaters, or sporting events. How do you amend your taxes online Providing meals, a hotel suite, or a car to business customers or their families. How do you amend your taxes online To be deductible, the expenses must meet the rules listed in Table 8-1. How do you amend your taxes online For details about these rules, see Publication 463. How do you amend your taxes online Reimbursing your employees for expenses. How do you amend your taxes online   You generally can deduct the amount you reimburse your employees for travel and entertainment expenses. How do you amend your taxes online The reimbursement you deduct and the manner in which you deduct it depend in part on whether you reimburse the expenses under an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan. How do you amend your taxes online For details, see chapter 11 in Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online That chapter explains accountable and nonaccountable plans and tells you whether to report the reimbursement on your employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. How do you amend your taxes online Business Use of Your Home To deduct expenses related to the part of your home used for business, you must meet specific requirements. How do you amend your taxes online Even then, your deduction may be limited. How do you amend your taxes online To qualify to claim expenses for business use of your home, you must meet the following tests. How do you amend your taxes online Your use of the business part of your home must be: Exclusive (however, see Exceptions to exclusive use , later), Regular, For your business, and The business part of your home must be one of the following: Your principal place of business (defined later), A place where you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your business, or A separate structure (not attached to your home) you use in connection with your business. How do you amend your taxes online Exclusive use. How do you amend your taxes online   To qualify under the exclusive use test, you must use a specific area of your home only for your trade or business. How do you amend your taxes online The area used for business can be a room or other separately identifiable space. How do you amend your taxes online The space does not need to be marked off by a permanent partition. How do you amend your taxes online   You do not meet the requirements of the exclusive use test if you use the area in question both for business and for personal purposes. How do you amend your taxes online Example. How do you amend your taxes online You are an attorney and use a den in your home to write legal briefs and prepare clients' tax returns. How do you amend your taxes online Your family also uses the den for recreation. How do you amend your taxes online The den is not used exclusively in your profession, so you cannot claim a business deduction for its use. How do you amend your taxes online Exceptions to exclusive use. How do you amend your taxes online   You do not have to meet the exclusive use test if you use part of your home in either of the following ways. How do you amend your taxes online For the storage of inventory or product samples. How do you amend your taxes online As a daycare facility. How do you amend your taxes online For an explanation of these exceptions, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers). How do you amend your taxes online Regular use. How do you amend your taxes online   To qualify under the regular use test, you must use a specific area of your home for business on a continuing basis. How do you amend your taxes online You do not meet the test if your business use of the area is only occasional or incidental, even if you do not use that area for any other purpose. How do you amend your taxes online Principal place of business. How do you amend your taxes online   You can have more than one business location, including your home, for a single trade or business. How do you amend your taxes online To qualify to deduct the expenses for the business use of your home under the principal place of business test, your home must be your principal place of business for that business. How do you amend your taxes online To determine your principal place of business, you must consider all the facts and circumstances. How do you amend your taxes online   Your home office will qualify as your principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use if you meet the following requirements. How do you amend your taxes online You use it exclusively and regularly for administrative or management activities of your business. How do you amend your taxes online You have no other fixed location where you conduct substantial administrative or management activities of your business. How do you amend your taxes online   Alternatively, if you use your home exclusively and regularly for your business, but your home office does not qualify as your principal place of business based on the previous rules, you determine your principal place of business based on the following factors. How do you amend your taxes online The relative importance of the activities performed at each location. How do you amend your taxes online If the relative importance factor does not determine your principal place of business, you can also consider the time spent at each location. How do you amend your taxes online   If, after considering your business locations, your home cannot be identified as your principal place of business, you cannot deduct home office expenses. How do you amend your taxes online However, for other ways to qualify to deduct home office expenses, see Publication 587. How do you amend your taxes online Deduction limit. How do you amend your taxes online   If your gross income from the business use of your home equals or exceeds your total business expenses (including depreciation), you can deduct all your business expenses related to the use of your home. How do you amend your taxes online If your gross income from the business use is less than your total business expenses, your deduction for certain expenses for the business use of your home is limited. How do you amend your taxes online   Your deduction of otherwise nondeductible expenses, such as insurance, utilities, and depreciation (with depreciation taken last), allocable to the business is limited to the gross income from the business use of your home minus the sum of the following. How do you amend your taxes online The business part of expenses you could deduct even if you did not use your home for business (such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and casualty and theft losses that are allowable as itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040)). How do you amend your taxes online The business expenses that relate to the business activity in the home (for example, business phone, supplies, and depreciation on equipment), but not to the use of the home itself. How do you amend your taxes online Do not include in (2) above your deduction for one-half of your self-employment tax. How do you amend your taxes online   Use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure your deduction. How do you amend your taxes online New simplified method. How do you amend your taxes online    The IRS now provides a simplified method to determine your expenses for business use of your home. How do you amend your taxes online The simplified method is an alternative to calculating and substantiating actual expenses. How do you amend your taxes online In most cases, you will figure your deduction by multiplying $5 by the area of your home used for a qualified business use. How do you amend your taxes online The area you use to figure your deduction is limited to 300 square feet. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see the Instructions for Schedule C. How do you amend your taxes online More information. How do you amend your taxes online   For more information on deducting expenses for the business use of your home, see Publication 587. How do you amend your taxes online Other Expenses You Can Deduct You may also be able to deduct the following expenses. How do you amend your taxes online See Publication 535 to find out whether you can deduct them. How do you amend your taxes online Advertising. How do you amend your taxes online Bank fees. How do you amend your taxes online Donations to business organizations. How do you amend your taxes online Education expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Energy efficient commercial buildings deduction expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Impairment-related expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Interview expense allowances. How do you amend your taxes online Licenses and regulatory fees. How do you amend your taxes online Moving machinery. How do you amend your taxes online Outplacement services. How do you amend your taxes online Penalties and fines you pay for late performance or nonperformance of a contract. How do you amend your taxes online Repairs that keep your property in a normal efficient operating condition. How do you amend your taxes online Repayments of income. How do you amend your taxes online Subscriptions to trade or professional publications. How do you amend your taxes online Supplies and materials. How do you amend your taxes online Utilities. How do you amend your taxes online Expenses You Cannot Deduct You usually cannot deduct the following as business expenses. How do you amend your taxes online For more information, see Publication 535. How do you amend your taxes online Bribes and kickbacks. How do you amend your taxes online Charitable contributions. How do you amend your taxes online Demolition expenses or losses. How do you amend your taxes online Dues to business, social, athletic, luncheon, sporting, airline, and hotel clubs. How do you amend your taxes online Lobbying expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Penalties and fines you pay to a governmental agency or instrumentality because you broke the law. How do you amend your taxes online Personal, living, and family expenses. How do you amend your taxes online Political contributions. How do you amend your taxes online Repairs that add to the value of your property or significantly increase its life. How do you amend your taxes online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Top 10 Tax Time Tips from the IRS

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IRS Tax Tip 2014-40, March 25, 2014                                                  

The tax filing season is almost over. You can make tax time easier if you don’t wait until the last minute. Here are 10 important tax time tips:

  1. Gather your records.  Collect all tax records you need to file your taxes. This includes receipts, canceled checks and records that support income, deductions or tax credits that you claim on your tax return. Store them in a safe place.

  2. Report all your income.  You will need to report your income from all of your Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form 1099 income statements when you file your tax return.

  3. Get answers.  Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on the IRS website to get answers to many of your questions about tax credits, deductions and many more topics.

  4. Use Free File.  You can prepare and e-file a tax return for free using IRS Free File, available exclusively on IRS.gov. If your income was $58,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income was higher, or if you’re comfortable doing your own tax return, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Visit IRS.gov/freefile to check your options.

  5. Try IRS e-file.  Electronic filing is the best way to file a tax return. It’s accurate, safe and easy. Last year, more than 122 million taxpayers used IRS e-file. If you owe taxes, you have the option to file early and pay by April 15.

  6. Weigh your filing options.  You have several options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer. You may be eligible for free, face-to-face help at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly site. Weigh your options and choose the one that works best for you.

  7. Use direct deposit.  Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to get your tax refund.

  8. Visit the IRS website 24/7.  IRS.gov is a great place to get everything you need to file your tax return. Visit ‘1040 Central’ for online tools, filing tips, answers to frequently asked questions and IRS forms and publications. Get them all anytime, day or night.

  9. Check out number 17.  IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a complete tax resource. It contains helpful information such as whether you need to file a tax return and how to choose your filing status.

  10. Review your return.  Mistakes slow down the receipt of your tax refund. Be sure to check all Social Security numbers and math calculations on your return, as these are the most common errors. If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is here to help. Start with IRS.gov.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 27-Mar-2014

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