Outright.com Giving Away $2,000 to Wise Bread Readers

By Will Chen on 22 March 2010 (Updated 13 April 2010) 395 comments

Winner Announcement:

I have emailed Jacob and DMed ShesAnAngel417.  Please reply ASAP to claim your prize!

Outright.com, a free online bookkeeping service for the self-employed and small business owners, is giving away $2,000 to Wise Bread readers!

My favorite part of Outright.com is their community where you can get free expert advice from accountants and bookkepers.  For example, their community members got answers on questions like:

Of course, you should always be careful about getting free advice online, and I would double check everything with your own accountant later.  However, it is nice to have a quick tax resource that is 100% free.

In addition to the contest, Outright.com co-founder Kevin Reeth also shared some great tips on the most overlooked business deductions and most common tax mistakes later in this post (jump to interview). 

But first, the contest!

 

Blog Comment Contest:  $1,500

Prize: 1 winner of $1,500, randomly selected from the comments in this post.

How to Enter

Simply leave a comment below answering any one of these questions: 

  • For everybody: What is your most pressing tax question before April 15th? (By the way, you can get free expert advice from accountants, bookkeepers and other business owners at Outright's Community.)
  • If you are self-employed or a business owner: What is the one expense that you wish the IRS would let you deduct for your business and why?  (Need some ideas?  Add your expenses to Outright.com and discover what is deductible.)
  • If you don't have a business:  What do you think businesses should or should not be able to deduct and why?

Don't forget to enter your email address while leaving a comment.  We can't contact the winner if you don't leave an email address.  One blog comment per person please.

 

Twitter Contest: $250

Prize: 1 winner of $250. Randomly selected.

How to Enter

Follow @WiseBread on Twitter (we can't notify you as the winner if you don't follow us).  Then simply tweet one of these messages: 

 

Outright.com Facebook & Community Contest: $250

Prize: 1 winner of $250. Outright.com will randomly select one of their new fans following them on Facebook or joining Outright.com's Community.

Two Ways to Enter

Yes, you can do both to increase your chances of winning.

 

Rules For All Three Contests

The Blog Comment, Twitter, and Facebook/Community contests all end at 11:59 pm EST on 4/2/10.  Winners will be announced on this post on 4/6/10. You can enter all 3 contests, but you can only win once. US residents only, must be 18 or over, void where prohibited.

 

Interview With Outright.com Co-founder Kevin Reeth

What are the most commonly overlooked tax deductions for the self-employed?

There are plenty of deductions out there for self-employed professionals that, thanks to the complicated tax code, are often overlooked.

We’ve found that the home office deduction tends to be the most commonly overlooked—and the one that causes the most confusion for those who are self-employed. This deduction allows an individual to write off any expenses incurred from running a business out of their home, for example, you may write off a percent of your rent or mortgage based on the proportion of your home that the office occupies. But we’ve found so many people are worried about an audit that they are scared to use this deduction, missing out on huge savings. Don’t be overly worried about the deduction—if you run your business out of your home and have a room or a portion of your home dedicated to your business, measure the square footage and write it off. Even though more than half of all small businesses are home-based, the majority don’t claim the home office deduction.

Mileage is another often overlooked deduction. Deducting transportation expenses is one of the most tedious and confusing components of tax prep for the self-employed, but again, it can reap huge rewards. For those who are on the road a lot, like contractors, plumbers or realtors--who average 20,000 miles per year on the road--writing off business-related transportation can save thousands of dollars a year. You can deduct $0.50/mile for each work-related mile traveled.

A good (but confusing) deduction for the self-employed is office equipment. Unless you buy a lot of equipment (in 2009, the limit was up to $250,000), you can write off the full purchase price for that equipment in the year in which it’s first used.  However, if you aren’t making a lot of money, you might be wasting a possible deduction.  You can instead choose to “depreciate” the item, which means writing off the cost over multiple years. Most office equipment gets depreciated over 5 years (computers, copiers, fax machines, etc.)  Office furniture gets depreciated over 7 years.  So, see how your overall profit and loss is looking for the year before deciding which way to go – it can make a difference down the road when you might be earning .

What are some of the more common tax/deduction mistakes made by the self-employed?

Again, the process for filing taxes can be super complicated and we see both first-time and seasoned filers making mistakes that can either lead to an audit or cause them to miss out on key deductions. One big mistake is not paying taxes because they don’t think it’s a lot of money or because they have other bills. Or they wait until the end of the year, instead of paying estimated taxes throughout the year. Another is to allow themselves to get disorganized, which causes them to miss important deductions or critical tax deadlines. Other mistakes include:

1.  Forgetting to sign and date your return. This is so common, the IRS even posted a video on You Tube, with sign language, to remind people to sign and date their returns.
 
2.  Math errors. The frequency of math errors has gone down recently as more people are using software or professional return preparers, but simple addition and subtraction errors are still an easy mistake you need to avoid.  Double check any manual math before sending in your return.
 
3.  Wrong social security numbers for you, your spouse or your dependents.  A sure way to get a letter from the IRS is to put an incorrect social security number on your return.  Their computers automatically match names and social security numbers for every return.
 
4.  Not matching information returns to your personal tax return.  You know all the information returns you get in January and February like W-2's, 1099's and 1098's, well the IRS gets a copy of those also and they match up your return with their copy.  Sometimes you may have a legitimate reason why amounts on a 1099 will not agree with your return, but a W-2 should always match what you report.  If you get an information return that is not correct, contact the person who sent it and have them send you a corrected copy.
 
5.  Mixing up deductions and credits.  Deductions are used to calculate how much of your income is taxed, whereas credits are dollar for dollar reductions in your tax liability.  Use a bookkeeping application like Outright.com for your business to record everything accurately.
 
6.  Putting the wrong bank account information on your return.  If you are getting a refund, the IRS allows you to choose to have your money direct deposited into your checking or savings account.  All those little electronic looking numbers at the bottom of your check are how the IRS knows where to send your money through the banking system.  When you put those numbers at the bottom of your return, you can be off one number and that refund will not find its way into your account.
 
7.  Failing to file electronically.  Electronic filing was first introduced in 1990 and turns 20 this year.  When you file a return manually, most of the information has to be scanned or manually keyed in by an IRS employee.  In their own studies the IRS found that they themselves made mistakes on 20 percent of the returns that were processed manually compared to under 1% on electronically filed returns.

Are there any special new tax rules for 2009 the self-employed should watch out for?

Very few of the 2009 tax law changes had any positive or negative impact on small businesses, but with the constant media coverage of the changes to the individual tax laws, most self-employed workers are worried they can’t keep up.

There are two tax law changes that self-employed workers should keep in the back of their minds when filing taxes: the Making Work Pay tax credit and the ability to carry back operating losses.

Although the Making Work Pay tax credit is targeted towards employees, self-employed business owners can benefit too. This is not a deduction, but rather a credit, meaning you can write it straight off your tax liability. The credit is worth up to $400 for working individuals who earn between $75,000 and $95,000—significant sums for self-employed workers.

If your business hasn’t performed as well as expected, you can take advantage of the ability to carry back operating losses. This means small businesses with deductions exceeding their income in 2008 can use a new net operating loss tax provision to get a refund of taxes paid in prior years.

Who uses Outright.com?

Anyone who works for themselves or has started a small business can use Outright.com. The majority of our users are sellers on sites like eBay, etsy and Amazon. Many of our users are freelance writers, web designers, realtors, and bookkeepers. We also have a large presence of people who are craftsmen and some more unusual professions, like a canine holistic therapist.

What are some of your favorite free apps for the self-employed besides Outright.com?

Right now, there are some really great resources out there for the self-employed.

We love social networks like LinkedIn because it makes it easy for self-employed workers to connect with potential clients without spending thousands of dollars on marketing and customer relationship software.

We recommend people get a web presence. Create a blog on Wordpress, Typepad or Blogger. We are also huge fans of Google apps—especially Gmail and Google Calendars. They’re free and incredibly helpful in making your business look even more professional. You can integrate all of these to your domain name and website through Google Apps for Your Domain.

Another great free tool for the self-employed is Craigslist both for buying cheap office equipment (that’s still in good condition) and reaching potential clients by promoting your services. Plus, if you grow and need to hire, Craigslist is a great way to find potential employees.

For free finance related tools, we love Shoeboxed and Xpenser. Shoeboxed lets you scan receipts and automatically turn them into categorized expenses. Xpenser is a mobile epense tracking service that lets you easily record expenditures while you’re out and about, by email, text message, or even Twitter. Both Shoeboxed and Xpenser hook up seamlessly with Outright.com, making tax time even simpler.

And then of course, once you do start making a little bit of money, then we strongly recommend people take a look at Outright.com.

Why is Outright free?  How do you make money?

Let's just say that we don’t think people should have to pay a lot of money to do their financial record-keeping, especially in an era of great online tools.  We provide Outright for free in order to help as many entrepreneurs as possible.  We have begun offering additional paid services, such as a 1099 e-filing service, and will continue to do so.  But Outright.com’s basic bookkeeping service will remain free.

About Outright.com

"Outright.com is streamlining the work involved with owning a business, helping entrepreneurs pay the right taxes, record financial transactions, and keep their businesses on track and growing.

Outright.com was created after watching entrepreneurs struggle to capture all of their business deductions, often piecing together different solutions. Whether sticking every possible receipt in a file folder and shipping it off to a bookkeeper, tracking everything in a huge spreadsheet, or even using a couple of different web sites to track transactions and create invoices, the results were invariably the same: too much time and effort spent on the least enjoyable part of running one's own business. Our goal: to keep it as simple as possible; helping entrepreneurs track all of their income and expenses to get their taxes done accurately."

Don't forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win $1500!

Tagged: Giveaways, Taxes
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Nita

What is an acceptable receipt for a charitable donation? a cancelled check? a receipt from the charity? both?

Guest's picture
Vicky Boackle

how long does it take to get your refund.

Guest's picture
Madeline

I wish the IRS would let me deduct my metro expenses. This summer, I worked as an intern and the company paid me as an independent contractor. But my dad told me that I couldn't deduct my metro expenses because I was just going to my regular place of business or something like that.

Guest's picture
Kayte CookWatts

I think deducting mileage is perfectly reasonable! Sometimes you have to drive all over to meet clients.

Guest's picture
Lisa

I don't think vacations and cruises should be able to be deducted, because you have people from companies going on a week's vacation and talking about business once and then deducting the whole trip.

Guest's picture
Ifi

since I prepare our taxes on my own, I always worry if I have all the deductions done correctly. And now I also have to worry when I'll be getting my NY state refund...

Ifi

Guest's picture
Katherine

My most pressing tax question has to do with stocks...I have some that lost money in prior years and I understand that there are deduction I can take for succeeding years (tax year 2009 and maybe more) - but I don't know how - is there a schedule to fill out?

Guest's picture
Kate

My question - what kind of gambling loss is deductible and how do you document it? Do casinos track your wins and losses through rewards cards for tax purposes, can a person get this info from a casino?

Guest's picture
Tiffany

I am wondering if there's a minimum deduction for charitable donations.

Guest's picture
Marianne

I blog and make a small amount of income from my efforts. My question is when is it beneficial to consider your blogging/freelance a business rather than a hobby? If I consider what I do a business endeavor and file as such, what potential pitfalls might I face?

Thanks!

Guest's picture
Walter Stabenau

If i work for a company that doesn't supply me an office or a laptop, can I deuct the laptop and a home office space (mortage interest, etc.)?

Guest's picture
Jay Addington

I agree that clear standards of home office should be defined and deductable.

Guest's picture
Christine

what records should I be keeping?

Guest's picture
Claudia M @cdmtx65

My Daughter goes to College and works in MO but is a Resident of AR - how do we file Taxes this Year ?

Guest's picture
Leo Fair

Oh, this one is easy for me: If you had no income during a tax year is it really okay not to file?

Guest's picture
Janna Johnson

My tax question is How do I know whether or not to include forgiven debt on my taxes as income?
Thanks for entering me! Great Contest!

Janna Johnson
janna@FeedYourPigBlog.com
jannajanna@hotmail.com
www.FeedYourPigBlog.com

Guest's picture
Theresa Jenkins

I took early retirement a few yrs. ago, my husband still works...last yr I didn't make anough to claim,this yr they said I had to claim...what's going on?...We did alot of homeimprovements in 2009 and are still paying for them in 2010,can I carryover and deduct the rest in 2010 taxes... My daughter's in the process of buying a house when does the deduction for new home purchases end..................thanks for the chance to WIN.

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Scott Bergman

How do I file for an extension?

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Cynthia C

My question would be about what is deductible for medical expenses.

Guest's picture
Aurora

Most of the people I know are looking forward to their refunds. However, my accountant says that you should try not to get one, because that means you overpaid the government. Is he right?

Guest's picture
Shirley Hodge

My son who worked in the tourist business was laid off last year and so is starting his own business and I am helping him. I never gave much thought to business expenses before having spent my adult life as a Registered Nurse and always working for non-profit organizations but just since January this year we have put out $400 for a sign out front, $45 dollar fee from the county for permission to post that sign, more than $400 just for letterhead paper, business cards, software et al. This in itself serves to dictate the need for tax deductions especially for small and start up businesses elsewise these new enterprises could never get off the ground unless the beginners had a recently deceased rich uncle. I understand now that these deductions are vital to maintain a business arena where people of ordinary means can become entrepreneurs and get their ideas and inventions out there. People who object to these deductions should realize that the tax deductions given to new business and even established businesses looking to expand will return those deductions many times over in increased tax revenue from new employees and taxible profit generated down the road by the business itself.

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Alison

I want to know if I can continue to add to my tax debt? We are currently on a payment plan from last year and now we will have trouble paying our taxes owed this year, too. Can we add them together?

Guest's picture
PG

As a self employed small business owner, I with the IRS would let me deduct a larger percentage of the space I use for my office.

Guest's picture
John Stetson

Any professional development training that improves the business should be deductable.

Guest's picture
Tricia

I would like for them to make it more clear on what is and isn't deductible. I think they need to make the office space more easily deductible. Since it does take up part of the home and we are not able to treat it as such. I also think they should allow home businesses to deduct storage since it usually takes up part of the house and limits your living area.

Guest's picture
Cindy Merrill

Everyone thinks my Chutneys and preserves are unique and I've been urged to start a home canning business: I will need kitchen equipment, a website and canning/pickling ingredients- my husband has an MBA so he will help me keep track of expenses, taxes, ect.
My question is, what other expenses are deductable in my case?

Guest's picture
Ret

I believe businesses should get a tax break for offering health insurance. We don't need reform, we need businesses to cover their employees like they used to.

Guest's picture
pamela j

Businesses should be able to deduct because they are owned by people trying to make it just like everyone else.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I wish there were higher and more tax deductions for small business owners.

Guest's picture
Alex K

My dad works for a transportation business and he is on the road a lot, and expenses add up. I think that those expenses should be deductible

Guest's picture
Danh Truong

My most pressing tax question is that will I qualify for a fasfa grant. I am a student and apply for fasfa so that I can pay for college and when it comes to tax filing time. I hope that my taxes qualify me for some money for school.

Guest's picture
Karen Pochodowicz

How would winning this prize affect my taxes?

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Marilyn Wons

I would love to know if it is worth itemizing every single in-store medicine item for a tax return.

Guest's picture
Steven W.

Small business should be able to deduct for professional development. They should also get a tax break for providing health insurance.

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Jan

You should be able to deduct mileage if you travel a lot.

bryan.bryan70@yahoo.com

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Erika

I'd like to see small business owners being able to deduct supplies and office electronics

Guest's picture
VJ

I think education and training should be deducted

Guest's picture
Kelly

I am not sure if our responses should be related what is already tax deductible for small businesses, but I definitely think health insurance is one thing that should be (or stay) tax deductible. I do not own a small business but I know how hard it is for small employers to provide this benefit to employees, and any incentives that can be given to them would help. I do not think that all meals should be deductible because I have seen many times people using personal dinners for this benefit which I do not think is right.

Guest's picture
Rebecca Bibbs

I think the restrictions on home office size are too stringent. I, for instance, have chosen to convert a closet space into a home office. It may be small, but it's used exclusively for that purpose. It would be nice to be able to include that space.

Guest's picture
Timbo

Very frankly, businesses should be able to deduct near to the total cost of the entire operations. Taxes are a burden on businesses and lead to higher prices, lower quality products and less available jobs. Close to everything should be deductable.

Guest's picture
Stacy

I never know where to put the small amount of extra money I make as an independent contractor and if I can claim any small expenses that come with it.

Guest's picture
erinxduh

Training for new employees and any training for expanding the business should be deducted!

Guest's picture
cwaltz

Usually my family's most pressing question is when will we get our money back(and its well before Apr 15th. This year however, I am wondering whether it is more beneficial to claim a part time worker like my son as a dependant or allow him to file independantly? At what income level does it make more sense to let him file an EZ form rather than file with us? I've got 2 that are right on the cusp of adutlthood,and two that just hit their teens.

Christine
daed1821@aol.com

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Shelley Johnson

I think I filed my taxes wrong. How does one go about filing an amendment to their return?

Guest's picture
Steve Scott

My wife is a cpa. My most pressing question is when will I have my wife back.

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Barbara

The main question for me is whether I have to file at all. I have 3 forms to fill out and evaluate just to decide that.

oinkmoobaa (@) yahoo (.) com

Guest's picture
Paul Duca

I was once told that I may not be eligible to deduct my IRA deductions...but I don't make that much income.

Guest's picture
Molly Capel

I don't believe businesses can deduct their personal vacation time & use it as a business expense.

Guest's picture
Carol G

The biggest question I usually have is the correct percentage of use to deduct as a business expense for something that is also used for personal reasons--probably the best example is a cell phone. My daughter is a store manager, and is always 'on call' with her phone, and is talking to her assistants frequently, even on vacation. But it is difficult for her to figure the percentage for business use, and the other option--keeping a phone just for that--is not really a feasible one.

Guest's picture
Glenn Peterson

What is your most pressing tax question before April 15th?

I am paying too much in taxes due to gains from sale of stock this year. Is there any way to spread out the taxes owed?

Guest's picture
Kathy Scott

As A CPA, my question is why are people doing their own tax returns, when the government is offering so many credits that people just don't know about.

Guest's picture
barbara wright

How do you know how long to wait to send in your taxes before you can assume that nobody is going to send you amended statements that affect YOUR tax return?

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Sharon A

The most pressing tax matter is figuring how to go back and amend prior returns due to losses in the stock market.

Guest's picture
Jacob LaFountaine

Businesses should be able to deduct anything that they are doing to cut down on their energy usage

Guest's picture
ToddZ

The "exclusivity" required to safely deduct home office expenses would require prohibitively expensive, and silly, duplication of equipment and services commonly used for both purposes. Why pay for a separate computer, phone line,internet connection, etc. to go in the den/office -- right next to the living room with a computer, phone line, internet connection, etc.?

Guest's picture

I'd like to know if homeschool items were deductable?

Guest's picture
Matt

Since the IRS is deducting taxes from each paycheck over the year i'm essentially giving them a loan if I receive a return. Perhaps citizens should be collecting interest on this money!?

Guest's picture
Katherine P

I wish there weren't the restrictions on our home office equipment, telephone usage and the electricity.

Guest's picture
Trisha

i am a bartender, can i write off my shoes and clothing for work? its not a uniform, but alot of it gets ruined and stained. thanks!

Guest's picture
Michelle C

Can I deduct my grandchilds crib I bought is he uses it to take a nap in while here in my daycare

Guest's picture
Min

Are contributions I make between 1/1/2010 and 4/15/2010 to my Roth IRA counted towards 2009 or 2010, or can I just choose?

Guest's picture
Brenden

My most pressing question is how quickly my refund will be deposited in my bank account. I had to paper file because of the new home buyers credit. Other than that taxes were pretty easy.

Guest's picture
Jonathan Spitze

Is Roth IRA really worth it as an investment strategy?

Guest's picture
Kate

I'm wondering at what point it's worth it to declare each donation to a nonprofit on your taxes (versus just taking the lump sum). I am an individual and the last time that I looked at this I was a recent college grad not making enough to give large contributions. Over the years, the amount that I am donating has started to increase and I'm wondering at what dollar amount should I start to declare each of the donations that I have made over the year?

Guest's picture
Ken

For those of us in the entertainment business, tax people tell us that we are allowed to deduct every movie ticket, CD, video game or other personal entertainment purchase as research. But would that really hold up in an audit?

Guest's picture
marilyn

I would like to be able to deduct all my higher education costs, not BA/BS but Master degrees related to my current field.

Guest's picture
Matt

Hope I'm richer!

Guest's picture
cara

I think attending conferences for training and networking should be an allowable business expense.

Guest's picture
Matt

Can I take the making work pay credit if I'm already receiving more money from every paycheck as a result of the recovery act?

Guest's picture
Riptide

I can't think of a reason that a business would ever have zero taxes unless they made mistake during the year and overpayed.

If there are loopholes allowing them to work the numbers so they owe zero, those need to be closed.

Guest's picture
Kate

For everybody: What is your most pressing tax question before April 15th? (By the way, you can get free expert advice from accountants, bookkeepers and other business owners at Outright's Community.)

I always get confused on whether I even have to file taxes in the US. I'm a dual US-Australian citizen who has lived in the US most her life, but is now living in Australia, studying and making about $10,000AU a year. I pay taxes in Australia but I don't think it's enough for me to pay taxes in the US. But do I still file? I never know.

Guest's picture
Guest

I got married in Sept 2009. My wife and I have a large income difference ($55k difference). I'm looking for a straight answer as to whether or not it's wise to file jointly this year or wait until next year.

Guest's picture
Lisa

My most pressing question before April 15: What job search expenses are deductible, if any? Thank you.

Guest's picture
Annie

I want to know if any expenses from my graduate program will be deductible. Thanks!

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Sara

My most pressing question for the IRS just before tax season is what type of educational expenses are deductible for homeschoolers.

Guest's picture
Guest

What are the exceptions to filing single vs. married? When does it makes sense to file separately?

Thanks

Guest's picture
Francesca

I really think that the costs of professional development and training should be deducted, because they're essential to improve your skills and hence the value of your business.

Guest's picture
Lloyd

Posts like these are the reasons I keep coming back to Wise Bread. I'm always on the lookout for money tips, services and sites like Outright.

Guest's picture
dan

I am a business owner, and I would like to deduct the max of meal & entertainment (I think it's at 50% now).

Guest's picture
April

As a business owner I wish I could deduct the money I spend at Starbucks (both for myself and clients) as I need a frap nearly every day to stay awake, I often meet clients at my local Starbucks, and I occasionally stop by to use their internet.

Guest's picture
Guest

why do we pay more taxes when we get married?

Guest's picture
NM1

What do you think businesses should or should not be able to deduct and why?

If I ended up owing taxes why can't I pay for them out of next years return?

Guest's picture
Erica

No pressing questions since my taxes are quite simple at this point. However, I want to know more about a Roth IRA and taxes. When does it make sense for a person to move money into one? When doesn't it?

Guest's picture
jwseo

My frustration is the state-tax especially for those who move during the year. I've had internships and fulltime jobs last three years where I had to physically relocate to different states. I got the hang of federal tax since they're same every year, but state tax forms are so different for each state and some states needs a lot more information than other states. It just drives me nuts since I don't have all information w/ me and sometimes forget many things you knew while living in that state. I'm most likely going to have a tax accountant do my state-taxes. Why can't they be more simpler or somewhat common?

My two cents.
R/
Josh

Guest's picture
Guest

My most pressing question before filing is do you recommend Turbo Tax? I used it last year, and I thought it went well. Would you recommend using it again this year?

Guest's picture
Guest

How can I maximize the benefit of paying interest on my student loans?

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Kathy

I think that if you are actually an employee but your boss wants to avoid paying FICA, etc. on you and issues a 1099 instead of a W2 and you end up having to do a schedule C, you should be able to deduct all self-employment taxes that you get stuck paying because of the misclassification/fraud. Let the IRS go after the boss 2 years later after you have moved on.

I would like to see some type of classification for part-time workers so small businesses can hire people at low cost and those minimum wage workers and/or immigrants don't get stuck paying for full FICA or losing their job over confronting their employer about it. Lowering employment taxes would also help create jobs.

Guest's picture
SonyaAnn

My biggest question is the same one every year, am I going to forget something? And how much will that cost me?

Guest's picture
barbc

Are winnings taxable?

Anyway to convert a traditional retirement to Roth without paying taxes on the conversion?

Guest's picture
WR

I have 3 vehicles.

A 2009 Honda Pilot
A 2007 Toyota Tundra (+6000 lbs)
a 1995 Toyota T100

I am claiming around 6,000 miles on the T100 that I used for my business. Would I be better served taking a depreciation deduction from my Tundra?

Guest's picture
Aaron

I'm kinda wondering what the tax implications are for selling a primary home that I've live in for several years. Would I be responsible for taxes on the money I make over and above payoff?

Also, what happens if you have a business and decide to sell out to a partner? Would you be required to pay taxes on the buy out proceeds?

Guest's picture
Daniel M

i believe if you use anything from your business on your own time you can't deduct it

Guest's picture
Laura

My taxes for this year are done, but I'm wondering, since the majority of my income next (academic) year is going to be from a scholarship, how much I should set aside for taxes and whether I should pay estimated taxes throughout the year.

Guest's picture

My most pressing tax question is how to declare my small self-employment income ($690) -- what combination of schedule c/schedule SE do I need?!

Guest's picture
Derek H

I think meals and entertainment should be 100% deductible for business tax purposes.

Guest's picture
Erin

I would love to know if tax codes are going to be updated to account for gay marriages recognized in several states. Head of household would be a huge benefit, but I don't know if I can claim that.

Guest's picture
Kristi

I wish a bigger percentage of health care costs and premiums could be deducted for our small family business. As it is now, just paying for a major medical policy for our family of four is super expensive.

Guest's picture
Jeff

If you are self-employed or a business owner: What is the one expense that you wish the IRS would let you deduct for your business and why?

Easy! Mileage to and from my leased office. As a consultant, I travel to and from my client's offices on a regular basis. After needing space away from home for peace and quiet AND for inviting potential clients to, I decided to lease an office last year. Now, any driving from home to my office, and vice versa, is considered "commuting" by the IRS. So long mileage deduction!

Guest's picture
Adam

I'd like to be able to deduct more home office expenses. I didn't include any home office expenses this year because I also use my computer and programs for personal work.

Guest's picture

I've used TurboTax a couple of times in the past few years, and it worked fine, but in both instances, I was expecting a refund.

Does it ever make sense to consider using TurboTax if you're expecting to have to pay taxes instead of getting a refund?