As the tax filing deadline approaches, taxpayers are always looking for legitimate tax deductions they may have overlooked. For example, did you know you can deduct the money your business spent to purchase office supplies during the year? As long as these expenses were for items that are ordinary and necessary to your business but for which you were NOT reimbursed, you can probably deduct them.
The following list shows the kinds of supplies that might be purchased by a firm during the normal course of operation:
- Accounting, Business, and Legal Forms
- Address Books/Binders
- Appointment Books
- Bill and Coin Wrappers
- Bank Bags
- Cash and Check Boxes
- Legal and Note Pads
- Counterfeit Detection Pens and Highlighters
- Journals, Ledgers, and Organizers
- Paper and Graph Paper
- Paper Clips and Pens/Pencils
- Petty Cash and Message Forms
- Receipt, Record and Sales Books
- Rulers, Scissors and Tape
- Tax Forms
- Other supplies used in your work
In addition, printing, duplicating and mailing expenses may also be deductible. Some small machines or equipment, such as bill counters, coin counters, calculators and similar tools used in your work, are possible deduction candidates as well.
In these examples, all of the expenses are for items used in a business in the regular performance of their employees’ duties. However, the deductions available are not limited to the supplies and services they need to do their jobs and pursue their careers. Business and individual taxpayers may also be able to deduct the costs of:
- Treatment and care from a Chiropractor or Osteopath.
- Contact lenses and/or glasses.
- Health and long term care insurance premiums
- Medical services, medicines and prescription drugs
- Membership dues paid to a qualified charitable organization
- Out-of-pocket expenses incurred while giving services to a qualified charitable organization
- Mandatory contributions made to state benefit funds providing protection against loss of wages
- Fees and charges that are expenses of your trade or business, or of producing income
- Appraisal fees
- Tax preparation fees
- If you are self-employed, you may also be able to deduct half of the self employment taxes you have paid.
Always consult a professional tax preparer in order to make sure there aren’t other deductions you may be missing. It’s not about avoiding paying taxes, but you should make sure you take advantage of all legitimate opportunities to keep as much of your hard-earned cash as you can.