First things first: this is NOT tax advice. I am simply telling you what I do to protect myself. Use this info at your own risk and don’t say I didn’t warn you to get the advice of a tax expert before committing to a financial strategy like this. I take no responsibility for…anything every anwhere. Nyah nyah.
One of the best things in the world any freelancer can do for themselves is to–this Monday–gather up all the year’s receipts and tally them up. Compare your deductions to how much you think you’re going to owe on your 2008 tax form. If you don’t know how to do that, consider how much money you made this year, calculate approximately 22% to 28% of that sum as your taxable income. If you made 30K this year, chances are you’ll be closer to 22%. If you made more than 50K chances are you’re edging closer to 28%. (These are guesstimate figures, folks. Do your homework.)
Once you have a number, take a good look at your office equipment, your desk, your phone, and anything else that might need to be repaired, replaced, upgraded or purchased as a legitimate enhancement to your business. Do you have a resume website? Are you conducting business on your home phone instead of a dedicated line? Does your computer have a date stamped on it older than 2005?
If you are in dire need of some additional deductions, consider making some FY2008 last-minute purchases that legitimately apply to your freelancing business. You have two choices–you can pay the money you’d spend (and legally deduct) to the government, or you can take any deduction you’re entitled to by law and improve the state of your freelancing business in preparation for 2009. Continue reading Strategic Tax Write-Offs