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Tax write offs

barbchan

Member
Mar 16, 2006
130
0
I hope this is the place to put this question.
I was wondering about tax write offs for my business. I know there are office supplies and mileage to be written off. However, I've been told that clothing, makeup and manicures can be written off as we have to look good for our shows. Also, groceries can be written off due to our own kitchens being used as test kitchens. This seems pretty far fetched to me and so I was hoping you all could enlighten me. Exactly what can legally be written off on taxes?

Thanks in advance. :)
 

fruit76loop

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Sep 13, 2005
1,159
0
Far fetched...

it is!! :eek: I have never heard that we can write off make-up, manicures, or clothing (except PC clothing)!! I think whom ever told you that better hope they don't get audited!:rolleyes:

But, you can write off groceries when you practice recipes for your shows!

As far as what can be written off, I would contact a CPA for a consultation. Many will do a free consultation to help you set up for your business and the tax year!:D
 

soonerchef

Veteran Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,523
0
The first time I did my taxes as a PC consultant we had a CPA do them and now I know what I can write off. This may be different in your area so you might want to check. Personally, I can write off clothing used for PC only, mileage, groceries for shows or testing, all supplies and products, travel for PC (i.e, conference) including gas, hotel, food etc., stamps, any printing/copies for PC, if you have a printer that you use for PC then print cartriges. That's all I can think of right now.
 

cla519

Member
Jun 5, 2005
317
0
I know in Canada that you can write off a piece of your home used for business, any home improvements, cleaning supplies, the using the same portion of your house percentage. I would write off make-up you have to look professional, as well as manicures maybe not all of the expence but I would think half the amount would be for business. For sure whatever clothes that you would need to do show's. One thing I didn't even think about till an accountant told me is the milage to the grocery store, when you go get gas, going to the bank, postoffice, any thing that you do to do business. If you go to the mall and someone askes you about PC or you leave a catalogue or a business card somewhere write down those miles.
They sure add up. And here in Canada if you use your car 90% and over you can deduct 100% of your car and gas expences. It has made me have to do some kind of business everytime I get into the car. Hope this helps.
 

Shawnna

Senior Member
Gold Member
Feb 2, 2005
2,377
6
I don't know about make-up or manicures. If that were true couldn't we then use it for our other jobs? As far as clothing is concerned my tax lady says clothing can only be written off if it has a logo on it. So not all clothing is deductable. My husband used to be a car salesman and he had to dress up, but we couldn't write off his slacks, ties, etc. We could only write off the shirts he bought that had the name of the dealership on them. Mileage, groceries, phone expenses, supplies can be written off. If you use your home as an office, you can write off a percentage of utilities, cleaning supplies, etc. You would have to ask the tax preparer what that percentage is.
 

CarlyK

Member
Feb 23, 2006
190
0
I believe that shipping / mailing costs (such as mailing out catalogs and buying stamps for PC material) can be written off. The cost of the website can as well.
 

cla519

Member
Jun 5, 2005
317
0
The reason that people that are employed by others can't write things off is because they are not self-employed. Only if you are an owner can you write these things off. That's the benifit of owning your own business. If I worked for a company I couldn't write off my gas to get there, my insurance, and all the other write-offs that we self-employed do. I'm sure there are some differences in the countries as what can and can't be written off so contact someone so that you do everything legally.
 

barbchan

Member
Mar 16, 2006
130
0
I so much appreciate all your imput on this subject. I'll take a look around and see what I can find in a CPA.
 

Shawnna

Senior Member
Gold Member
Feb 2, 2005
2,377
6
When I owned a grocery store I could not write off clothing unless it said "Triple H Grocery". The reason is that people would claim clothing they wear every day. This ensures that the clothing is for work.
 

fruit76loop

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Sep 13, 2005
1,159
0
cla519 said:
The reason that people that are employed by others can't write things off is because they are not self-employed. Only if you are an owner can you write these things off. That's the benifit of owning your own business. If I worked for a company I couldn't write off my gas to get there, my insurance, and all the other write-offs that we self-employed do. I'm sure there are some differences in the countries as what can and can't be written off so contact someone so that you do everything legally.


In the US, you can not write off clothing unless it is used exclusively for business. How can you prove that the pair of khakis you wear are for business only? You can't, thus you can't write them off. Now my husband has to buy steel toe boots for work...these we can write off because they are required of his job and why would he wear them around town??? he he...except when he looks like a bum!

Now, PC clothing is fully tax deductable not because it is clothing, but because it is advertising!

Again, in the US, if you write off manicures and make-up and non-PC clothing, you are asking for an audit!!

In the US, we are allowed to write off part of our home for a home-office. But cleaning supplies might be pushing it! Remember that the tax laws are specific about what we can and cannot write off, so be careful!
 

krzymomof4

Veteran Member
Silver Member
Jun 27, 2005
1,683
0
The only people that can take off make up as a tax deduction to my knowledge is a Mary Kay consultant. That is their product and as long as it can be seen and deemed as advertising they can take it.
 

cla519

Member
Jun 5, 2005
317
0
The reason I know some of these for Canada is our senior director had an accountant come and talk to us of the things that we can and cannot deduct. I just know for Canada. See here we as employees can't deduct things like boots. Some companies give allowances for those type of things, some supply the work clothes and some we just pay out of out pockets for, but no tax relief.
 
Mar 2, 2006
308
0
Well me and my mother have done taxes for years. I know that I get to deduct my expenses, mileage, postage, pc samples and supplies, the website, food for the shows and for recipes that we try, any other business expenses (printer cartridges & paper) host and guests gifts.. Things like that. If I buy a pc shirt, then yeah, I can deduct that too.. I can't think of anything else. Hope this helps someone
 

chefpayne

Novice Member
Jan 18, 2005
46
0
My accountant told me that anything used for personal use cannot be used as a write off. I asked about groceries and she said no because I was feeding me own family. She did say that I could write off a percentage of my utlities for my office but only if it were in a room that served only as an office. It could not be a spare bedroom. I think that it is very important to talk with accountant for the specifics.
 
K

ksartain

Guest
We asked when we did our taxes this year. She told us we could write off a portion of all utilities, including electric, phone, cell, gas, water, internet and house payment. We are to keep a copy of all of our utilities or just write down how muchw e pay per month for each one and they figure the percentage of each that we can write off. Clothing can not be written off unless it has a PC logo. We also bring any receipts for printer cartridges and printer paper. Also, she said we should strive to keep 25% of our commission for taxes.
Kristy
 

ChefMommyinOC

Member
Mar 7, 2006
64
0
Don't forget to write off the mileage and gas for trips to your monthly sales meetings and groceries for any recipes you make for the meetings. And you can write off anything you buy from PC to add to your kit (monthly guest specials, kit enhancement, etc.) Don't forget anything you give to your host as an extra 'thank you' for hosting the show.
 

tiffanypc05

Advanced Member
Nov 3, 2005
601
0
as for the phone

You can only deduct long distance, call waiting, etc...on your phone. It's got to be the extra things. H&R Block said that it had to be listed as a business phone to deduct everything. Your kit that you bought can be deducted off and any upkeep to your car as far as oil changes..etc..
 

brandenc

Member
Gold Member
Jan 12, 2006
74
0
tiffanypc05 said:
You can only deduct long distance, call waiting, etc...on your phone. It's got to be the extra things. H&R Block said that it had to be listed as a business phone to deduct everything. Your kit that you bought can be deducted off and any upkeep to your car as far as oil changes..etc..


Here in the USA, a percentage of your Phone bill and Cell phone bill can be written off on your taxes. I've had this on my Avon business, so it can be deducted. You PC website can be deducted, any supplies you purchase, any products that you use for a demo, and its better to right off your mileage because you will get more than if you took in your gas receipts.

If you sell Avon, and you order a demo product then you can write that off.
 
May 8, 2005
2
0
Tax Advice from a CPA and PC Consultant

Hi All....it has been interesting to read all your posts about tax deductions. I am a CPA, Accounting Instructor at my local college and PC Consultant.
Here is the low down:

You can deduct all of your PC supplies, tools, advertising expense, biz cards, guest gifts, hostess gifts

PC logo clothing (like someone else mentioned because it is advertising). Clothing is not deductible if you can wear it off the job. Manicures and makeup would NOT be deductible.

mileage to and from shows OR actual car expenses (business %) You cannot deduct both mileage and gas, oil changes, etc. You have to choose one method or the other. Actual car expenses are only allowed up the the business % that your car is used.

Groceries for the shows and groceries used for a test recipe (that recipe only once and I would keep documentation of the recipe tried and grocery receipt)

Cooking Magazine Subcription...to keep up on knowledge

PC Website; Internet costs (allocate business % and personal), cell phone costs (allocate business % and personal %), printer cartridges, paper

Home offices...all of you who are deducting home offices....be careful. The IRS tax code states that any home office deducted has to be used for 100%business use only.....that means if you have a computer in your office and do not have one in another location in your home, then you cannot argue to the IRS that your home office is 100% for business. They won't believe that you do not use that computer for personal reasons. Also, you cannot have any files stored in your office except business files. Are you getting the idea here? The office is entirely business ONLY. They are very strict on this because of the benefits of a home office deduction. If you do indeed qualify, you do an equation: take the square footage of your office/the total square footage of your home = your home office %. This % can be multiplied by your utilities, etc.... Any improvements made directly to the home office: ie: painting, shelves, etc would be fully deductible (again if it qualifies). HOME OFFICE DEDUCTIONS ARE AUDIT FLAGS TO THE IRS. I do not take a home office deduction.

Hopefully I covered everything you all had mentioned. If not, feel free to ask. Happy tax prep!

Jill Buchmann, CPA
 
Mar 20, 2006
61
2
jkristine said:
Hi All....it has been interesting to read all your posts about tax deductions. I am a CPA, Accounting Instructor at my local college and PC Consultant.
Here is the low down:

You can deduct all of your PC supplies, tools, advertising expense, biz cards, guest gifts, hostess gifts

PC logo clothing (like someone else mentioned because it is advertising). Clothing is not deductible if you can wear it off the job. Manicures and makeup would NOT be deductible.

mileage to and from shows OR actual car expenses (business %) You cannot deduct both mileage and gas, oil changes, etc. You have to choose one method or the other. Actual car expenses are only allowed up the the business % that your car is used.

Groceries for the shows and groceries used for a test recipe (that recipe only once and I would keep documentation of the recipe tried and grocery receipt)

Cooking Magazine Subcription...to keep up on knowledge

PC Website; Internet costs (allocate business % and personal), cell phone costs (allocate business % and personal %), printer cartridges, paper

Home offices...all of you who are deducting home offices....be careful. The IRS tax code states that any home office deducted has to be used for 100%business use only.....that means if you have a computer in your office and do not have one in another location in your home, then you cannot argue to the IRS that your home office is 100% for business. They won't believe that you do not use that computer for personal reasons. Also, you cannot have any files stored in your office except business files. Are you getting the idea here? The office is entirely business ONLY. They are very strict on this because of the benefits of a home office deduction. If you do indeed qualify, you do an equation: take the square footage of your office/the total square footage of your home = your home office %. This % can be multiplied by your utilities, etc.... Any improvements made directly to the home office: ie: painting, shelves, etc would be fully deductible (again if it qualifies). HOME OFFICE DEDUCTIONS ARE AUDIT FLAGS TO THE IRS. I do not take a home office deduction.

Hopefully I covered everything you all had mentioned. If not, feel free to ask. Happy tax prep!

Jill Buchmann, CPA
what is the average percentage we should tuck away for our taxes?
 

Grandmarita

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Nov 9, 2005
913
0
The person who recruited me has her own Accounting business. We met with
her this week. We are in NYS. We can take our business mileage, office supplies, including the Covey Journal; Travel Mileage Journal; PC Paperwork/Sample supplies, and PC logo imprinted items. Since you had the
PC incentive products broken out on your 1099, you have proof of acquiring them, and can add them back as Kit Enhancements. You can take tolls and parking fees, even when you are taking mileage, and Turbo tax asked us if
we had a car dedicated to the business (is another car available for family use) and said we could take interest payments on outstanding car loans for
the vehicle used for PC business. I took a portion of my cellphone and only the long distance calls on my home phone, as well as $72 for PC website, and
1/3 of Roadrunner internet charges. We took groceries and postage that I have receipts for, and have designated as related to specific parties or promotions. Hope that helps you. This is my first year, and I did have a loss but it was more than good to us, by offsetting income from my husband's fulltime job. It was nice to get money back from both NYS and Feds, rather
than paying both of them. It is definitely wise to see professional confirmation of how you are treating your expenses. I'm able to sleep easier knowing I have done that.
Grandmarita
 

Harrle

Member
Jul 18, 2005
294
0
jkristine said:
Home offices...all of you who are deducting home offices....be careful. The IRS tax code states that any home office deducted has to be used for 100%business use only.....that means if you have a computer in your office and do not have one in another location in your home, then you cannot argue to the IRS that your home office is 100% for business. They won't believe that you do not use that computer for personal reasons. Also, you cannot have any files stored in your office except business files. Are you getting the idea here? The office is entirely business ONLY. They are very strict on this because of the benefits of a home office deduction. If you do indeed qualify, you do an equation: take the square footage of your office/the total square footage of your home = your home office %. This % can be multiplied by your utilities, etc.... Any improvements made directly to the home office: ie: painting, shelves, etc would be fully deductible (again if it qualifies). HOME OFFICE DEDUCTIONS ARE AUDIT FLAGS TO THE IRS. I do not take a home office deduction.

So I have two questions:

1 - We have written of a portion of our computer every year - I think this year will be the last, so it has been over 4 or 5 years. Is that wrong?


2 - Also I upgraded memory and to Windows XP - can I write off those or a part of those??

Thanks,
Leea:cool:
 
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