If you have a home business or a home office, it can be difficult to know just what you can claim as a business expense and what you can’t. There are some common expenses that self-employed people working from home often miss claiming because they aren’t aware of the option.
To maximize your home business deductions make sure you are claiming the following:
- Books and publications – If you have specific books, trade journals, or trade specific publications you receive on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, you can deduct the cost of these materials. They do have to be specific to your business and can’t be general publications.
- Professional memberships – Like publications, if you belong to professional organizations, you can deduct your membership fees and dues provided they qualify. This includes union fees as well as any licenses you may be required to hold to do your work.
- Education – If your course is directly related to your present job and will enhance or expand your skills in the same industry, your educational expenses are deductible. This is not true if you are taking something new to add to your business or to offer a different service.
- Uniforms or protective clothing – If your business includes the use of uniforms or specialized type of clothing such as safety clothing, you can deduct the cost of any items purchased. You can also deduct the cost of cleaning for uniforms. You cannot claim cleaning charges if you wear day-to-day clothes, only if it is a specific uniform.
- Business insurance – If you carry any type of business insurance, you can claim the cost of the insurance as a deduction.
If you have any questions about what you can or cannot claim, contact your accountant before you make the purchase or the decision. You should also keep accurate records of all purchases of supplies and materials you need including printer supplies and software purchases for your business.