The holidays are upon us. It’s hard to believe, but the year is almost over. With the start of every new year, there is also the start of getting your bookkeeping together to file taxes. If you are self-employed, there are some common tax deductions that you should be including in your return, in order to realize maximum tax savings. With that in mind, today we wanted to share with you some common deductions you should consider.

Home Office Expenses

Many freelancers work out of their homes these days. The IRS allows self-employed people to deduct the portion of their mortgage (including property taxes) or their rent that goes to a home office.

To qualify for this write-off, you must have a specific area in your home designated for working, and you must refrain from using it for other purposes. When claiming this deduction, you can calculate the deduction’s value using either the regular or simplified home office deduction option.

Utility Expenses

While business owners with offices outside their homes can deduct 100% of their utilities, freelancers who work inside the home can still write off a portion of this cost as part of the home office expense. The percentage of your utility costs that are tax-deductible is proportional to the percentage of your home occupied by your office.

Professional Development Expenses

As a freelancer, it’s important that you find ways to stand out from your competitors in the industry. To keep ahead of the pack, many freelancers attend classes and educational seminars. The cost of these expenses can add up, so the IRS allows freelancers to deduct expenses related to professional development on their tax returns. 

Additionally, self-employed people can write off their dues for professional organizations and membership fees.

Advertising And Marketing Expenses

At the end of the day, you have to engage in marketing and advertising if you want to grow your business. The IRS permits freelancers to write off the cost of flyers, digital advertising, business cards, and print ads among other marketing expenses.

Website Expenses

With a majority of consumers using the internet to research purchases, creating a mobile-friendly, responsive website is crucial for your business success. Luckily, self-employed persons can deduct costs related to their business websites, including domain fees, web design, web building, and maintenance.

Mileage And Gas Expenses

Do you regularly drive to meet clients or suppliers? If so, you should take advantage of the tax deductions available for costs related to vehicle mileage or normal vehicle wear and tear. You can choose between two types of vehicle-related deductions: the standard mileage option or the actual expense option.

The standard mileage option allows you to make a deduction based on how many miles you’ve used for business purposes. The actual expense option allows you to figure out how much it costs you to maintain and operate your car expressly for business use.

Consult Your CPA

These deductions may really help you when you file your taxes this next year. Be sure to mention any you think apply to your particular situation when meeting with your CPA, so they have a full picture of how they can best help you file your taxes.