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What Records and Documents Do I Need To File My Business Tax Return?

If you're hoping to start a business, whether it's full-time or an additional stream to your current income, maximizing your deductions can help you keep more of your hard-earned money.

Brush up on common tax deductions for the self-employed person with the chart below and remember to keep track of your expenses with receipts and a detailed daily calendar.


Business related phone lines (cell phone, landline or both)

Cost of dry cleaning for work wardrobe

Industry specific magazine subscriptions

Marketing and advertising costs

Office supplies: pens, paper, stapler, file folders, calendars, etc.

Business stationery and envelopes, business cards, flyers

Office furniture: desk, chairs, filing cabinet

Computer, laptop

Software used in your business


Fax machine

Office rental or mortgage, or proportionate home office deduction

Utilities costs or proportionate home office deduction

Business related internet service

Business related travel: airfare, train or bus ticket, rental car, taxis

Car maintenance: gas, oil changes, tire rotations, etc., or mileage

Accommodations during business travel

Business meals and entertainment (50%)

Private health insurance premiums

Cost of hosting for website and web design/copywriting services

Other assistant services, like email management

Legal and accounting fees

Business bank account fees

Business equipment, materials, and supplies

Cost of cars or trucks for your business (amortized)

Your child's allowance for cleaning or helping in the home office

Fees for outsourcing tasks or wages if you hire someone

Repair and maintenance fees for the home office

Product inventory cost and storage

Postage and post office box rental

Professional licenses

Education costs to improve your skills in your current business

Income-and-Expense-Spreadsheet-for-Schedule-C blank
Download XLS • 72KB

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