Entrepreneurs - What can you deduct and when

Entrepreneurs: What can you deduct and when?

| Tax Briefs

By Bennie the Bean Counter     Starting a new business is an exciting time. But before you even open the doors, you generally have to spend a lot of money. You may have to train workers and pay for rent, utilities, marketing and more.

Entrepreneurs are often unaware that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be deducted right away.

How expenses are handled on your tax return

When planning a new enterprise, remember these three key points:

  1. Start-up costs include those incurred or paid while creating an active trade or business — or investigating the creation or acquisition of one. Organizational costs include the costs for creating a corporation or partnership.
  2. Under the federal tax code, taxpayers can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of business start-up and $5,000 of organizational costs. The $5,000 deduction is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount by which your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Any remaining costs must be amortized over 180 months on a straight-line basis
  3. No deductions or amortization write-offs are allowed until the year when “active conduct” of your new business commences. That usually means the year when the enterprise has all the pieces in place to begin earning revenue. To determine if a taxpayer meets this test, the IRS and courts will generally ask:
  • A) Did the taxpayer undertake the activity intending to earn a profit?
  • B) Was the taxpayer regularly and actively involved?
  • C) Has the activity actually begun?

An important decision

Time may be of the essence if you have start-up expenses that you’d like to deduct this year. You need to decide whether to take the elections described above. Recordkeeping is important. Contact Alerding CPA Group about your business start-up plans. We can help with the tax and other aspects of your new venture.  We can be reached at 317-569-4181 or www.alerdingcpagroup.com.

This post was written by:

Bennie the Bean Counter

Bennie is a nose-to-the-grindstone CPA who has one simple goal – helping our clients and visitors. Check out Bennie’s Bits under our Blog section. Bennie posts answers to frequently asked tax questions keeping you informed of any new and updated information. He regularly updates his page, so be sure to check back often.

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