If you’re a small business owner, you know what an arduous undertaking it is to manage your taxes. From finding all the deductions that are available to maximize your federal income tax savings, there are so many individual steps involved and rules to keep track of that it’s easy for even savvy entrepreneurs like yourself to get overwhelmed.
This guide offers everything you need to know about taking advantage of the best small business tax deductions during the 2022 tax year.
Understanding Tax Deductions
The IRS offers certain tax deductions for small business owners to help make the process of filing taxes easier and more efficient. Tax deductions are subtracted from your taxable income, reducing the amount you owe at year’s end. Eligibility criteria vary depending on which category you fall into – sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp, etc. – so it’s important to be aware of which ones you qualify for and how they can help reduce your tax liability. Knowing the language is also very important, which is why a tax terms glossary will help you stay more informed.
Types of Tax Deductions for the 2022 Tax Year
Small business owners and independent contractors can claim a number of tax deductions when filing their taxes for the 2022 tax year. You also have to remember there are perfectly legitimate non-deductible business expenses. However, here are a few different types of deductions still available to small business owners:
- Business expenses. As a small business owner, you can deduct any ordinary and necessary expenses related to running your business. This includes items like office supplies, professional fees (attorneys and accountants), travel expenses, utilities, and more.
- Employee wages. If you have employees, the IRS allows you to deduct their wages and salaries as a business expense. This includes payroll taxes, bonuses, and other employee benefits.
- Home office. If you use part of your home for business purposes, you can deduct a portion of the associated expenses, such as mortgage interest and property taxes.
- Rent and lease payments. If you rent an office space or equipment for your business, you can deduct the associated rental and lease payments.
Top Tax Deductions for Small Business
Tax-deductible business expenses can help reduce your annual tax liability, so it’s important to know what deductions are available for the 2022 tax year. Here are the top 25 small business tax deductions for the 2022 tax year:
1. Home Office Deduction
If you use a portion of your home exclusively for business, then you can often claim the associated expenses such as utilities, repairs, and insurance as home office deductions. You can also deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage payments.
2. Real Estate Taxes
If you own a business property, such as an office or retail store, then you can claim the associated real estate taxes as a tax deduction. You’ll need to provide proof of payment, such as a receipt or bank statement.
3. Business Meals
Meals consumed while conducting business can be deducted, as long as they are reasonable. This includes meals with employees, clients, and vendors. In order to qualify for the deduction, the meal must be directly related to business and not personal in nature.
4. Legal and Professional Fees
Fees paid to attorneys, accountants, and other professional services can be deducted as business expenses. Services such as filing fees, audits, and incorporation costs can also be deducted.
5. Business Property Rental
Any rental payments for business property such as an office, warehouse, or equipment can be deducted. You’ll need to provide a lease agreement or rental receipt as your proof of payment. While you can’t deduct the total amount of your rent, you can deduct a portion that is equal to your business use.
6. Mortgage Interest
If you own a business property, you can claim the associated mortgage interest as a business expense and tax deduction. The deduction is limited to the amount of your loan’s principal balance and the associated interest rate.
7. Health Insurance Premiums
If you pay health insurance premiums for yourself or your employees, these can be deducted as a business expense. Note that in some cases, the IRS may limit the amount you can deduct, so it’s best to check with your tax advisor first.
8. Business Education Expenses
If you attend a seminar or take classes related to your business, the associated costs can be deducted as a business expense. This includes tuition, registration fees, and travel expenses. Online courses can also be deducted.
9. Internet Expenses
Do you pay for an internet connection for your business? If so, then the associated fees can be deducted. This includes monthly charges, equipment rental fees, and installation fees. Since every business is online these days, this deduction can be quite helpful.
10. Business Equipment
If you purchase business equipment, such as computers or furniture, the cost can be deducted. You may also be able to deduct any associated repair and maintenance costs. Make sure to keep your receipts and documentation just in case the IRS asks for any equipment write-off.
11. Business Insurance Premiums
The cost of business insurance premiums can be deducted as a business expense. This includes liability, property, and life insurance. Note that some types of insurance may only be deductible if they are related directly to your business operations.
12. Business Travel Expenses
If you travel for business purposes, then the associated expenses can be deducted. This includes airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, and meals. Be sure to keep all receipts and documentation for your trips in case the IRS requests it.
13. Office Supplies Business Expense
Office supplies like paper, ink, and toner are all deductible business expenses. You can also deduct the cost of any other supplies that you use for your business, such as invoices and stationery.
14. Advertising & Marketing Costs
Advertising and marketing costs related to promoting your business, such as website design, can be deducted. This includes the cost of business cards, flyers, and other promotional materials. Online marketing expenses can also be deducted.
15. Phone Expenses
The cost of your business phone and associated charges can be deducted as a business expense. This includes cellular bills, landline charges, and long-distance calls. You may also be able to deduct any extra costs for business-specific features, such as a dedicated fax line.
16. Business Vehicle Expenses
Does your business have a company car or truck? If so, then the associated fuel and maintenance costs can be deducted. You can also deduct any mileage that is related to business trips. If your business has a fleet of vehicles, then this deduction can add up quickly.
17. Employee Compensation
If you have employees, then the cost of their salaries and wages can be deducted. You’ll also need to deduct any other compensation that is provided, such as bonuses and stock options. Be sure to comply with all applicable tax laws when deducting employee compensation.
18. Startup Costs
If your business is new, then you may be able to deduct the cost of launching it. This includes legal fees, accounting expenses, and other costs associated with setting up your business. Make sure to keep all of your receipts and documentation for this deduction as well.
19. Professional Service Fees
The cost of hiring a professional such as an accountant or lawyer is deductible. This includes any fees associated with filing taxes. It also includes any fees for legal advice or representation for any business-related matters, such as a contract review. Hiring a professional can save you time and money in the long run, so make sure to take advantage of this deduction.
20. Retirement Contributions
Contributions to a retirement plan for yourself and your employees can be deducted. This includes contributions to 401(k)s, IRAs, and other types of retirement plans. This deduction can help you save for your future and also provide benefits for your employees.
21. Bad Business Debt
Any debt that is deemed uncollectible can be deducted. This includes any money that is owed to you by customers or vendors but cannot be collected. This deduction can help offset any losses that your business may have incurred due to bad debt.
22. Bank Fees
Any fees related to banking services, such as wire transfers and international transactions, can be deducted. This includes any monthly or annual fees that you may be charged for having a business bank account. Be sure to keep track of any fees that you incur so that you can deduct them at tax time.
23. Employee and Client Gifts
If you give out client gifts or provide employee perks, such as holiday bonuses, those expenses can be deducted. This includes any items that are given out in appreciation of a job well done, such as gift cards or dinner vouchers. Just make sure to keep track of all gifts and bonuses to ensure that you take advantage of the deduction.
24. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
If your business earns income in a foreign country, then you may be able to take advantage of the foreign-earned income exclusion. This can help reduce the amount of taxable income that you owe on your business earnings.
25. Charitable Contributions
Any donations that you make to a qualified charity can be deducted. This could include money, goods, or services that you provide to a charitable organization. Charitable giving can help to support a good cause while also providing you with a tax break.
Don’t forget you can use the latest accounting software for small business to find out what your tax liabilities are for the year.
State Tax Deductions
Deductions on state and local taxes for businesses can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your local tax authority for more information. Some states offer deductions on sales taxes or income taxes, while others have specific deductions that apply to certain industries. Make sure to take advantage of any available state tax deductions in order to reduce your business’s taxable income.
Deductions that Went Away in 2022
Tax laws are constantly changing and there are always some expiring tax deductions and credits, so it’s important to stay up to date on the most recent changes. Here are some deductions that have changed or completely gone away in 2022:
- Business use of a car. In 2020, the deductible mileage rate for business cars was 57.5 cents per mile. In 2021, this rate has dropped by 1.5 cents, down to 56 cents per mile.
- Business interest payments. In 2020, interest expenses could be deducted from up to 50% of taxable income. However, for the 2021 tax year, interest expense deductions can be made from up to 30% of taxable income.
- Net loss deductions. If a business lost money in 2021, the entire net loss cannot be deducted. For those business owners who are married or filing jointly, the deduction is limited to $524K, while single individuals are limited to a deduction of $262K.
- Non-deductible employee expenses. There are certain expenses you can’t deduct in 2022 but are scheduled to return by the 2026 tax year. These include, but are not limited to, credit or debit card convenience fees, investment fees and expenses, and service charges on dividend reinvestment plans.
How to Claim Small Business Tax Deductions for the 2022 Tax Year
When it comes to claiming deductions on your small business income taxes for the 2022 tax year, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here is a step-by-step guide on exactly how to claim small business tax deductions:
Step 1: Gather the necessary documents
Before you start claiming deductions, make sure to gather all necessary documents, such as receipts or invoices for any expenses you are deducting.
Step 2: Fill out the appropriate tax forms
You will need to fill out all of the appropriate tax forms in order to claim deductions. This may include business income tax forms, as well as any state-specific tax forms.
Step 3: Calculate deductions
Once you have all the necessary paperwork in place, you can begin to calculate your deductions. This includes calculating all applicable business expenses, as well as any state or federal credits that may be available.
Step 4: File taxes
After calculating your deductions, you can file your income taxes using the appropriate forms. Make sure to double-check all information to avoid any issues with incorrect filings. It is important to learn as much as possible about how to file self-employment taxes if you are doing it yourself.
Step 5: Submit taxes
Once the tax forms are completed and filed, you can submit them to the IRS. After submitting, you should receive a confirmation that your taxes have been processed.
It is also worth noting the top small business tax mistakes owners make when they file so you can learn from their mistakes.
How to Maximize Your Tax Deductions and Cut Your Taxable Income
Tax deductions are an important way to reduce your taxable income and save money. With the right strategy, you can maximize your deductions and reduce your tax burden. Here are five ways to maximize tax deductions:
- Track all of your business expenses. If you want to maximize your deductions, you need to make sure you track any and all business expenses throughout the year. This includes anything from office supplies to travel expenses.
- Take advantage of deductions for self-employed individuals. If you are self-employed, you may be eligible for a variety of deductions, such as the self-employed health insurance deduction and the home office deduction.
- Look for any available state tax deductions. Many states offer additional deductions for businesses, such as research and development credits or sales tax deductions.
- Make sure to keep accurate records. Accurate records are essential for claiming any deductions. Make sure to keep track of all expenses, such as receipts and invoices.
- Consult with a tax professional. If you’re unsure how to maximize your deductions, it can be helpful to consult with a tax professional who can give you tailored advice.
Standard Deductions vs. Itemized Deductions
Standard deductions are a set amount that taxpayers can deduct from their taxable income to reduce overall tax liability. This deduction is available to those who do not itemize their deductions on their tax return.
Itemized deductions are a list of expenses that can be used to reduce your taxable income if the total of the expenses is more than your standard deduction. Itemized deductions include medical bills, charitable donations, mortgage interest payments, and more.
Tax Deductions vs Tax Credits
Tax deductions are an important tool for reducing one’s taxable income and therefore the amount of taxes one must pay. They are different from tax credits, which are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes owed.
Tax deductions reduce the amount of taxable income subject to tax, while tax credits reduce the total amount of taxes paid. It is important to understand the difference between these two types of tax relief in order to maximize your savings.
What is the 20% Business Tax Deduction?
The 20% business tax deduction is a provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that allows certain businesses to deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income from their taxable income. This deduction applies to businesses that are organized as pass-through entities, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S-corporations. The deduction is based on the business’s net income from taxable activities and is limited by a variety of factors such as the type of business, wages paid to employees, and the number of capital investments.
What types of business expenses are tax deductible without receipts?
Businesses can still deduct certain expenses without needing receipts as evidence. Basic costs such as transportation, office supplies, and tools, services such as accountant fees, and marketing can be deducted without needing receipts.
What is the maximum tax refund you can get?
The maximum tax refund you can get is largely dependent on your individual income and filing status. Generally, the more money you make and the more deductions you take, the higher your refund amount will be. Additionally, tax credits and deductions can significantly increase your refund amount. Your best bet for maximizing your refund is to consult a tax professional who can provide you with tailored advice for your individual situation.
How can you lower your income tax?
There are several strategies you can use to lower your income tax bill. First, maximize deductions by tracking all of your business expenses and taking advantage of any applicable tax credits or deductions. Second, consider restructuring your business to take advantage of lower tax rates for entities such as S-corporations or LLCs. Finally, consider contributing to a retirement plan such as an IRA, 401(k), or SEP-IRA. These contributions can be deducted from your taxable income, reducing your overall tax liability.
How much can an LLC write off?
The amount an LLC can write off depends on the type of deductions it is taking. Generally, business expenses such as advertising costs, employee salaries, and office supplies are fully deductible. Additionally, LLCs may be eligible for various tax credits and deductions such as the 20% business tax deduction discussed above. Consult a tax professional to determine the exact amount you can write off.
Use Our List to Create a Small Business Tax Deductions Checklist for Your 2022 Tax Return
Tax deductions can be a powerful tool for reducing your taxable income and therefore your overall tax bill. Unfortunately, many small business owners fail to take advantage of available deductions. Using our guide to tax deductions, you can create your own checklist of applicable deductions to ensure that you capture every opportunity to reduce your taxes in 2022. From home offices to charitable donations, there are a variety of deductions that you may be eligible for. And if you need help, you can always get free tax help from public and private organizations nationwide.
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For instance, if you are a small business using cash basis accounting and have year-ending invoices to send or accounts receivable to chase, consider delaying them until January 2023. As income is taxed in the year it is received, any business income you postpone until Dec. 31 won’t be taxable until 2024 (meaning you’ll not have to pay taxes on it for another year).
So can I deduct my online marketing expenses even though I made no income in 2022 as a sole proprietor?