If you are running your own business or are planning to, you should know all you can about the self-employment tax deduction, which can save you a lot of money if you do. A lot of these advantages in the tax reduction are available only if you are self-employed and not if you are employed by anyone. All you have to do is your own personal Social Security number as your company’s tax identification number and then make sure you file under a Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ and you are all set to start benefiting from the deduction.
There is however a difference between Schedule C and Schedule C-EZ and the benefits they can provide you with in terms of taking advantage of the self-employment tax deduction. The EZ form should only be used by those who have a smaller amount of expenses and end the year with a substantial profit. A few other things in terms of taking advantage of the reduction using the EZ form, is that you should be a business without any employees, one that has no reason to claim a home office deduction and are not going to report any depreciation. If you qualify with these you should use the EZ form, otherwise you should use just the Schedule C in order to get the best you can out of the tax reduction. Basically with a Schedule C you can report a loss, otherwise you cannot.
Let’s look at what you can claim using the self-employment tax deduction. First you claim equipment expenditure under what is called Section 179. Under this section you claim any equipment purchased that year. There can be a limit to the amount that tends to change a lot, so please look at the Internal Revenue Service’s publication number 946 to help you in finding out the exact limit.
You can also claim travel under the tax reduction. This includes mileage and percentages of any meals and entertainment that are purchased. As long as you keep good records and your receipts you would do well claiming this. You must also remember to keep this within the limits of business related expenses.
You may also include health insurance, social security taxes and self-managed retirement benefits in your self-employment tax deduction. This means that you can include any premiums for yourself or family members as well as a certain amount of the payment you make on social security tax in any claims you may make in qualifying for the deduction. The only problem is that you the social security claim is only on the Form 1040 and not the Schedule C. As far as the self-managed retirement benefits as long as you open a Keogh or a Simplified Employee Pension and subtract any contribution you may make to these plans. This also can only be done on the Form 1040. But it is well worth the savings you can claim on a deduction.
One last thing you can claim under the self-employment tax deduction is in regards to a home office. Whether you use the office for storage of files and book keeping or if you don’t spend very much time there, you can still claim this as part of your self-employment tax reduction.
As you can see when it comes to claiming and receiving the benefits of being self-employed it is well worth it. As long as you keep careful and exact records you can take full advantage of the reduction.