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Top 5 Last Minute Tips for Maximizing Your Tax Deductions

For those businesses that filed an extension to file taxes, you have about another week left to file. For some this could be no big deal – you already have all your receipts laid out, expenses quantified and your accountant is ready to go. However, for some businesses, it is time to really start cracking the whip. If you are stressing out about not getting everything in on time, never fear, because there are a few ways to get the most out of your tax deductions without having to perform a miracle. Here are the top five last minute tips for maximizing your tax deductions.

  1. Write off all your home office expenses in one lump sum. If you don’t have the time to gather receipts or other financial information pertaining to your office expenses, you might be able to get away with writing off everything as one flat write off. The IRS is allowing home business owners to write off up to $1,500 on home office expenses. This can be a great way to write off a big chunk of your taxes without having to spend a few all-nighters going through your receipts.
  2. Make sure that you have all your mileage reports and any other expenses that came out of pocket. If you have an electronic record of those expenses, you can write them all off. With fuel at four dollars a gallon and other exorbitant expenses, you could have hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars to write off. So, if it is getting down to the wire, make sure that you put together all of these expenses for your accountant – it could mean the difference between spending a fortune on taxes and not.
  3. If you haven’t saved all your receipts, don’t worry, because your bank can usually provide a PDF of all your monthly expenses according to each spending category. There are also a few applications that can do the same thing. This will prevent you from having to get in there yourself and handwrite all of those expenses. If you have waited to the eleventh hour to do your taxes, this might be the only way to get your taxes in on time and take advantage of all the deductions.
  4. Write off home office equipment. If you have gotten a new computer, printer or any other gadget or machine for your business, you can write it off on your total expenses. You can find out more about this write off by calling or visiting the IRS’s website, but typically you can write off new equipment all the way up to $500,000. The amount you can write off might differ depending on how your business is organized, but chances are that you can get a big deduction no matter what.
  5. Give your accountant a little something extra. If you have waited until the last minute to get all your taxes in, you could be dealing with a pretty frustrated accountant. If this is case, make sure that you make it worth his or her while. Not only will your accountant efficiently get your taxes done on time, but he or she will also help you maximize your deductions.