A Guide to Deductions: Tax Savings for Businesses & Landlords

A guide to deductions

Navigating the complexities of tax deductions can significantly impact your bottom line as a business owner or landlord. Understanding what expenses you can deduct and how to claim them is essential for maximizing tax savings and ensuring compliance with IRS regulations. At Scout Tax, we know the importance of optimizing deductions to minimize tax liabilities. With our team of expert Enrolled Agents (EAs), we’re here to provide you with a guide to deductions, help you through the process, and help you make the most of the available deductions.

How to Claim Tax Deductions

Claiming tax deductions for your business or rental property requires meticulous record-keeping and adherence to IRS guidelines. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of all expenses related to your business or rental property throughout the year. This includes receipts, invoices, bank statements, and other relevant documentation.
  2. Categorize Expenses: Properly categorize expenses to ensure they align with IRS guidelines. Common categories include advertising, utilities, maintenance, insurance, and professional services.
  3. Use Accounting Software: Consider using accounting software to streamline record-keeping and expense tracking. Many platforms offer features that categorize expenses automatically and generate reports for tax purposes.
  4. Please consult with a Tax Professional: Working with a tax professional, such as our team of EAs at Scout Tax, can help ensure you’re maximizing deductions while minimizing the risk of audits or penalties.
a guide to deductions

A Guide to Deductions: What Constitutes a Deductible Expense under IRS Rules

The IRS allows businesses and landlords to deduct “ordinary and necessary” expenses incurred in the course of operating their business or rental property. This includes:

  1. Operating Expenses: Costs directly related to running your business or rental property, such as rent, utilities, office supplies, and property taxes.
  2. Repairs and Maintenance: Expenses for repairing and maintaining business property, including routine maintenance, repairs to equipment, and minor renovations.
  3. Travel and Transportation: Deductible expenses for business-related travel, including mileage, lodging, meals, and transportation.
  4. Professional Services: Fees paid to professionals, such as accountants, attorneys, and property managers, are generally deductible.
  5. Interest and Taxes: Interest on business loans, mortgage interest on rental properties, and property taxes are deductible expenses.

The Qualified Business Income Deduction

The Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction, also known as the Section 199A deduction, allows certain businesses to deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income. This deduction is available to pass-through entities, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, and certain real estate investment trusts (REITs). However, there are limitations and eligibility requirements based on factors such as income level and type of business.

A Guide to Deductions: Documentation Needed to Support Tax Deductions

To support tax deductions claimed on your business or rental property, it’s crucial to maintain thorough documentation. This includes:

  1. Receipts and Invoices: Keep original receipts and invoices for all deductible expenses. These documents should include details such as the date of purchase, vendor name, amount paid, and description of the expense.
  2. Bank and Credit Card Statements: Maintain copies of bank and credit card statements that show transactions related to deductible expenses. Highlight or annotate relevant expenses for easy reference.
  3. Mileage Logs: If deducting mileage for business-related travel, keep a mileage log documenting the date, destination, purpose of the trip, and number of miles driven.
  4. Contracts and Agreements: Retain copies of contracts, leases, and rental agreements to support deductions for rent and lease payments.

By diligently maintaining accurate records and seeking guidance from tax professionals like our team at Scout Tax, you can confidently claim deductions and maximize tax savings for your business or rental property. Remember, proactive tax planning throughout the year can lead to significant benefits in tax time.

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