Being self-employed has its advantages and disadvantages. As the person in charge of your business affairs, you can set your own schedule and generally have more flexibility than someone in a 9-to-5 job. On the other hand, you are fully responsible for the bottom line, often with little or no backup to rely on.
As we near the end of tax filing season, you might be looking to increase the number of itemized deductions you can use to offset highly taxed ordinary income. What about the grab bag of expenses known as miscellaneous expenses? If you qualify, you might be able to deduct a portion of those expenses on your 2016 tax return.
Did you use your vehicle for business driving in 2016? Generally, you can deduct expenses on your tax return in one of two ways: the actual expense method or the IRS-approved standard mileage rate. Here is a brief comparison:
People are living longer these days than they did five, 10 or 20 years ago. Of course, that is good news, but it also means that you may have to provide a bigger cushion in retirement than you had initially intended. What’s more, uncertainty over future Social Security benefits as baby boomers continue to swell the rolls adds to the concerns. As a result, you could face a personal shortfall, especially if you incur unforeseen expenses from a medical condition or some other situation.
Are you entitled to personal and dependency exemptions on your tax return? It might be the last year you can claim the exemption for someone—say, a child graduating from college—or exemptions may be eliminated altogether by tax reforms that could be coming in conjunction with proposed rate cuts. At the very least, however, the exemptions are still available on 2016 returns.