Just received this admonishment from my financial planner and it’s good wisdom to pass onto you:
Remember to record ALL your expenses!
That includes every mile to and from networking events, meetings with clients, and trips to the office supply (even if you didn’t purchase anything), printshop and any other vendors. Track every bit of meal, entertainment, travel and even retreat expenses (e.g., trips you take for the purpose of business planning, development, writing and visioning).
That roadtrip you went on so you could work on your business visioning, planning and strategizing? That day you took the laptop to your favorite cafe to work from for a few hours? All that mileage and those expenses count, too.
Even some of the purchases you make such as appliances that you share in the home that are also used for business can represent deductions (e.g., that television that you plug your laptop into and work from).
If in doubt, record it anyway and your accountant can let you know what, if anything, is not eligible.
It’s too easy to dismiss things and not bother recording them because we aren’t sure. Don’t worry about that. Just record them!
You and your accountant will sort through the details later.
It’s far easier to do that than it is to go back later to try and recapture and retrace things.
The tax savings from these deductions can be significant!
If you feel you haven’t fully tracked these things, go back to your bookkeeping, calendar and receipts to retrace your tracks and purchases so you can benefit come filing time (which is just around the corner).
I have resolved to be more meticulous in my mileage and travel expense tracking in 2013. How about you?