Take Charge of Your Income Taxes

Be prepared for your taxes with our guide to understanding tax forms, the lingo, tax credits and our tips for finding deductions that can save you money.

Remember to Report Taxable Income

Were you self-employed last year? Learn how to report that taxable income!

Tax income

HOW AND WHEN TO REPORT IT

  • If you made a profit: You need to pay self-employment tax if your earnings exceeded your expenses. Calculate what you owe on Schedule SE and report it on your 1040.
  • If you lost money: It’s worth adding up your business expenses if they exceeded what you earned. In order to claim a loss, thereby lowering your AGI, you must itemize your expenses on Schedule C.

 

DEDUCT YOUR BUSINESS-RELATED EXPENSES

  • Car: Claim the portion of vehicle expenses that relate to business use only.
  • Home office: Calculate the percentage of square footage that is devoted to work and deduct that
    portion of your mortgage or rent.
  • Phones and utilities: Claim the portion of these bills that applies to business purposes.
  • Materials: Deduct the cost of supplies you bought that were used to create your product or conduct your business.
  • Office: These expenses include paper, printer and computer supplies, as well as mailing or shipping.
  • Marketing and education: Any money you spent furthering your career or advertising your services is reimbursable. 

For more qualifying business expenses, check Publication 535, “Business Expenses,” at irs.gov/publications/p535.