Because I’m self-employed, I get to claim business expenses against the tax I pay. I dump all of my receipts in a folder next to my computer, and go through them once a month when it’s time for me to remit my HST payments. I determine which receipts are business expenses (that new stapler), and which were just me buying things (that new pair of shorts). The business receipts I keep, and the rest go in the recycling bin. There are a few expenses, however, that may slip under your radar, and pennies count.
Products you purchase on behalf of clients can be easy to identify as business expenses. For example, if you have a wedding album printed, you have to pay the printer then your client pays you. Keep that receipt from the printer, that’s your expense.
If you work from home, think about the things that allow you to do so, like your internet, or your cell phone. A portion of those expenses can be written off, as well as a portion of your rent.
I don’t take out full-page ads for my business in the local newspaper, but I still pay for advertising. Anything to do with my website, such as domain name registration, web hosting, and any web templates or design services fall under my advertising expenses category.
Be sure to keep documentation of payment for any dues or membership fees associated with professional organizations you belong to.
Some transportation-related costs can be forgotten, like taxis to the airport or parking at a job site. Make it a habit to store receipts in the same place in your wallet or gear bag, so you can keep track of expenses even when you’re on the go.
To see our previous posts on HST, click here. [Note: We are not financial experts.]