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How To File For 2012 Taxes

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How To File For 2012 Taxes

How to file for 2012 taxes Index A Accounting methods Accrual method, Accrual Method Cash method, Cash Method Change in, Change in Accounting Method Methods you can use, Methods you can use. How to file for 2012 taxes Accounting periods 52-53 week tax year, 52-53-Week Tax Year Business purpose tax year, Business Purpose Tax Year Calendar year, Calendar Year Improper tax year, Improper Tax Year Partnerships, Partnership Accrual method Expenses, Expenses Income, Income Advance payments, Advance Payment for Services Sales, Advance Payment for Sales Services, Advance Payment for Services Assistance (see Tax help) B Business purpose tax year, Business Purpose Tax Year C Calendar year, Calendar Year Cash method, Income Expenses, Expenses Income, Income Change, accounting method, Change to accrual method. How to file for 2012 taxes , Change in Accounting Method Comments on publication, Comments and suggestions. How to file for 2012 taxes Constructive receipt of income, Constructive receipt. How to file for 2012 taxes Corporation tax periods, Corporations (Other Than S Corporations and PSCs) Cost identification, Identifying Cost D Death of individual, short period return, Death of individual. How to file for 2012 taxes E Economic performance, Economic Performance Excluded entities, cash method, Excluded Entities F Fiscal year, Fiscal Year Form 1128, Improper Tax Year, Change in Tax Year 8716, Making the election. How to file for 2012 taxes , Making back-up election. How to file for 2012 taxes 8752, Required payment for partnership or S corporation. How to file for 2012 taxes , Activating election. How to file for 2012 taxes 970, Adopting LIFO method. How to file for 2012 taxes Free tax services, How To Get Tax Help H Help (see Tax help) I Inventories Cost identification, Identifying Cost FIFO, FIFO Method LIFO, LIFO Method Lower of cost or market, Lower of Cost or Market Method Perpetual or book, Perpetual or Book Inventory Retail method, Retail Method Specific identification, Specific Identification Method Uniform capitalization rules, Inventories. How to file for 2012 taxes Valuing, Valuing Inventory M More information (see Tax help) P Partnerships, Partnership Personal service corporation, Partnerships, S Corporations, and Personal Service Corporations (PSCs) Limit, use of cash method, Qualified PSC. How to file for 2012 taxes Required tax year, Partnerships, S Corporations, and Personal Service Corporations (PSCs), Personal Service Corporation (PSC) Publications (see Tax help) R Related persons, Related Persons S S corporations, S Corporation Section 444 election, Section 444 Election Short period return, Short period return. How to file for 2012 taxes Short tax year, Short Tax Year Suggestions for publication, Comments and suggestions. How to file for 2012 taxes T Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Tax year Change in, Change in Tax Year Corporations, Corporations (Other Than S Corporations and PSCs) Fiscal year, Fiscal Year Personal service corporation, Personal Service Corporation (PSC) S corporations, S Corporation Section 444 election, Section 444 Election Short tax year, Short Tax Year Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Service. How to file for 2012 taxes TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help U Uniform capitalization rules Exceptions, Exceptions. How to file for 2012 taxes General rules, Uniform Capitalization Rules Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications
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The How To File For 2012 Taxes

How to file for 2012 taxes 8. How to file for 2012 taxes   Business Expenses Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Bad DebtsAccrual method. How to file for 2012 taxes Cash method. How to file for 2012 taxes Car and Truck ExpensesOffice in the home. How to file for 2012 taxes Methods for Deducting Car and Truck Expenses Reimbursing Your Employees for Expenses Depreciation Employees' PayFringe benefits. How to file for 2012 taxes InsuranceHow to figure the deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes Interest Legal and Professional FeesTax preparation fees. How to file for 2012 taxes Pension Plans Rent Expense Taxes Travel, Meals, and EntertainmentTransportation. How to file for 2012 taxes Taxi, commuter bus, and limousine. How to file for 2012 taxes Baggage and shipping. How to file for 2012 taxes Car or truck. How to file for 2012 taxes Meals and lodging. How to file for 2012 taxes Cleaning. How to file for 2012 taxes Telephone. How to file for 2012 taxes Tips. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes Business Use of Your HomeExceptions to exclusive use. How to file for 2012 taxes Other Expenses You Can Deduct Expenses You Cannot Deduct Introduction You can deduct the costs of operating your business. How to file for 2012 taxes These costs are known as business expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes These are costs you do not have to capitalize or include in the cost of goods sold but can deduct in the current year. How to file for 2012 taxes To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. How to file for 2012 taxes An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business. How to file for 2012 taxes A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. How to file for 2012 taxes An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information about the general rules for deducting business expenses, see chapter 1 in Publication 535, Business Expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes If you have an expense that is partly for business and partly personal, separate the personal part from the business part. How to file for 2012 taxes The personal part is not deductible. How to file for 2012 taxes Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses 535 Business Expenses 946 How To Depreciate Property See chapter 12 for information about getting publications and forms. How to file for 2012 taxes Bad Debts If someone owes you money you cannot collect, you have a bad debt. How to file for 2012 taxes There are two kinds of bad debts, business bad debts and nonbusiness bad debts. How to file for 2012 taxes A business bad debt is generally one that comes from operating your trade or business. How to file for 2012 taxes You may be able to deduct business bad debts as an expense on your business tax return. How to file for 2012 taxes Business bad debt. How to file for 2012 taxes   A business bad debt is a loss from the worthlessness of a debt that was either of the following. How to file for 2012 taxes Created or acquired in your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Closely related to your business when it became partly or totally worthless. How to file for 2012 taxes A debt is closely related to your business if your primary motive for incurring the debt is a business reason. How to file for 2012 taxes   Business bad debts are mainly the result of credit sales to customers. How to file for 2012 taxes They can also be the result of loans to suppliers, clients, employees, or distributors. How to file for 2012 taxes Goods and services customers have not paid for are shown in your books as either accounts receivable or notes receivable. How to file for 2012 taxes If you are unable to collect any part of these accounts or notes receivable, the uncollectible part is a business bad debt. How to file for 2012 taxes    You can take a bad debt deduction for these accounts and notes receivable only if the amount you were owed was included in your gross income either for the year the deduction is claimed or for a prior year. How to file for 2012 taxes Accrual method. How to file for 2012 taxes   If you use an accrual method of accounting, you normally report income as you earn it. How to file for 2012 taxes You can take a bad debt deduction for an uncollectible receivable if you have included the uncollectible amount in income. How to file for 2012 taxes Cash method. How to file for 2012 taxes   If you use the cash method of accounting, you normally report income when you receive payment. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot take a bad debt deduction for amounts owed to you that you have not received and cannot collect if you never included those amounts in income. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about business bad debts, see chapter 10 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes Nonbusiness bad debts. How to file for 2012 taxes   All other bad debts are nonbusiness bad debts and are deductible as short-term capital losses on Form 8949 and Schedule D (Form 1040). How to file for 2012 taxes For more information on nonbusiness bad debts, see Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Car and Truck Expenses If you use your car or truck in your business, you may be able to deduct the costs of operating and maintaining your vehicle. How to file for 2012 taxes You also may be able to deduct other costs of local transportation and traveling away from home overnight on business. How to file for 2012 taxes You may qualify for a tax credit for qualified plug-in electric vehicles, qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, and alternative motor vehicles you place in service during the year. How to file for 2012 taxes See Form 8936 and Form 8910 for more information. How to file for 2012 taxes Local transportation expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   Local transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary costs of all the following. How to file for 2012 taxes Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession when you are traveling within the city or general area that is your tax home. How to file for 2012 taxes Tax home is defined later. How to file for 2012 taxes Visiting clients or customers. How to file for 2012 taxes Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace. How to file for 2012 taxes Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work. How to file for 2012 taxes These temporary workplaces can be either within the area of your tax home or outside that area. How to file for 2012 taxes Local business transportation does not include expenses you have while traveling away from home overnight. How to file for 2012 taxes Those expenses are deductible as travel expenses and are discussed later under Travel, Meals, and Entertainment. How to file for 2012 taxes However, if you use your car while traveling away from home overnight, use the rules in this section to figure your car expense deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes   Generally, your tax home is your regular place of business, regardless of where you maintain your family home. How to file for 2012 taxes It includes the entire city or general area in which your business or work is located. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes You operate a printing business out of rented office space. How to file for 2012 taxes You use your van to deliver completed jobs to your customers. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct the cost of round-trip transportation between your customers and your print shop. How to file for 2012 taxes    You cannot deduct the costs of driving your car or truck between your home and your main or regular workplace. How to file for 2012 taxes These costs are personal commuting expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Office in the home. How to file for 2012 taxes   Your workplace can be your home if you have an office in your home that qualifies as your principal place of business. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Business Use of Your Home, later. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes You are a graphics designer. How to file for 2012 taxes You operate your business out of your home. How to file for 2012 taxes Your home qualifies as your principal place of business. How to file for 2012 taxes You occasionally have to drive to your clients to deliver your completed work. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct the cost of the round-trip transportation between your home and your clients. How to file for 2012 taxes Methods for Deducting Car and Truck Expenses For local transportation or overnight travel by car or truck, you generally can use one of the following methods to figure your expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Standard mileage rate. How to file for 2012 taxes Actual expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Standard mileage rate. How to file for 2012 taxes   You may be able to use the standard mileage rate to figure the deductible costs of operating your car, van, pickup, or panel truck for business purposes. How to file for 2012 taxes For 2013, the standard mileage rate is 56. How to file for 2012 taxes 5 cents per mile. How to file for 2012 taxes    If you choose to use the standard mileage rate for a year, you cannot deduct your actual expenses for that year except for business-related parking fees and tolls. How to file for 2012 taxes Choosing the standard mileage rate. How to file for 2012 taxes   If you want to use the standard mileage rate for a car or truck you own, you must choose to use it in the first year the car is available for use in your business. How to file for 2012 taxes In later years, you can choose to use either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   If you use the standard mileage rate for a car you lease, you must choose to use it for the entire lease period (including renewals). How to file for 2012 taxes Standard mileage rate not allowed. How to file for 2012 taxes   You cannot use the standard mileage rate if you: Operate five or more cars at the same time, Claimed a depreciation deduction using any method other than straight line, for example, ACRS or MACRS, Claimed a section 179 deduction on the car, Claimed the special depreciation allowance on the car, Claimed actual car expenses for a car you leased, or Are a rural mail carrier who received a qualified reimbursement. How to file for 2012 taxes Parking fees and tolls. How to file for 2012 taxes   In addition to using the standard mileage rate, you can deduct any business-related parking fees and tolls. How to file for 2012 taxes (Parking fees you pay to park your car at your place of work are nondeductible commuting expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes ) Actual expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   If you do not choose to use the standard mileage rate, you may be able to deduct your actual car or truck expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes    If you qualify to use both methods, figure your deduction both ways to see which gives you a larger deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes   Actual car expenses include the costs of the following items. How to file for 2012 taxes Depreciation Lease payments Registration Garage rent Licenses Repairs Gas Oil Tires Insurance Parking fees Tolls   If you use your vehicle for both business and personal purposes, you must divide your expenses between business and personal use. How to file for 2012 taxes You can divide your expenses based on the miles driven for each purpose. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes You are the sole proprietor of a flower shop. How to file for 2012 taxes You drove your van 20,000 miles during the year. How to file for 2012 taxes 16,000 miles were for delivering flowers to customers and 4,000 miles were for personal use (including commuting miles). How to file for 2012 taxes You can claim only 80% (16,000 ÷ 20,000) of the cost of operating your van as a business expense. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about the rules for claiming car and truck expenses, see Publication 463. How to file for 2012 taxes Reimbursing Your Employees for Expenses You generally can deduct the amount you reimburse your employees for car and truck expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes The reimbursement you deduct and the manner in which you deduct it depend in part on whether you reimburse the expenses under an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan. How to file for 2012 taxes For details, see chapter 11 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes That chapter explains accountable and nonaccountable plans and tells you whether to report the reimbursement on your employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. How to file for 2012 taxes Depreciation If property you acquire to use in your business is expected to last more than 1 year, you generally cannot deduct the entire cost as a business expense in the year you acquire it. How to file for 2012 taxes You must spread the cost over more than 1 tax year and deduct part of it each year on Schedule C. How to file for 2012 taxes This method of deducting the cost of business property is called depreciation. How to file for 2012 taxes The discussion here is brief. How to file for 2012 taxes You will find more information about depreciation in Publication 946. How to file for 2012 taxes What property can be depreciated?   You can depreciate property if it meets all the following requirements. How to file for 2012 taxes It must be property you own. How to file for 2012 taxes It must be used in business or held to produce income. How to file for 2012 taxes You never can depreciate inventory (explained in chapter 2) because it is not held for use in your business. How to file for 2012 taxes It must have a useful life that extends substantially beyond the year it is placed in service. How to file for 2012 taxes It must have a determinable useful life, which means that it must be something that wears out, decays, gets used up, becomes obsolete, or loses its value from natural causes. How to file for 2012 taxes You never can depreciate the cost of land because land does not wear out, become obsolete, or get used up. How to file for 2012 taxes It must not be excepted property. How to file for 2012 taxes This includes property placed in service and disposed of in the same year. How to file for 2012 taxes Repairs. How to file for 2012 taxes    You cannot depreciate repairs and replacements that do not increase the value of your property, make it more useful, or lengthen its useful life. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct these amounts on line 21 of Schedule C or line 2 of Schedule C-EZ. How to file for 2012 taxes Depreciation method. How to file for 2012 taxes   The method for depreciating most business and investment property placed in service after 1986 is called the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). How to file for 2012 taxes MACRS is discussed in detail in Publication 946. How to file for 2012 taxes Section 179 deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can elect to deduct a limited amount of the cost of certain depreciable property in the year you place the property in service. How to file for 2012 taxes This deduction is known as the “section 179 deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes ” The maximum amount you can elect to deduct during 2013 is generally $500,000 (higher limits apply to certain property). How to file for 2012 taxes See IRC 179(e). How to file for 2012 taxes   This limit is generally reduced by the amount by which the cost of the property placed in service during the tax year exceeds $2 million. How to file for 2012 taxes The total amount of depreciation (including the section 179 deduction) you can take for a passenger automobile you use in your business and first place in service in 2013 is $3,160 ($11,160 if you take the special depreciation allowance for qualified passenger automobiles placed in service in 2013). How to file for 2012 taxes Special rules apply to trucks and vans. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Publication 946. How to file for 2012 taxes It explains what property qualifies for the deduction, what limits apply to the deduction, and when and how to recapture the deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes    Your section 179 election for the cost of any sport utility vehicle (SUV) and certain other vehicles is limited to $25,000. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see the Instructions for Form 4562 or Publication 946. How to file for 2012 taxes Listed property. How to file for 2012 taxes   You must follow special rules and recordkeeping requirements when depreciating listed property. How to file for 2012 taxes Listed property is any of the following. How to file for 2012 taxes Most passenger automobiles. How to file for 2012 taxes Most other property used for transportation. How to file for 2012 taxes Any property of a type generally used for entertainment, recreation, or amusement. How to file for 2012 taxes Certain computers and related peripheral equipment. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about listed property, see Publication 946. How to file for 2012 taxes Form 4562. How to file for 2012 taxes   Use Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization, if you are claiming any of the following. How to file for 2012 taxes Depreciation on property placed in service during the current tax year. How to file for 2012 taxes A section 179 deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes Depreciation on any listed property (regardless of when it was placed in service). How to file for 2012 taxes    If you have to use Form 4562, you must file Schedule C. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot use Schedule C-EZ. How to file for 2012 taxes   Employees' Pay You can generally deduct on Schedule C the pay you give your employees for the services they perform for your business. How to file for 2012 taxes The pay may be in cash, property, or services. How to file for 2012 taxes To be deductible, your employees' pay must be an ordinary and necessary expense and you must pay or incur it in the tax year. How to file for 2012 taxes In addition, the pay must meet both the following tests. How to file for 2012 taxes The pay must be reasonable. How to file for 2012 taxes The pay must be for services performed. How to file for 2012 taxes Chapter 2 in Publication 535 explains and defines these requirements. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot deduct your own salary or any personal withdrawals you make from your business. How to file for 2012 taxes As a sole proprietor, you are not an employee of the business. How to file for 2012 taxes If you had employees during the year, you must use Schedule C. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot use Schedule C-EZ. How to file for 2012 taxes Kinds of pay. How to file for 2012 taxes   Some of the ways you may provide pay to your employees are listed below. How to file for 2012 taxes For an explanation of each of these items, see chapter 2 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes Awards. How to file for 2012 taxes Bonuses. How to file for 2012 taxes Education expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Fringe benefits (discussed later). How to file for 2012 taxes Loans or advances you do not expect the employee to repay if they are for personal services actually performed. How to file for 2012 taxes Property you transfer to an employee as payment for services. How to file for 2012 taxes Reimbursements for employee business expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Sick pay. How to file for 2012 taxes Vacation pay. How to file for 2012 taxes Fringe benefits. How to file for 2012 taxes   A fringe benefit is a form of pay for the performance of services. How to file for 2012 taxes The following are examples of fringe benefits. How to file for 2012 taxes Benefits under qualified employee benefit programs. How to file for 2012 taxes Meals and lodging. How to file for 2012 taxes The use of a car. How to file for 2012 taxes Flights on airplanes. How to file for 2012 taxes Discounts on property or services. How to file for 2012 taxes Memberships in country clubs or other social clubs. How to file for 2012 taxes Tickets to entertainment or sporting events. How to file for 2012 taxes   Employee benefit programs include the following. How to file for 2012 taxes Accident and health plans. How to file for 2012 taxes Adoption assistance. How to file for 2012 taxes Cafeteria plans. How to file for 2012 taxes Dependent care assistance. How to file for 2012 taxes Educational assistance. How to file for 2012 taxes Group-term life insurance coverage. How to file for 2012 taxes Welfare benefit funds. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can generally deduct the cost of fringe benefits you provide on your Schedule C in whatever category the cost falls. How to file for 2012 taxes For example, if you allow an employee to use a car or other property you lease, deduct the cost of the lease as a rent or lease expense. How to file for 2012 taxes If you own the property, include your deduction for its cost or other basis as a section 179 deduction or a depreciation deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes    You may be able to exclude all or part of the fringe benefits you provide from your employees' wages. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information about fringe benefits and the exclusion of benefits, see Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. How to file for 2012 taxes Insurance You can generally deduct premiums you pay for the following kinds of insurance related to your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Fire, theft, flood, or similar insurance. How to file for 2012 taxes Credit insurance that covers losses from business bad debts. How to file for 2012 taxes Group hospitalization and medical insurance for employees, including long-term care insurance. How to file for 2012 taxes Liability insurance. How to file for 2012 taxes Malpractice insurance that covers your personal liability for professional negligence resulting in injury or damage to patients or clients. How to file for 2012 taxes Workers' compensation insurance set by state law that covers any claims for bodily injuries or job-related diseases suffered by employees in your business, regardless of fault. How to file for 2012 taxes Contributions to a state unemployment insurance fund are deductible as taxes if they are considered taxes under state law. How to file for 2012 taxes Overhead insurance that pays for business overhead expenses you have during long periods of disability caused by your injury or sickness. How to file for 2012 taxes Car and other vehicle insurance that covers vehicles used in your business for liability, damages, and other losses. How to file for 2012 taxes If you operate a vehicle partly for personal use, deduct only the part of the insurance premium that applies to the business use of the vehicle. How to file for 2012 taxes If you use the standard mileage rate to figure your car expenses, you cannot deduct any car insurance premiums. How to file for 2012 taxes Life insurance covering your employees if you are not directly or indirectly the beneficiary under the contract. How to file for 2012 taxes Business interruption insurance that pays for lost profits if your business is shut down due to a fire or other cause. How to file for 2012 taxes Nondeductible premiums. How to file for 2012 taxes   You cannot deduct premiums on the following kinds of insurance. How to file for 2012 taxes Self-insurance reserve funds. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot deduct amounts credited to a reserve set up for self-insurance. How to file for 2012 taxes This applies even if you cannot get business insurance coverage for certain business risks. How to file for 2012 taxes However, your actual losses may be deductible. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts. How to file for 2012 taxes Loss of earnings. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot deduct premiums for a policy that pays for your lost earnings due to sickness or disability. How to file for 2012 taxes However, see item (8) in the previous list. How to file for 2012 taxes Certain life insurance and annuities. How to file for 2012 taxes For contracts issued before June 9, 1997, you cannot deduct the premiums on a life insurance policy covering you, an employee, or any person with a financial interest in your business if you are directly or indirectly a beneficiary of the policy. How to file for 2012 taxes You are included among possible beneficiaries of the policy if the policy owner is obligated to repay a loan from you using the proceeds of the policy. How to file for 2012 taxes A person has a financial interest in your business if the person is an owner or part owner of the business or has lent money to the business. How to file for 2012 taxes For contracts issued after June 8, 1997, you generally cannot deduct the premiums on any life insurance policy, endowment contract, or annuity contract if you are directly or indirectly a beneficiary. How to file for 2012 taxes The disallowance applies without regard to whom the policy covers. How to file for 2012 taxes Insurance to secure a loan. How to file for 2012 taxes If you take out a policy on your life or on the life of another person with a financial interest in your business to get or protect a business loan, you cannot deduct the premiums as a business expense. How to file for 2012 taxes Nor can you deduct the premiums as interest on business loans or as an expense of financing loans. How to file for 2012 taxes In the event of death, the proceeds of the policy are not taxed as income even if they are used to liquidate the debt. How to file for 2012 taxes Self-employed health insurance deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes   You may be able to deduct the amount you paid for medical and dental insurance and qualified long-term care insurance for you and your family. How to file for 2012 taxes How to figure the deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes   Generally, you can use the worksheet in the Form 1040 instructions to figure your deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes However, if any of the following apply, you must use the worksheet in chapter 6 of Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes You have more than one source of income subject to self-employment tax. How to file for 2012 taxes You file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income). How to file for 2012 taxes You are using amounts paid for qualified long-term care insurance to figure the deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes Prepayment. How to file for 2012 taxes   You cannot deduct expenses in advance, even if you pay them in advance. How to file for 2012 taxes This rule applies to any expense paid far enough in advance to, in effect, create an asset with a useful life extending substantially beyond the end of the current tax year. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes In 2013, you signed a 3-year insurance contract. How to file for 2012 taxes Even though you paid the premiums for 2013, 2014, and 2015 when you signed the contract, you can only deduct the premium for 2013 on your 2013 tax return. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct in 2014 and 2015 the premium allocable to those years. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about deducting insurance, see chapter 6 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes Interest You can generally deduct as a business expense all interest you pay or accrue during the tax year on debts related to your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Interest relates to your business if you use the proceeds of the loan for a business expense. How to file for 2012 taxes It does not matter what type of property secures the loan. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct interest on a debt only if you meet all of the following requirements. How to file for 2012 taxes You are legally liable for that debt. How to file for 2012 taxes Both you and the lender intend that the debt be repaid. How to file for 2012 taxes You and the lender have a true debtor-creditor relationship. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the interest you paid on personal loans. How to file for 2012 taxes If a loan is part business and part personal, you must divide the interest between the personal part and the business part. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes In 2013, you paid $600 interest on a car loan. How to file for 2012 taxes During 2013, you used the car 60% for business and 40% for personal purposes. How to file for 2012 taxes You are claiming actual expenses on the car. How to file for 2012 taxes You can only deduct $360 (60% × $600) for 2013 on Schedule C or C-EZ. How to file for 2012 taxes The remaining interest of $240 is a nondeductible personal expense. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about deducting interest, see chapter 4 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes That chapter explains the following items. How to file for 2012 taxes Interest you can deduct. How to file for 2012 taxes Interest you cannot deduct. How to file for 2012 taxes How to allocate interest between personal and business use. How to file for 2012 taxes When to deduct interest. How to file for 2012 taxes The rules for a below-market interest rate loan. How to file for 2012 taxes (This is generally a loan on which no interest is charged or on which interest is charged at a rate below the applicable federal rate. How to file for 2012 taxes ) Legal and Professional Fees Legal and professional fees, such as fees charged by accountants, that are ordinary and necessary expenses directly related to operating your business are deductible on Schedule C or C-EZ. How to file for 2012 taxes However, you usually cannot deduct legal fees you pay to acquire business assets. How to file for 2012 taxes Add them to the basis of the property. How to file for 2012 taxes If the fees include payments for work of a personal nature (such as making a will), you can take a business deduction only for the part of the fee related to your business. How to file for 2012 taxes The personal part of legal fees for producing or collecting taxable income, doing or keeping your job, or for tax advice may be deductible on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize deductions. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. How to file for 2012 taxes Tax preparation fees. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the cost of preparing that part of your tax return relating to your business as a sole proprietor or statutory employee. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct the remaining cost on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize your deductions. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can also deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the amount you pay or incur in resolving asserted tax deficiencies for your business as a sole proprietor or statutory employee. How to file for 2012 taxes Pension Plans You can set up and maintain the following small business retirement plans for yourself and your employees. How to file for 2012 taxes SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) plans. How to file for 2012 taxes SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plans. How to file for 2012 taxes Qualified plans (including Keogh or H. How to file for 2012 taxes R. How to file for 2012 taxes 10 plans). How to file for 2012 taxes SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans offer you and your employees a tax favored way to save for retirement. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct contributions you make to the plan for your employees on line 19 of Schedule C. How to file for 2012 taxes If you are a sole proprietor, you can deduct contributions you make to the plan for yourself on line 28 of Form 1040. How to file for 2012 taxes You can also deduct trustees' fees if contributions to the plan do not cover them. How to file for 2012 taxes Earnings on the contributions are generally tax free until you or your employees receive distributions from the plan. How to file for 2012 taxes You may also be able to claim a tax credit of 50% of the first $1,000 of qualified startup costs if you begin a new qualified defined benefit or defined contribution plan (including a 401(k) plan), SIMPLE plan, or simplified employee pension. How to file for 2012 taxes Under certain plans, employees can have you contribute limited amounts of their before-tax pay to a plan. How to file for 2012 taxes These amounts (and earnings on them) are generally tax free until your employees receive distributions from the plan. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information on retirement plans for small business, see Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans). How to file for 2012 taxes Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), discusses other tax favored ways to save for retirement. How to file for 2012 taxes Rent Expense Rent is any amount you pay for the use of property you do not own. How to file for 2012 taxes In general, you can deduct rent as a business expense only if the rent is for property you use in your business. How to file for 2012 taxes If you have or will receive equity in or title to the property, you cannot deduct the rent. How to file for 2012 taxes Unreasonable rent. How to file for 2012 taxes   You cannot take a rental deduction for unreasonable rents. How to file for 2012 taxes Ordinarily, the issue of reasonableness arises only if you and the lessor are related. How to file for 2012 taxes Rent paid to a related person is reasonable if it is the same amount you would pay to a stranger for use of the same property. How to file for 2012 taxes Rent is not unreasonable just because it is figured as a percentage of gross receipts. How to file for 2012 taxes   Related persons include members of your immediate family, including only brothers and sisters (either whole or half), your spouse, ancestors, and lineal descendants. How to file for 2012 taxes For a list of the other related persons, see section 267 of the Internal Revenue Code. How to file for 2012 taxes Rent on your home. How to file for 2012 taxes   If you rent your home and use part of it as your place of business, you may be able to deduct the rent you pay for that part. How to file for 2012 taxes You must meet the requirements for business use of your home. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Business Use of Your Home , later. How to file for 2012 taxes Rent paid in advance. How to file for 2012 taxes   Generally, rent paid in your business is deductible in the year paid or accrued. How to file for 2012 taxes If you pay rent in advance, you can deduct only the amount that applies to your use of the rented property during the tax year. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct the rest of your payment only over the period to which it applies. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about rent, see chapter 3 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes Taxes You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ various federal, state, local, and foreign taxes directly attributable to your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Income taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ a state tax on gross income (as distinguished from net income) directly attributable to your business. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct other state and local income taxes on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize your deductions. How to file for 2012 taxes Do not deduct federal income tax. How to file for 2012 taxes Employment taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the social security, Medicare, and federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes you paid out of your own funds as an employer. How to file for 2012 taxes Employment taxes are discussed briefly in chapter 1. How to file for 2012 taxes You can also deduct payments you made as an employer to a state unemployment compensation fund or to a state disability benefit fund. How to file for 2012 taxes Deduct these payments as taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes Self-employment tax. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct one-half of your self-employment tax on line 27 of Form 1040. How to file for 2012 taxes Self-employment tax is discussed in chapters 1 and 10. How to file for 2012 taxes Personal property tax. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ any tax imposed by a state or local government on personal property used in your business. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can also deduct registration fees for the right to use property within a state or local area. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes May and Julius Winter drove their car 7,000 business miles out of a total of 10,000 miles. How to file for 2012 taxes They had to pay $25 for their annual state license tags and $20 for their city registration sticker. How to file for 2012 taxes They also paid $235 in city personal property tax on the car, for a total of $280. How to file for 2012 taxes They are claiming their actual car expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Because they used the car 70% for business, they can deduct 70% of the $280, or $196, as a business expense. How to file for 2012 taxes Real estate taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ the real estate taxes you pay on your business property. How to file for 2012 taxes Deductible real estate taxes are any state, local, or foreign taxes on real estate levied for the general public welfare. How to file for 2012 taxes The taxing authority must base the taxes on the assessed value of the real estate and charge them uniformly against all property under its jurisdiction. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about real estate taxes, see chapter 5 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes That chapter explains special rules for deducting the following items. How to file for 2012 taxes Taxes for local benefits, such as those for sidewalks, streets, water mains, and sewer lines. How to file for 2012 taxes Real estate taxes when you buy or sell property during the year. How to file for 2012 taxes Real estate taxes if you use an accrual method of accounting and choose to accrue real estate tax related to a definite period ratably over that period. How to file for 2012 taxes Sales tax. How to file for 2012 taxes   Treat any sales tax you pay on a service or on the purchase or use of property as part of the cost of the service or property. How to file for 2012 taxes If the service or the cost or use of the property is a deductible business expense, you can deduct the tax as part of that service or cost. How to file for 2012 taxes If the property is merchandise bought for resale, the sales tax is part of the cost of the merchandise. How to file for 2012 taxes If the property is depreciable, add the sales tax to the basis for depreciation. How to file for 2012 taxes For information on the basis of property, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets. How to file for 2012 taxes    Do not deduct state and local sales taxes imposed on the buyer that you must collect and pay over to the state or local government. How to file for 2012 taxes Do not include these taxes in gross receipts or sales. How to file for 2012 taxes Excise taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ all excise taxes that are ordinary and necessary expenses of carrying on your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Excise taxes are discussed briefly in chapter 1. How to file for 2012 taxes Fuel taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes   Taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, and other motor fuels you use in your business are usually included as part of the cost of the fuel. How to file for 2012 taxes Do not deduct these taxes as a separate item. How to file for 2012 taxes   You may be entitled to a credit or refund for federal excise tax you paid on fuels used for certain purposes. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Publication 510, Excise Taxes. How to file for 2012 taxes Travel, Meals, and Entertainment This section briefly explains the kinds of travel and entertainment expenses you can deduct on Schedule C or C-EZ. How to file for 2012 taxes Table 8-1. How to file for 2012 taxes When Are Entertainment Expenses Deductible? (Note. How to file for 2012 taxes The following is a summary of the rules for deducting entertainment expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes For more details about these rules, see Publication 463. How to file for 2012 taxes ) General rule You can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses to entertain a client, customer, or employee if the expenses meet the directly-related test or the associated test. How to file for 2012 taxes Definitions Entertainment includes any activity generally considered to provide entertainment, amusement, or recreation, and includes meals provided to a customer or client. How to file for 2012 taxes An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business, trade, or profession. How to file for 2012 taxes A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate, although not necessarily required, for your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Tests to be met Directly-related test Entertainment took place in a clear business setting, or Main purpose of entertainment was the active conduct of business, and You did engage in business with the person during the entertainment period, and You had more than a general expectation of getting income or some other specific business benefit. How to file for 2012 taxes   Associated test Entertainment is associated with your trade or business, and Entertainment directly precedes or follows a substantial business discussion. How to file for 2012 taxes Other rules You cannot deduct the cost of your meal as an entertainment expense if you are claiming the meal as a travel expense. How to file for 2012 taxes You cannot deduct expenses that are lavish or extravagant under the circumstances. How to file for 2012 taxes You generally can deduct only 50% of your unreimbursed entertainment expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Travel expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   These are the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business. How to file for 2012 taxes You are traveling away from home if both the following conditions are met. How to file for 2012 taxes Your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home (defined later) substantially longer than an ordinary day's work. How to file for 2012 taxes You need to get sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home. How to file for 2012 taxes Generally, your tax home is your regular place of business, regardless of where you maintain your family home. How to file for 2012 taxes It includes the entire city or general area in which your business is located. How to file for 2012 taxes See Publication 463 for more information. How to file for 2012 taxes   The following is a brief discussion of the expenses you can deduct. How to file for 2012 taxes Transportation. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the cost of travel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. How to file for 2012 taxes Taxi, commuter bus, and limousine. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct fares for these and other types of transportation between the airport or station and your hotel, or between the hotel and your work location away from home. How to file for 2012 taxes Baggage and shipping. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the cost of sending baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations. How to file for 2012 taxes Car or truck. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the costs of operating and maintaining your vehicle when traveling away from home on business. How to file for 2012 taxes You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate (discussed earlier under Car and Truck Expenses), as well as business-related tolls and parking. How to file for 2012 taxes If you rent a car while away from home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Meals and lodging. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the cost of meals and lodging if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. How to file for 2012 taxes In most cases, you can deduct only 50% of your meal expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Cleaning. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the costs of dry cleaning and laundry while on your business trip. How to file for 2012 taxes Telephone. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the cost of business calls while on your business trip, including business communication by fax machine or other communication devices. How to file for 2012 taxes Tips. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can deduct the tips you pay for any expense in this list. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information about travel expenses, see Publication 463. How to file for 2012 taxes Entertainment expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   You may be able to deduct business-related entertainment expenses for entertaining a client, customer, or employee. How to file for 2012 taxes In most cases, you can deduct only 50% of these expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   The following are examples of entertainment expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Entertaining guests at nightclubs, athletic clubs, theaters, or sporting events. How to file for 2012 taxes Providing meals, a hotel suite, or a car to business customers or their families. How to file for 2012 taxes To be deductible, the expenses must meet the rules listed in Table 8-1. How to file for 2012 taxes For details about these rules, see Publication 463. How to file for 2012 taxes Reimbursing your employees for expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes   You generally can deduct the amount you reimburse your employees for travel and entertainment expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes The reimbursement you deduct and the manner in which you deduct it depend in part on whether you reimburse the expenses under an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan. How to file for 2012 taxes For details, see chapter 11 in Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes That chapter explains accountable and nonaccountable plans and tells you whether to report the reimbursement on your employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. How to file for 2012 taxes Business Use of Your Home To deduct expenses related to the part of your home used for business, you must meet specific requirements. How to file for 2012 taxes Even then, your deduction may be limited. How to file for 2012 taxes To qualify to claim expenses for business use of your home, you must meet the following tests. How to file for 2012 taxes Your use of the business part of your home must be: Exclusive (however, see Exceptions to exclusive use , later), Regular, For your business, and The business part of your home must be one of the following: Your principal place of business (defined later), A place where you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your business, or A separate structure (not attached to your home) you use in connection with your business. How to file for 2012 taxes Exclusive use. How to file for 2012 taxes   To qualify under the exclusive use test, you must use a specific area of your home only for your trade or business. How to file for 2012 taxes The area used for business can be a room or other separately identifiable space. How to file for 2012 taxes The space does not need to be marked off by a permanent partition. How to file for 2012 taxes   You do not meet the requirements of the exclusive use test if you use the area in question both for business and for personal purposes. How to file for 2012 taxes Example. How to file for 2012 taxes You are an attorney and use a den in your home to write legal briefs and prepare clients' tax returns. How to file for 2012 taxes Your family also uses the den for recreation. How to file for 2012 taxes The den is not used exclusively in your profession, so you cannot claim a business deduction for its use. How to file for 2012 taxes Exceptions to exclusive use. How to file for 2012 taxes   You do not have to meet the exclusive use test if you use part of your home in either of the following ways. How to file for 2012 taxes For the storage of inventory or product samples. How to file for 2012 taxes As a daycare facility. How to file for 2012 taxes For an explanation of these exceptions, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers). How to file for 2012 taxes Regular use. How to file for 2012 taxes   To qualify under the regular use test, you must use a specific area of your home for business on a continuing basis. How to file for 2012 taxes You do not meet the test if your business use of the area is only occasional or incidental, even if you do not use that area for any other purpose. How to file for 2012 taxes Principal place of business. How to file for 2012 taxes   You can have more than one business location, including your home, for a single trade or business. How to file for 2012 taxes To qualify to deduct the expenses for the business use of your home under the principal place of business test, your home must be your principal place of business for that business. How to file for 2012 taxes To determine your principal place of business, you must consider all the facts and circumstances. How to file for 2012 taxes   Your home office will qualify as your principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use if you meet the following requirements. How to file for 2012 taxes You use it exclusively and regularly for administrative or management activities of your business. How to file for 2012 taxes You have no other fixed location where you conduct substantial administrative or management activities of your business. How to file for 2012 taxes   Alternatively, if you use your home exclusively and regularly for your business, but your home office does not qualify as your principal place of business based on the previous rules, you determine your principal place of business based on the following factors. How to file for 2012 taxes The relative importance of the activities performed at each location. How to file for 2012 taxes If the relative importance factor does not determine your principal place of business, you can also consider the time spent at each location. How to file for 2012 taxes   If, after considering your business locations, your home cannot be identified as your principal place of business, you cannot deduct home office expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes However, for other ways to qualify to deduct home office expenses, see Publication 587. How to file for 2012 taxes Deduction limit. How to file for 2012 taxes   If your gross income from the business use of your home equals or exceeds your total business expenses (including depreciation), you can deduct all your business expenses related to the use of your home. How to file for 2012 taxes If your gross income from the business use is less than your total business expenses, your deduction for certain expenses for the business use of your home is limited. How to file for 2012 taxes   Your deduction of otherwise nondeductible expenses, such as insurance, utilities, and depreciation (with depreciation taken last), allocable to the business is limited to the gross income from the business use of your home minus the sum of the following. How to file for 2012 taxes The business part of expenses you could deduct even if you did not use your home for business (such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and casualty and theft losses that are allowable as itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040)). How to file for 2012 taxes The business expenses that relate to the business activity in the home (for example, business phone, supplies, and depreciation on equipment), but not to the use of the home itself. How to file for 2012 taxes Do not include in (2) above your deduction for one-half of your self-employment tax. How to file for 2012 taxes   Use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure your deduction. How to file for 2012 taxes New simplified method. How to file for 2012 taxes    The IRS now provides a simplified method to determine your expenses for business use of your home. How to file for 2012 taxes The simplified method is an alternative to calculating and substantiating actual expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes In most cases, you will figure your deduction by multiplying $5 by the area of your home used for a qualified business use. How to file for 2012 taxes The area you use to figure your deduction is limited to 300 square feet. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see the Instructions for Schedule C. How to file for 2012 taxes More information. How to file for 2012 taxes   For more information on deducting expenses for the business use of your home, see Publication 587. How to file for 2012 taxes Other Expenses You Can Deduct You may also be able to deduct the following expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes See Publication 535 to find out whether you can deduct them. How to file for 2012 taxes Advertising. How to file for 2012 taxes Bank fees. How to file for 2012 taxes Donations to business organizations. How to file for 2012 taxes Education expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Energy efficient commercial buildings deduction expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Impairment-related expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Interview expense allowances. How to file for 2012 taxes Licenses and regulatory fees. How to file for 2012 taxes Moving machinery. How to file for 2012 taxes Outplacement services. How to file for 2012 taxes Penalties and fines you pay for late performance or nonperformance of a contract. How to file for 2012 taxes Repairs that keep your property in a normal efficient operating condition. How to file for 2012 taxes Repayments of income. How to file for 2012 taxes Subscriptions to trade or professional publications. How to file for 2012 taxes Supplies and materials. How to file for 2012 taxes Utilities. How to file for 2012 taxes Expenses You Cannot Deduct You usually cannot deduct the following as business expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes For more information, see Publication 535. How to file for 2012 taxes Bribes and kickbacks. How to file for 2012 taxes Charitable contributions. How to file for 2012 taxes Demolition expenses or losses. How to file for 2012 taxes Dues to business, social, athletic, luncheon, sporting, airline, and hotel clubs. How to file for 2012 taxes Lobbying expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Penalties and fines you pay to a governmental agency or instrumentality because you broke the law. How to file for 2012 taxes Personal, living, and family expenses. How to file for 2012 taxes Political contributions. How to file for 2012 taxes Repairs that add to the value of your property or significantly increase its life. 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