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Taxes & write offs

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by FTGUprprtyMaint, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    This is me second winter plowing and this spring will be my 3 year doing lawns & landscaping. I was hoping someone on here can help me with taxes and write offs to show me what i entitled to.
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    I would suggest checking with a CPA or otherwise qualified tax adviser. While you might get some good and valid suggestions, based on some of the info dispensed here, I would be scared to death to take it.
  3. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint Member
    Messages: 67

    alright. thanks for the help
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Anybody, and I mean anybody running any type of small business needs to have a good small business accountant. One who is versed in the issues that small business faces and how best to deal with the taxing issues (pun intended) involved.

    Good accountants are cheap at twice the price. And, you want to talk to them BEFORE the end of the tax year when you can still do something about it.
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Wait, you guys pay taxes in the US. We're on the honour system here in Canada, you just give what you can afford.;)
  6. Keith_480231

    Keith_480231 Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    Come on I thought Canada was a high rate country... but then I got a good tax guy and realized that Michigan is even higher. Thats why it is imperative that you have a good accountant!
  7. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    The good news is that the tax forms will be much simpler next year. Only two lines on the form:

    1) How much did you make?

    2) Send it in.

    Simple, eh?
  8. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    next year?
    I've been getting that one for the past 5 years.
  9. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    :eek: Pretty close to the truth in NJ
  10. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Disclaimer: Check with an accountant

    One of the best things about being in business for your self is writting off just about everything you spend money on. See Disclaimer, but I have deducted the cost of a golf club membership as advertising because I talk shop with the other members and get potential jobs.

    Dinner with friends, wife, etc. can be claimed. All your computer stuff, paper, ink, etc. I sponsor my kids T-ball team. My business name is on the back of all of their jerseys. Of course, gas, insurance, auto repairs, etc can be claimed. Cell phone, home phone, office space, etc.

    You might want to get a tax program this year and run the numbers in it. I would also say see disclaimer at top.

    My advice is keep ALL your reciepts. Enter them in an accounting software like Quick Books. Give each item a Schedule C listing and after a couple of years of doing that it will be easy and all you have to do is enter the numbers.
  11. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

  12. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    Hire a cpa. your customers hire a professional and you should do the same. You will be amazed at the things you can write off.Things you wouldn't think of. Plus if you do them wrong they will penalize you up the a$$. Money well spent trust me getting certified letters from the irs is no fun. If you decide to go in alone be careful of "advice" from member here. Make sure you verify accuracy most of them are not tax professionals
  13. KINNCO

    KINNCO Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I'm with ya brother!:drinkup: My wife and I have been working on my stuff on and off for 4 weeks trying to get it ready for Saturday:cry:

    If you don't have write offs the government will get all your profits without you showing your business expenditures.

    duct tape, shop light bulbs, stone, Internet service (weather), ink cartridges, trip to the car wash the list never ends;) I even write my family vacations off threw a seminar or business trip of some sort. (trying to make my way to margarita-ville:drinkup:)
  14. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I forgot about the camping trip write off. I have a stack of Snow mag, Lawn & Landscape, Construction Equipment, etc to read. It is the only time I get to just sit and read. When I'm done reading it, I toss it in the fire. I write off the reservation fee.

    During dinner out with friends say, "Anyone looking to have their driveway plowed next winter?" Business Dinner = write off.
  15. VBigFord20

    VBigFord20 Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    There is a finite line in what you can write of. Sure you might be able to sneak a camping trip on there, but if you get audited you better have a damn good reason why your deer hunting trip is a business expense.

    I am conservative with what I write off. My parents have 3 company's that are separate but owned by one parent company. A few times over the years the IRS has audited them, I guess that comes with owning a business. One time they found a few things on there that threw up some red flags, so you just got to be careful.

    Most important, KEEP EVERYTHING. My company is still very small but I am a organizational freak. You can cross my quickbooks with whats actually in my file cabinet at 3am on a Tuesday and not fine a receipt out of place. I make it nice and easy on my accountant to figure out what goes where. Hell, he can do my taxes in 2 hours because when I get there everything is good to go.

    Just keep up with the books and you will be fine.
  16. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I hear what you are saying. But I don't sneak in anything. Any accountant will tell you that if you go on a trip and do a job interview or attend a seminar related to your business, the cost to make that trip is deductable. If I talk with the maintenance guy at Cedar Point about how he cuts his grass or trims his trees, I could probably deduct some of that expense. He would be considered an expert in his field.

    You have to keep everything. Label everything. Be able to find everything. That is so important.
  17. Ultra

    Ultra Member
    Messages: 45

    Tax deductions

    Does anyone have a list of tax deductions that they use each year? You know a starting point so you can go down the list and write down your deductions for the year?
  18. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    no, I just keep records and receipts then I give them to my CPA.

    Having a business and doing your taxes your self will lead to trouble

  19. Ultra

    Ultra Member
    Messages: 45

    tax deductions

    I still have a cpa but I like to organize all the recpts and I like to get a deduction list sometimes its better to seek different sources to make sure you have covered all the bases. Does anyone have a generic list of deductions???
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    Just make sure if you're going to walk on thin ice to make sure the water isn't too deep.