Entrepreneurial

5 small business tax writeoffs for 2010

By Guest Contributor
March 4, 2011

Jason Beahm is a contributor to FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared on FindLaw’s Free Enterprise blog. –

Small businesses can always use a few good tax writeoffs. So we recently came up with 5 tax writeoffs for 2010. Let’s jump right in:

Create jobs, get a deduction

If you hired new workers between Feb. 3, and Dec. 31, 2010, that didn’t merely replace people who left and who had been unemployed for more than 60 days, you can save 6.2 percent of your payroll tax. You can also get another $1,000 business tax credit in 2011 if you keep the new employees for 52 weeks or longer.

Use a cellphone, get a deduction

Cell phones were considered “listed property,” which is an item purchased for work or provided by an employer but that can be used for personal use, but only if you properly tracked them. As long as you kept track of their relative use, you could deduct the expense proportionally. But now if you provide your employees with cell phones or if you use one for business, you can now write it off directly.

Buy new equipment, get a deduction

The IRS is offering “bonus depreciation,” which temporarily allows small business tax deductions for equipment and a little something extra. If you bought new equipment, such as computers, office furniture and manufacturing equipment between Sept. 8, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011, you might be able to write off 100 percent of the cost.

Buy health-insurance, get a deduction

If you are a small business and buy health insurance for your employees, you may be able to write off 35 percent of the premiums. You must have less than 25 full-time workers and the average annual salary across your employees cannot exceed $50,000. There are other requirements as well, so not everyone will qualify. It’s a great deal if you do though.

Keep good records, get more deductions

There are a lot of deductions that people miss out on because they don’t keep proper records. Here are some deductions that people miss out on because of poor record keeping:

  • Dining expenses
  • Business gifts
  • Vehicle and mileage costs
  • Charitable donations
  • Travel

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