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J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment: Taxes, Tips, and Money-Saving Strategies for Schedule C Filers by Barbara Weltman

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CHAPTER 7

Claiming Deductions A to Z

Almost all of your outlays for business are going to be deductible. However, there may be limitations on how much you can deduct, there may be timing issues on when you can take the deduction, and in some cases, the expenses result in a tax credit rather than a deduction (see Chapter 9). And in all cases you need to have proof of the expense by keeping good records.

Within this chapter are a range of the most common types of business deductions, which are the ones you're most likely to experience. However, they are not necessarily the only deductions you can take. There is a general rule in tax law that you can deduct expenses for your business that are ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.

Also, some business expenses may be unique to certain types of businesses other than self-employed service providers. For ...

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