As the end of the year grows near, it’s time for process servers to start thinking about taxes. Taxes often elicit a big groan, especially for small business owners and those operating as independent contractors who can end up owing money at the end of the year. The good news is that putting a tax strategy in place can help ease the tax burden and better prepare process servers for the future. Furthermore, to make the process go more smoothly in the coming years, process servers should do their best to incorporate the following tips and heed the advice of their accountant. Having everything organized, prepared, and ready to go according to a plan will make tax time a little less painful. Keep reading to learn what you can do before the year’s end and how to prepare for next year.

Hire an Accountant for Your Process Server Taxes

While you might be an expert process server, taxes may not be something you’re particularly good at or interested in. The best option to ensure you’re following all the rules and taking advantage of all applicable deductions is to hire a professional. While we hope to give you some tips in this article, keep in mind that we are not tax professionals and this does not constitute accounting or legal advice.

Keep Your Receipts!

No one thinks a tax audit will happen to them… until it happens to them. Keep copies of receipts for all expenses and charitable donations. Keeping a digital copy is always helpful to ensure that you have a legible copy of the receipt and it makes it easy to keep receipts in chronological order (which will help your accountant later). If things are purchased in person, you can often create a digital copy by scanning it on your printer or even by using an app on your phone.

Maximize Deductions

There are a number of business expenses that can count as a deduction. Is your business new? Consider including your start-up costs as deductions. Your accountant can help guide you with what you need. If you’re considering starting a new business in the upcoming year, talk to your accountant ahead of time so that you are keeping track of everything you will need come tax time next year. Do you need new business equipment? Take advantage of year-end holiday sales and get a tax write-off. Did you travel? Did you make any corporate gifts? Those could also be deductions. Finally, don’t forget about your standard business expenses, which could include things like paper, postage, and other business overhead. Always confirm what you can and cannot deduct with a licensed CPA to make the best choices.

Marketing, Sales, and Professional Association Fees

Other areas in which you can write off expenses on your taxes include marketing expenses, sales expenses, and professional association fees. Did you have a sales meeting and sign a contract with a client over dinner? That receipt is likely tax-deductible. Did you spend money on advertisements or promotional items for your clients and prospective clients? Save those receipts because those too could potentially be a deduction. Association fees are another professional cost associated with your business, which could be tax-deductible. Did you attend any conferences or seminars? Engage in professional development? Subscribe to industry periodicals? These may be eligible deductions. Remember, always consult a licensed accountant to ensure you’re making appropriate, and most importantly legal, deductions when filing your taxes.

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