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Common Tax Deductions No Longer Allowed

Tax season is a memory and we are moving quickly into summer.  This year we have a lot to talk about during the “off-season”.  Make sure you know some of the key changes to your taxes starting in 2018.  Many common deductions will not be allowed this year.

Moving expenses are no longer deductible for most taxpayers.  The only exception is if you are a member of the Armed Forces.

Employee business expenses are NOT deductible starting in 2018.  Employees will not be able to deduct mileage, home office, union dues and the deduction for business related meals and entertainment.  These expenses have been reported on Form 2106 and deducted as an Itemized deduction subject to 2% of your income.  Starting in 2018, these deductions are not allowed.  What can you do?  We recommend that you talk to your employer and ask them to reimburse you for your business expenses such as mileage and business meals and travel.  Employers should consider instituting employee reimbursement plans to benefit both the employer and employees.

Auto Expense is still deductible if you file a Schedule C or have a business.  The most common question I get from clients is how to deduct business auto expense.   Taxpayers can calculate the actual cost of operating the vehicle or use the standard mileage rate (54.5 cents per mile for 2018).  Either method you choose, you will have to track business and personal mileage.  Use an app such as MileIQ to track your mileage.  Install MileIQ on your phone and it will automatically track your trips.  You then designate which are personal and which are business.  MileIQ is now included with your Microsoft 365 Business subscription.  Once you use the standard mileage rate or the actual expense method for your vehicle, you must stick with that method for the time that you own the vehicle.

Entertainment expenses and club membership dues for business owners are nondeductible, regardless of whether they are directly related to or associated with the taxpayer’s business, unless one of the exceptions applies including; 1) social activities primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s employees or 2) goods and services that are treated as compensation for the employee.  This is going to be a difficult pill to swallow for most business owners.  Plan now to see if your expense is a disallowed entertainment expense or something else that qualifies as an exception.