Independent Contractor Travel expenses

Examine your expenses carefully to determine which can be qualified write-offs at tax time..Examine your expenses carefully to determine which can be qualified write-offs at tax time..

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As an independent contractor, you can deduct business expenses to help reduce your total tax bill. During the course of the year, you will need to maintain detailed records of your business-related expenses to make it easier to complete your tax return. Some deductions may have limits, based on whether your gross business income is greater or less than your total expenses. It is a good idea to check the latest IRS publications or consult with a tax professional to ensure your anticipated write-offs are legitimate and acceptable.

Ordinary and Necessary Expenses

The Internal Revenue Service defines legitimate expenses as those that are ordinary and necessary for your business. An ordinary expense is one that is line with the nature of your business. Basically, most expenses that you incur in the normal course of doing business can be listed as business deductions. For example, you can deduct the costs of advertising, including web hosting fees for an Internet site, as well as educational fees and the costs of subscriptions to newspapers or magazines if they relate directly to your business activities.


Normal supplies necessary for conducting business are eligible to be deducted as business expenses. As an independent contractor, you will need business cards and possibly letterhead, invoice paper, envelopes, and postage. You may print promotional materials or contracts for doing business with clients. If you sell a product, that product is not considered a regular office supply deduction. You will need to calculate the cost of goods sold in order to write off the expenses of your inventory.

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