Ask SmartMoney: You, Your New Business and Uncle Sam
Wall Street Journal Online (08/30/00) Vol. 6, No. 10 p.88; Marlin, Steven

When opening up a business out of the home, there are certain things you should think about. First, a trip to the local library, bookstore, or simply surfing the Internet can result in a wealth of information on the finer points of the kind of business you are starting. People you know already in the field are also a good resource. In addition, it may be a good idea and a worthwhile investment to consult an accountant on tax consequences. Some of the money you spend can be handled as start-up costs, while things purchased for normal everyday operations can be deducted the usual way, since they are considered operating expenses. A straight deduction against business income can be taken for things such as supplies. Most importantly, you should be sure you qualify for the write-off when dealing with a home office. If the home office is used regularly and exclusively for business, a portion of your utility expenses, rent, property taxes, insurance, and other home-related costs can be deducted.


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