What is a Business?

Pressed for time? Click to listen. 

Many taxpayers assume they don’t own a business because they earn a small amount of money or didn’t bother to incorporate  this is not factually correct.

What is a small business? | www.deductingtherightway.com

What is taxable income?

From the IRS’ perspective, money isn’t free. So, you pay tax on the money you earn whether it’s from a passive or active activity.
  • Passive = stock ownership, interest income, rental real estate (with exceptions)
  • Active = wages, self-employment income (with exceptions)

What does self-employed mean?

You're probably wondering if you started a business without even realizing it. Self-employment income can take on many forms — renting a room for short stays, mowing lawns, babysitting, dog walking, driving people around town, and so much more.

What are self-employment tax deductions?

Depending on how you conduct your business, you can either deduct every eligible expense or limited expenses.

Here’s a general overview.

  1. When money appears in your bank account or in your pocket, ask yourself — Is the money from a paycheck (ACH deposit or check)? If it's not wages, move on to the next question.
  2. Did I earn the money as part of a charitable endeavor or for myself/my company? If it’s for yourself or your company, then you move on to the next question.
  3. Am I earning money as a hobby/side job or is it my primary source of income? For a hobby or side gig, follow the hobby-loss rules; for your primary gig, follow the for-profit business rules.
TIP: Each situation is different, so consult with an accountant about your facts and circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your accountant, attorney and financial advisor before implementing any information displayed on this website. DIY research does not replace the advice of a licensed professional who has thoroughly reviewed your file.