It’s tax day again and as many of you know, completing and filing a small business tax return for your food truck business is different than completing and filing your personal tax return.
The primary difference is the number of forms that must be completed and the difference of your business’ write offs and deductions.
While business tax returns are not overly complicated, ensure that you use the proper form and research any questions you have. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website is relatively easy to navigate and provides answers to most questions. If you don’t feel comfortable filing your business taxes yourself, reach out to your accountant for help.
Here are three tips to filing your food truck tax return:
Keep Your Recipes
Hopefully, you’ve collected all of the receipts related to your businesses expenses. Any expense for which you can provide a receipt if requested you can comfortably deduct, but if you lack a receipt, think twice about whether the deduction is worthwhile.
Small costs unsupported by a receipt can turn into a huge headache if the IRS decides to audit you and your return. Take a walk around your office to identify possible deductions. Miles driven on personal vehicles when doing business related driving, the mileage your drive your truck throughout the year, computer equipment and other expenses are deductible.
Don’t Forget Your Start-up Costs
The IRS allows all new businesses to deduct up to $5,000 in start-up costs. These costs can include attorney or accountant fees, training materials, employee training and other business expenses. Any personal training or education you completed for business purposes is also deductible (think culinary school).
Complete All the Forms
Unlike a personal tax return, a food truck tax return consists of several different forms. One form lists profit and losses, while another calculates the self-employment taxes. Determine which forms you must complete through the IRS website. Completing each one and submitting them together makes it less likely that you’ll be audited.
While you may have already (let’s hope you did) submitted your food truck tax return for 2015, do you have any additional tax tips for prospective food truck owners? We’d love to hear your thoughts.