Student loans

13 things a tax expert says you can do now to get a bigger refund next year

If you’re a freelancer or self-employed person and need to file a quarterly tax return, Jody says deducting your ordinary and necessary business expenses is a great way to lower your tax bill. So if you’re a writer, for example, these might include all the subscriptions you need for work, your internet service, and any new gear you’ve purchased, like a work-only laptop. Or let’s say you’re driving for a ride-sharing service. You could deduct things like gas for miles driven while on the job, amenities like bottled water, etc. Not sure what expenses matter?

Jody says, “If you go to the IRS websitethere are a ton of posts that tell you exactly what they are. You can actually go shoot the audit guides to see what is allowed and what is not in ordinary and necessary business expenses.

To make this process smoother when filing, she says, “The easiest way to do this is to open a bank account and only run business expenses through it, so that at the end of the year you don’t have to calculate what you have spent.”

Keeping separate accounts can also be very useful if you are audited (yikes!). Being able to easily clock in all your business transactions is so much less stressful than going through your personal accounts trying to figure out what you’ve been up to.