Running a business as an independent agent is a great experience for the freedom it allows, but at this time of year it can be daunting. If you’re trying to figure out what deductions you can claim for tax season, you know what we’re talking about. The IRS has resources to help you
understand what types of deductions you are eligible for, so check out what they have to say to get started. Now if you get overwhelmed by this list, that’s ok! (That’s why an accountant is a good idea!) We aren’t licensed CPA’s and this isn’t a substitute for working with one, but here’s our RBI shortlist of 5 easy tax season deductions to think about as a small business owner in senior sales. Let’s get to it!
Number 1: Mileage
Make sure you are tracking your mileage for Medicare appointments.
As a Medicare independent agent, you should be tracking the miles you drive to and from appointments. You’ll want to be able to provide your accountant with this information at the end of the year. Getting this deduction is simply a matter of noting the distance to and from appointments. Don’t make this complicated: write down the mileage, take a photo of your odometer, or if you don’t want to do the old fashioned notebook-and-pencil way of tracking miles, you can always download the Mile IQ app on your smartphone. Download the app for free and get started! Read more about how this works.
Number 2: Marketing Expenses
A lot of people don’t track their expenses for marketing, and this counts as a business expense! Did you order flyers for a community event this year? Maybe you got a refresh on business cards? What about mailers? Save your receipts for marketing efforts and make sure you provide your accountant with those records as well.
Number 3: Meeting Room Rental
If you held any community marketing during AEP or throughout the year, you know that meeting rooms can cost money. This is also a tax deductible expense! If you had any giveaways or prizes at these meetings, you might be able to write them off as well. (Make sure you are following the CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines for any giveaways or prizes at your events.) Keep your receipts – your accountant will need them!
Number 4: License Fees
Here are 5 easy tax season deductions for Medicare insurance agents!
Insurance agents in the senior insurance market know – keeping up to date on your license, E&O insurance, CE credits and more can add up! This is also a business expense, so make sure you keep track of all your receipts for CE credits, AHIP, and other appointment fees.
Number 5: Business Travel:
If you went to any conferences, like the AHIP conference last year, or other business travels, those receipts need to be saved. Airline costs, hotel, rental car and fuel, parking expenses at the airport – all of these expenses are a business expense. You should also be tracking your daily meals or per diem. If using the per diem method, don’t forget that your first and last days of travel are calculated at a reduced rate! You can also download this app that will help to track per diem rates.
Bonus round: If you have a home office that is designated as purely for business purposes, you might be able to write off such costs are your cell phone, internet, office supplies, or postage.
Did you see some types of business expenses on our list that you didn’t think about last year? If you didn’t keep track of these 5 items in 2016, now is the time to get started for next year. Above all, don’t wait to get organized! What you do now will have a big impact on your filing in 2018 for the fiscal year 2017. And remember, we aren’t experts — these are only 5 easy tax season deductions that we track every year. Your accountant or CPA will be able to point to other expenses you should track that might be a great way to save money.
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