Event Planners, Don’t Throw Away Your Receipts!
When you decide to be event planner, you have to think about your business expenses.
One of the advantages of having your own business is that you can write off a lot of expenses against your income. But, if you’re like me then you hate keeping track of receipts and anything “accounting” related! But keeping all your receipts has definite tax advantages. If you don’t have a background in bookkeeping or finance, it’s a good idea to build a relationship with a good accountant.
If you haven’t started your event planning business yet, but you’re planning to and you’re taking courses or researching the business, start keeping your receipts because you may be able to use them later.
Some of the most valuable advice I got when I started my event planning business in 2004 was to hang on to every receipt possible because it could be used as a business expense. Even the ones you don’t think will count. Hold on to them! This allows you to save on the taxes you owe.
Possible business expenses for you as an event planner might be any of the following:
- Event planning courses or materials you purchase
- Subscriptions to event related magazines and newspapers
- Event, business and other reference book
- Cell phone and Internet bills
- Vehicle expenses, including mileage
- Part of your mortgage, if you have a home office
- A portion of your utilities like heating and electricity
- Office supplies, postage and courier bills
- Travel expenses
- Restaurant receipts
- Computer equipment and software
Of course you have to know which of these items are business expenses, but that’s why it’s important that you find an accountant who specializes in small business. When in doubt about whether or not something is a legitimate expense, hang on to the receipt and let your accountant determine if it can be used or not!
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P.S. One piece of advice my accountant gave me was to save 25% of all income earned and put it in a separate savings account. Then, use that (saved) money to pay taxes at the end of the year. It was one of the best pieces of advice I ever got when I was starting. **(the small print) Check with your accountant to see if this will work for you too.