If you own a business that you’re now running from home, there are definitely benefits to be had. Even if your business has taken a financial hit this year, by working closely with your accountant you may be able to take advantage of some of our pandemic financial tips for business owners.
Deducting home office space on tax returns
As a business owner, you can deduct a dedicated space (up to a certain square footage) as a home office on your tax return. You can also deduct home office related expenses like dedicated phone lines, wifi hookup, office furniture, computers (including webcams for Zoom meetings), and supplies.
Reducing travel expenses and time spent en route
How much is your time worth? Not having to drive to and from the office every day can save you hours every week–hours you can now designate to building your business. If your business is still running optimally, you’ll have extra time with your family!
Your employees will be invigorated without facing a long daily commute. Travel expenses will undoubtedly be greatly reduced since client meetings are now mostly virtual. If you usually travel around the country or world to do business, you’re saving the money you’d have potentially spent on: meals, airfare, baggage fees, rental cars, parking, subway tickets, hotel rooms, international cell phone roaming charges, tips for eligible services, and more.
Lowering your overhead costs
You may discover that your business doesn’t need a brick and mortar office space outside the home at all. The overhead of rent, utilities, and maintenance is a huge business expense. If you have a storefront, you may decide to move your business online and keep a smaller space for inventory storage.
Saving on expensive safety measures
You may have made the decision to move your company to virtual to keep your employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing business in-person right now means you would need to comply with state pandemic regulations. That may mean putting up plexiglass barriers, hiring cleaning crews, installing upgraded ventilation and filtration systems, and providing PPE for workers like masks, face shields, gloves, and regular COVID-19 testing.
Work shifts may have to be staggered and your employees may qualify for more overtime pay than usual if anyone gets sick and has to quarantine. The cost of opening may be more than it’s worth. Your accountant will be invaluable in determining whether you’re better off doing business in person or virtually.
Processing fewer cash transactions
If you do decide to open your business (even part time), it is helpful to have some cash on hand, but too many cash transactions make room for more bookkeeping errors. The push to digital currency automates your accounting and reduces opportunities for fraud and theft.
Halter CPA can help you get the most out of transitioning your business to a virtual workplace. We take a personal approach to your business and will help you determine your financial health going forward into the new year as we continue to face the consequences of COVID-19.