For disabled people, things are just more expensive, no matter where you work. But when a disabled person is self-employed, without employee benefits and other advantages, things can get expensive very quickly. In the best of times, self-employed taxes can approach ½ of your earnings, after taxes are paid. In order to keep afloat, and make up for all of the extra expenses that you have to pay just because you are differently abled, you’ve got to be incredibly vigilant when it comes to recording and deducting expenses.
First, make sure to deduct all expenses related to supplies, classes, marketing, and other expenses directly related to the work that you do. Everything from printer toner to drawing pins is fair game in this field. However, you don’t want to simply guess. It’s important to have a clear record of what you purchases, how much it cost, and when the purchase was made. Paper receipts are still the best way to do this when the purchase was made at a retail store. Digital receipts serve the same purpose for digital purchases. You likely will not be audited, but disabled persons run a slightly higher audit risk because their expenses are different than those of most freelance workers. Protect yourself from this eventuality (however rare it may be) by having careful record of every expense you go on to deduct.
The next thing to consider is your travel requirements. Not every disabled freelancer works only from home. You’ve likely got to meet clients, work at different locations, and variously transport yourself from place to place in order to get your work done. This is hard for people without disability, but it can be especially challenging and time consuming for disabled people. That’s why you’ve got to start keeping meticulous records about how and when you travel.
Travel expenses are meant to represent not just the fuel costs you have to pay, but the wear and tear to your principal mode of conveyance. Also include any public transportation costs that you require. You may even be able to write off the purchase of or upgrade to a wheelchair or other disability transportation unit, as these expenses are absolutely necessary for you to complete your job as required. Talk to a tax professional if you have questions. Sometimes freelancers feel timid about making deductions, not wanting to risk getting audited. But you don’t want to miss out on tax savings by declaring too little. Maximize your deductions however you can, and get help if you need insight about just how to do it.
It’s hard to be a disabled worker in a non-disabled working world. When it comes to taxes, though, you can maximize your savings by deducting everything you are allowed, while keeping careful track of the expenses as they are made. It is recommended that you discuss the possibilities with a professional with knowledge and experience with disabled clients. You can likely deduct much more than you have in the past, and the assistance will help you develop new habits to make taxes a lot easier in the future.
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