taxes and mileage

Hi all. I am trying to figure things out. For tax purposes- I basically take my pay/fee + reimbursed money then subtract my expenses (Like if I had to purchase a meal or pizza for the required shop?) Can I also include paper and ink for my printer since I only use the paper and ink to print shop related things? and if my grand total after everything is said and done, is under $400.00 then I do not have to deal with taxes? I am just starting to get serious doing shops so I know I will not get to the $400.00 mark for this year.

How does mileage work? Should I be keeping track of my mileage? I am unaware what to do with that. Thanks for your help!

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Betsmarie, have you read the Sticky thread on taxes in this section of the forum? If you haven't read the Stickies up at the top of this page it would be a good use of your time.

Quick answer: You add your fees and reimbursed expenses together for total income (the total mount the MSCs paid you). You subtract what you spent on the reimbursed items as an expense. Your mileage is also an expense at a set figure per mile (haven't checked the number for 2014 yet but it's in the ballpark of 56 cents a mile). You have to have a written accounting of the mileage, the miles you drove, the dates you drove, and where you went and what you did. You can also subtract a certain amount for a home office if you have a dedicated area and meet all requirements. You can subtract any other reasonable expense that you incurred. Report your income on Schedule C regardless of whether your profits are $400.00. Your mystery shopping income, no matter how small, will be added to any other income you have (or if you are filing jointly will be added to the family income).

This is general information. I am not a tax preparer and I am not a tax expert. You should consult a CPA, an enrolled agent, or the website for detailed and accurate information.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Hi betsmarie9,

The advice above is great advice. I want to add that you are now running a small business. I use one of the tax preparation programs to do all my taxes. Using one gives me the information needed to prepare the taxes and helps with future planning as well. I know they run about $60-$70, but I find one well worth it. You might too.

Good luck!

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
Thanks for the help! I did read the sticky tab and I guess I was just trying to confirm my understandings of it.
Welcome Leopard69!

A "Sticky" is a thread locked to the top of the list of threads. In other words, it doesn't get bumped down the list when a new thread is created or an existing thread commented on. This is done when the thread is considered important enough to be permanently visible on the list of threads.

You can see there are 11 such threads in the list of the New Members Section of the forum.

Have a read and enjoy!

Happily shopping Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut
When you first come here, all the threads will say "new" next to the title. That means there are posts there that *you* haven't yet looked at. After *you* look at that thread, the next time you come to this section, the threads you have looked at will now say "sticky" next to them. If another post has been added to a "stickied" thread, it will again say "new" until you look at the new post, then it will again say "Sticky."

Time to build a bigger bridge.
for mileage--you neen an EXACT record...address to address, stop to stop...or if you are audited..the deduction will be rejected...been there/done that with an IRS audit...

you can always go back and re create a log....using google maps...just don't tell the would have to go through and map out all your stops..
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