The Pros and Cons of a Remote Office

Remote work is a trend that has grown as more employees of all generations change the way they work. But working remotely at least part of the time works better in some industries than others: An information system manager is more likely to be able to work at home than is a retail store sales associate.  

It takes a little planning and the right tools to build a successful remote office. It’s clear that not every employee is overjoyed to work from home, so flexibility may be the best policy. Some workers miss in-person conversations, lunches, happy hours and the structure of office life. More than a few people get stressed when their kids can interrupt them at work, and others even miss the reading they got done while commuting. And not all home setups are suitable for remote work.

Deducting Business Expenses: Separating Fact From Myth

When you’re filing your tax returns, what expenses can you deduct from business income? It’s a complex question. To start with, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary to be deductible, according to the IRS. An ordinary expense is one that’s common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that’s helpful and appropriate for your trade or business; it doesn’t always mean an indispensable cost. Since only business expenses are deductible, they must be separated from other types of expenses: those that are included in the cost of goods sold, capital expenses and personal expenses.

The cost of goods sold is figured by valuing inventory at the beginning and end of each tax year. The total value is deducted from your gross receipts to figure your gross profit for the year. If you include an expense in the cost of goods sold, you cannot deduct it again as a business expense.