In today’s post, I’d like to share a list of some of the most common MLM Business expenses. All businesses, regardless of their industry, have business expenses.

The real beauty of our industry is the low start-up cost and the small monthly overhead. For most MLM Reps, their monthly overhead will be at most $100 to $200 per month, which includes their personal product order. When compared to a traditional business, this is a no-brainer!

Please keep in mind I am not a CPA or accountant. I am simply sharing what I know about small business taxes based upon my personal experience and via independent research. Think of this as a guide, not the law itself.

It’s your job to educate yourself on what you can and can’t legally deduct on your taxes. It would be in your best interest to consult with a licensed tax professional.

Common MLM Business Expenses

What you will see below are some of the most common MLM Business expenses. I have them sorted by category in alphabetical order.

Advertising

Here are some of the most common advertising expenses.

  • Newspaper ads
  • Magazine ads
  • Postcards
  • Printing flyers
  • Samples
  • PPC ads
  • Solo ads
  • Business cards
  • Buying shares in an advertising CO-OP
  • Drop cards

If you do the business the way most reps are taught, you won’t have ANY advertising expense!

Business Education

This won’t be a big expense for most MLM Reps but do keep track of your expenses with the following things.

  • Books
  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Paid business coaching

These educational resources must be relevant to your MLM Business. This category of expenses will be filed as a miscellaneous expense on your Schedule C, 1040 form.

Gifts

  • Subject to the $25 limit per person per year. That means if you give someone, such as a customer, a $100 gift, you can only deduct $25 of it.

Home Office

  • Electric bill
  • Home insurance
  • HOA fees
  • Water & sewage
  • Home repairs
  • Pest control

Keep in mind, these expenses will be prorated based upon the percentage business use of your home.

Interest

  • For a business loan
  • For business credit card

Make sure you don’t mix your business purchases and personal purchases on the same credit card or loan. Keep them separate.

Licenses & Fees

  • Lawyer fees
  • Tax software or accountant fees
  • Business license

Meals & Entertainment

  • Food for a business home party event
  • Take client, business partner, or prospect out for a meal.

Some meals and entertainment are subject to a 50% limit and others 100%. Educate yourself on which ones are eligible for what.

Office Supplies

  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Notepads
  • Ink cartridge for printer

Phone & Internet

  • Business phone (prorated)
  • Internet expense (prorated)

Postage

  • Stamps to mail postcards.
  • Postage to send samples.
  • Postage for thank you notes.
  • Postage to ship products to customers

Travel

You can deduct your travel expenses to meet with a client, attend an event, attend a business meeting, etc.

  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Airfare
  • Taxi or Uber
  • Shuttle Service

If the purpose of the travel is not 100% business related, you will have to pro-rate it.

Vehicle

  • Mileage
  • Repairs & Maintenance
  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Tolls
  • Interest paid on vehicle loan.

Keep your receipts and use a mileage log. At the end of the year, you can choose from a standard mileage deduction or actual expenses.

Do Your Homework

This list is probably a 90-95 percent solution for most network marketers. The real key to success with the common MLM business expenses is to educate yourself. Do your homework online first, and then sit down with a CPA or bookkeeper. Ask them your questions and have them help you get organized. It’s time and money well spent.

Set up a simple receipt and filing system that works for you. And remember that every receipt you lose or misplace is like throwing money away. Get good at saving your receipts. This will help lower your tax bill legally at the end of the year.

One More Thing

It is YOUR responsibility to be able to prove the IRS that your business is a business and not a hobby. What you see below comes directly from the IRS website.

In making the distinction between a hobby or business activity, take into account all facts and circumstances with respect to the activity. A hobby activity is an activity not done for profit. This includes activities done mainly for sport, recreation, or pleasure. No one factor alone is decisive. You must generally consider these factors in determining whether an activity is a business engaged in making a profit:

  • Whether you carry on the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain complete and accurate books and records.
  • Whether you have personal motives in carrying on the activity.
  • Whether the time and effort you put into the activity indicate you intend to make it profitable.
  • Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.
  • Whether your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase of your type of business).
  • Whether you or your advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business.
  • Whether you were successful in making a profit in similar activities in the past.
  • Whether the activity makes a profit in some years and how much profit it makes.
  • Whether you can expect to make a future profit from the appreciation of the assets used in the activity.
Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are the most common MLM Business Expenses that I know of. What did I forget? Leave a comment below to tell me what I should have added to this list but didn’t. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.

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