Top 6 Ways for Independent Agents to Save Money

Top 6 Ways for Independent Agents to Save Money, TAIA Blog

As an independent agent who builds your own business, you may drive a lot between clients, print your own business cards, or use marketing tools to advertise your business. We both know these things are not free. So, to help you keep your costs low, here are 6 business expenses you could be using as tax deductions – plus one bonus idea to grow your business!

1. Mileage (Standard Mileage)

If you use your car for your business, you can usually deduct taxes with standard mileage rates for the miles driven during business-related driving. The standard rate was 53.5% in 2017 and 54.5% in 2018. It covers as follows:

  • Mileage driven
  • Oil
  • Repairs
  • Parking fees
  • Tolls
  • Registration fees

2. Advertising

Are you printing your own business cards or flyers? Do you pay to use an SNS marketing campaign tool? Did you pay someone to build a website? Do you pay a yearly registration on that website? Since these are related to your business, IRS will likely allow you to take deductions for them. So, save those receipts and claim them!

3. Home Office

If you have an office which is exclusively used for your business, you may be able to deduct a portion of your home office expenses. There are two ways to you can claim office expenses on your next tax return. The first is to take $5 per square foot up to 300 feet, in which case the maximum deduction you can take is $1500. The other method would be to just itemize your home office expenses.

Here is more information on doing those calculations.

4. Business Meals

Generally, you can take a 50% deduction from your meal expense as long as this meal is related to your business. For example, did you invite an influential figure to lunch to get some advice on how to maximize your business profits? Save that receipt and you can likely deduct 50% of that meal.

More on tax-deductible meals here.

5. Business Travel

You may have to travel to meet your clients or attend a meeting. In addition to the meals consumed or mileage traveled, you can also deduct the expense for an accommodation, paid wi-fi in your accommodation, and other business-related expenses incurred during your business trip.

6.Training and Education

While you cannot deduct your initial licensing exam to become an agent, other learning materials are deductible business expenses if the education helps maintain or improve skills required for your job, or is required by law to maintain your license. You can deduct the following:

  • State licenses
  • Renewals
  • Courses
  • Certifications
  • Subscriptions to professional, technical, and trade journals to deal with your business field

Here is more from the IRS on that.

 

And, as promised, one bonus idea to grow your business.

In our experience, the three biggest obstacles to growing an agent’s business are unqualified leads, marketing, and client service.

We get it! All these things take time from you. Less time in the field is less time you’re making commissions. Trusted American Insurance Agency provides all of this for you and more without taking from your commission. Join our agency today.