Here’s where that work credit card comes in. When you work for yourself, you’re responsible for buying all the things you need to do your job well. That could mean your computer, desk, filing cabinet, and even that box of paper clips. You can write them off as itemized deductions from your taxable income. Since I’m a writer and editor, I can write off my AP Stylebook subscription, lunches with interviewees, and trips I end up writing about.
All this being said, when it comes time to file your taxes in April, the standard tax deduction may be more than the sum total of these itemized deductions. For 2020, the standard deduction is $12,400 for single people or $24,800 for married people filing jointly. That means, if you’re filing your taxes as a single person and the sum of all your expenses for the year — office supplies, work meals, gas, etc. — is less than $12,400, you should take the standard deduction when preparing your taxes.