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What You Need to Know About Tax Receipts as a Business Owner

As a business owner, keeping accurate records of your expenses is crucial to ensure you pay the right amount of taxes and maximize your deductions. 

One important aspect of record-keeping is tax receipts. Tax receipts serve as proof of payment for business expenses that may be deductible on your tax return. 

Understanding what tax receipts are, why they are important, and how to properly manage them can help you avoid potential tax issues and ensure that you are taking full advantage of all available deductions. 

In this blog, we'll cover what you need to know about tax receipts as a business owner.

What Can You Deduct as a Business Owner?

As a business owner, you may be able to deduct certain expenses related to your business. We covered all kinds of deductions in a blog last month, but in case you missed it, we’ll put the list here.

    • Startup Costs
    • Fees, Licenses and Dues
    • Office Expenses
    • Travel
    • Business Meals
    • Equipment and Supplies
    • Administration Fees
    • Education
    • Phone and Internet
    • Advertising and Marketing
    • Motor Vehicle Expenses
    • Insurance

Note: It's important to note that the specific rules for deducting expenses can vary depending on your business structure, industry, and other factors. You should consult with a tax professional to determine which deductions are available to you and how to properly claim them on your tax return.

What is a Business Tax Receipt?

A Business Tax Receipt, also known as a Business License or Occupational License, is a document that allows a business to operate legally in a certain jurisdiction. This license is issued by the local government or county and must be obtained before a business can legally operate. 

The Business Tax Receipt is typically renewable annually and requires payment of a fee. The fee amount is based on the type of business, the number of employees, and the location of the business.

In addition to allowing a business to operate legally, a Business Tax Receipt may also be required to obtain other licenses and permits, such as a sales tax permit or health department permit.

It's important to note that the requirements for obtaining a Business Tax Receipt can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of business. 

It's recommended that business owners check with their local government to determine what specific requirements must be met in order to obtain a Business Tax Receipt for their business.

What Receipts Should I Keep?

As a small business owner, you should keep receipts for all expenses that you incur in the course of running your business. Here are some specific types of receipts that you should consider keeping:

    • Expenses related to your business, such as rent, utilities, office supplies, equipment, and travel expenses.
    • Expenses that your employees incur on behalf of your business, such as travel expenses, training and education expenses, and business-related meals.
    • Any inventory that you purchase for your business, as well as receipts for the cost of goods sold.
    • Any large purchases that you make for your business, such as equipment, vehicles, or real estate. These expenses may be eligible for depreciation or other tax benefits.
    • Any contract labor that you hire, such as freelancers or consultants.
    • Any insurance premiums that you pay for your business.
    • Any purchases that you make with a business credit card.


How Should I Manage and Organize My Receipts?

Managing and organizing your receipts is an important part of running a successful business.

Keep all receipts related to your business expenses, even if they seem insignificant. You never know when you might need them for tax purposes or to document a transaction.

Keep your personal and business receipts separate. This will make it easier to track your business expenses and ensure that you are only deducting expenses that are related to your business.

Consider using a digital or paper-based system to track and organize your receipts. This could include scanning receipts and storing them electronically or keeping physical copies in a designated folder.

Categorize your expenses by type, such as rent, utilities, supplies, or travel. This will make it easier to track your expenses and ensure that you are deducting them properly.

Consider using accounting software to help manage and organize your receipts. Many accounting software programs allow you to scan and upload receipts, categorize expenses, and generate reports for tax purposes.

Make sure to back up your receipts in case of loss or damage. This could include storing physical copies in a fireproof safe or backing up electronic copies to a cloud-based storage service.

It's important to develop a system that works for you and your business. By keeping accurate records and organizing your receipts, you can help to minimize your tax liability and ensure that your business runs smoothly.

How Long Should I Keep My Receipts?

As a general rule, you should keep your business receipts for at least three years from the date of the tax return on which they were claimed. This is the statute of limitations period during which the IRS can audit your tax returns and ask for documentation to support your claimed deductions.

However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. If you file a fraudulent tax return or fail to file a tax return, there is no statute of limitations period, and you may be required to produce receipts and other documentation from any year.

Additionally, there may be specific record-keeping requirements for certain types of expenses or industries. 

For example, businesses that deal with hazardous waste may be required to keep records for up to five years, and businesses that receive federal grants or contracts may be subject to more stringent record-keeping requirements.

It's a good idea to consult with a tax professional or accountant to determine the specific record-keeping requirements for your business and the types of receipts you should keep. 

Keeping accurate and organized records can help you to minimize your tax liability and avoid any potential legal or financial issues down the line.


BELAY’s Accounting Services can take all of the stress away of recording your receipts and preparing for tax season.

Get started today. You’ll wonder why you waited so long.