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    Work related expense help

    Thanks to all for the help in advance.
    Here is my question: I just accepted my first job where I will be working as a MIS/IT support specialist. The job requires me to travel 75% of the time and I have to sign up for a personal American Express card which I will bill work related expenses and be reimbursed after filing a report. I am very good with credit cards so I want to take advantage of this to the fullest extent besides reward points.
    Are there any good reads on this subject?
    What kind of tax benefits could I have, would starting an LLC help?
    What do I need to keep track off that I might not expect?
    What should I expect the company to pay for such as items for my normal life, cell phone, internet example?
    I think you can see where I am going with this.

    Any help is greatly appreciated please respond or better yet email me

    #2
    Are you employed as a full-time employee on salary? Or are you paid hourly as a consultant? Generally, you can write off things that are required for work, but not reimbursed by your employer.

    Work-related mileage if you keep track of it is a write off at a flat rate per mile (48.5 cents a mile). Your commute to/from the office is not eligible. If you work from home sometimes and have a dedicated (must be used as an office only) home office, you can write off portions of your rent and utilities. If work requires you to use your personal cell phone for business, you can write off a portion of that on your taxes as well. Anything you buy to furnish/maintain a required dedicated home office is eligible, too.

    Keep in mind on a personal card, you're still liable for the credit card bill if you don't get reimbursed in time. And with an Amex you'll have to pay in full each month so there's not much flexibility.

    If you travel via plane a lot, I'd suggest getting the Amex Platinum as soon as you can. It offers a lot more travel rewards like domestic companion tickets and airport lounge access. That is, if you can afford the annual fee of $450. However, if you can manage to use a couple companion tickets that will cover the cost. Weigh the pros and cons on their web site.

    I worked for years as a self-employed consultant and wrote everything possible off on my taxes. I paid less than I pay now, including the additional ~15% self employed tax.

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      #3
      Thanks for your reply. I actually just got the job offer an have not started. I am not self employed(Been down that road) I will be a salary employee this is my first full time job. Once I learn some more information could I contact you for future questions?

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        #4
        Sure, just post here and I'll see it.

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          #5
          The mileage rate starting in July went up to $.585. If you paint your office, it's deductible. If you do any repairs or maintenance to your house, it's reduced by the percentage of square feet of your office space. In otherwords, if you have a 2500 sq foot home and your office space is a 10 x 10 (100), you can deduct 7% of the utilities, maintenance etc.

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            #6
            Phone bill expenses work the same way... The percentage of minutes you spend on business calls versus personal calls can be expensed off the total bill. Or if you get a data plan for business use, you can expense all of that.

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