As an independent contractor mystery shopper, you can claim tax deductions for supplies and services that you use in your business. Keep receipts for pens, notebooks, ink cartridges, auto record log books, day planners, calendars, and anything else that is used for business. Also record how and when you used them.
You may want to set up a business bank account so that it will be easier to keep track of your business income and expenses. If you are charged bank fees or fees for your checks, these should be deductible also.
You will need to use your computer to log onto company websites to sign up for your mystery shopping job assignments. Also you’ll be using email and filling out online forms to report your findings as you do your mystery shopping. Consider what percentage of the time that you spend on your computer and on the internet that is related to your mystery shopping business. Keep records to substantiate this so that you can deduct a portion of the cost of your computer and a portion of your monthly internet service fees.
You may also need to use your phone or cell phone to call the businesses that you will be investigating. Some mystery shopping assignments include a report on how the business handled your call. Also you may need to call the companies that assign you to secret shopping jobs. In some instances you may be required to take a picture with your cell phone or use its voice recorder to record your interaction with a sales clerk. If you keep track of the amount of time you use your phones for business versus personal use, you may figure a percentage and claim that percentage of your monthly phone bills.
Think about what supplies and services you use in your business? Don’t miss tax deductions for supplies and services that you use.
You may need software for keeping track of your expenses and income. Also you may need tax software. If you are using these to keep track of your business income and to do your taxes, which include your business income and deductions, then the cost of such software is deductible.