As in any business, you can claim education tax deductions for improving your business knowledge and skills. As you train yourself to improve and be an excellent mystery shopper, you will want to read books that will help to increase your abilities in the secret shopping industry.
Books are available that give you tips on what to observe, how to report your findings, and/or which companies will provide you with shopping assignments. This valuable information can give you an edge over others who may be looking for the same types of assignments as you are. And they can give you direction as you try to sort through the large number of companies that offer this kind of work.
If you are making money as a secret shopper, you will likely fill out a Schedule C when you file your income taxes. This form enables you to enter your earnings, minus your expenses. One business expense that you may have overlooked is expenses for educating yourself to become a better mystery shopper and to find more secret shopper jobs.
By keeping accurate records and receipts, you can claime the books and ebooks you purchase for self education in your business.. You must actually do secret shopping as a business, not just read about it, in order to claim the cost of the books as tax deductions. So start signing up for some mystery shopping jobs,and you can claim those books and supplies related to your business as an independent mystery shopper contractor.
If you are using the computer and the internet to study information on websites like this, you may also be able to claim part of the expense of your computer and internet service. The key is to be doing mystery shopping as a business, not as a hobby. Keeping accurate records of the amount of time you use your computer and internet for educating yourself to improve your business skills is required. Also count the time that you use your computer and internet for finding and signing up for shopper jobs and for filling out the required online evaluations once your shopping outing is complete. Use a log book to record the time you spend and then figure what percentage of your time on the internet and on your computer is devoted to your secret shopping business.
This is not professional tax advice. Always check with your tax preparer or accountant to be sure which expenses you may deduct. Also consult the book below to discover other tax deductions you can claim as you work at your business of being a mystery shopper.
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