How to Make Money (Legitimately) from Home

Money Girl discusses why you should create multiple sources of income, the best ways and places to get started, and important tax considerations - plus tools and tips to make sure you manage home business income the right way.

Laura Adams, MBA
7-minute read
Episode #382

Tip #5: Take Advantage of Business Tax Deductions

While having to pay more tax is a bummer, the good news for entrepreneurs is that there are some nice tax benefits when you make money from home.

For instance, you may qualify for the home office tax deduction, if you have a dedicated workspace for your business where you live. You can deduct a portion of expenses that you’d have to pay anyway, such as rent, property taxes, and utilities, when you have a qualified home office.

So no matter if you use a spare bedroom to do graphic design or a portion or your garage to build furniture for a legitimate business, the deductions can really add up. To learn more, see IRS Publication 587: Business Use of Your Home.

Additionally, expenses for running your business are deductible, such as office supplies, computer software, liability insurance, entertaining, or travel. Claiming deductions reduces the amount of tax you owe. See IRS Publication 535: Business Expenses to learn more.

Online Tools to Manage Home-Based Business Income

Here are some of my favorite tools for managing income from small businesses:

  • QuickBooks is the gold standard bookkeeping software for use on your desktop or in the cloud.  It’s easy to understand (even if you’re not an accountant) and is loaded with functions. 
  • FreshBooks is a cloud-based application for tracking invoices, expenses, and time spent working, and integrates with online bank accounts. 
  • Wave is a cloud-based application for tracking invoices, expenses, and payroll for a small business—plus, it also offers other tools and features for your personal finances.

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Work From Home and Money From Laptop images courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlersbook is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.