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Notary Bulletin

Three Tax Mistakes Notaries Should Avoid

Tax MistakesApril 15 is just a few weeks away, and that means it’s time for Notaries to get their tax returns in to the IRS. But be careful not to make mistakes that can cost you a refund. Paul Dion, CPA and author of the book “The Ten Most Expensive Tax Mistakes that cost Real Estate Agents Thousands,” shared three tax errors Notaries should look out for when filing self-employment or small business taxes.

Mistake Number One: Not asking your tax adviser about possible small business tax deductions.

Dion says many of his clients assume that part of their business isn’t deductible, only to ask him later and find out they can claim it. Don’t be afraid to ask your tax adviser about possible Notary business deductions, he urged. “Be open with your tax adviser — ask lots of questions,” Dion said. For example, Dion said commission renewal fees, professional association membership dues and E&O policies can often be claimed as deductions.

Mistake Number Two: Not documenting your travel mileage.

If you are a Notary signing agent or offer other mobile Notary services, you can deduct your travel mileage for assignments — but only if you document it thoroughly, Dion said. “Keep good records, or the IRS will not allow you to use your mileage as a deduction,” he said.

Mistake Number Three: Not keeping track of gifts to clients.

Notaries who provide gift cards, stationery or other complimentary items to signers need to know that the IRS limits gifts to clients to a maximum value of $25 per person per year. Dion said Notaries who provide complimentary or promotional items to clients should consult with a tax professional to determine if they qualify as gifts or marketing expenses.

Remember that each Notary’s tax situation may be different. If you have questions about your specific tax situation, consult with a qualified tax preparer or adviser.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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