Notary Bulletin 3 Tax Mistakes Notaries Should Avoid By David Thun on March 26, 2014 in Notary News Updated 1-26-16 for 2015 tax year. April 18 is just a short time 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. 1. 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. 2. 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. Whether Notaries record mileage information in their journals, tax preparation software, or other record-keeping tools such as Notary Gadget, the NNA recommends that your record clearly identifies work-related Notary travel mileage versus non-business travel mileage. 3. 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. Related Articles 5 Tax Tips For Notaries Additional Resources: Internal Revenue Service Website Notary Gadget Email Share 3 Comments Add your commentStanley Walker22 Jul 2015When I filed my 2014 tax return I checked the box about notary income and did not pay self employment taxes for 2014. My first year as a notary. If I file an amended return for 2014 and uncheck the notary income box will I pay the self employment tax? Over all for 2014 my notary business operated as a loss.Barbara Citty26 Feb 2016Notary fees are reported under other income on the first page of your tax return. They are not subject to self-employment tax. This information is clearly stated on the Self-Employment information page from the IRS. All other business income and expenses are reported on Schedule C.Roger Rill29 Feb 2016It's important to be aware that just because you CAN take the SE tax exemption, does not necessarily mean you SHOULD take it. Doing so can affect your future Social Security earnings for retirement or disability. NSAs should consult with their CPA or EA to determine which is best for their situation.Leave a Comment Required * Name * Email *(for verfication purposes only) Comment * Enter the text shown in this image *(text is case sensitive)All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.