Running a small business can be very lucrative, but business owners also face significant tax burdens. Owners of small businesses may be subject to the self-employment tax on much of their earnings and face additional state and local taxes as well. Taking advantage of available tax deductions and write-offs is one way small business owners can reduce their tax burden and keep more of the money they earn. You do not need an expensive accounting program to keep track of those deductions; use Microsoft Excel to build a customized list of business deductions.
Log on to your computer and open Microsoft Excel. Click the "Office" button in the top left corner. Choose "New" and then "Blank Workbook."
Type a descriptive name for your spreadsheet, such as "Business Deductions." Type a date if you wish.
Create your columns across the top of the Excel spreadsheet. Use descriptive column names like "Type of Deduction," "Date" and "Amount."
Enter the information you have so far, based on the actions you have taken to reduce your taxes. For instance, if you have already made the annual contribution to your health savings account, you would enter it into the spreadsheet.
Update the spreadsheet as you make other contributions or take other actions that can lower your business taxes. For instance, when you make your annual retirement plan contribution, you can enter it on to the spreadsheet.
Create your totals, leaving enough space for you to enter all the data you will need for the year. For instance, if the amounts of each deduction are listed in column C and the last used cell is C5, it is a good idea to come down at least to row 30 or 35 to enter your formula. When you do enter the formula, place the cursor in an empty cell and type "=SUM(C2:C35)" assuming that your first entry is on row 2 and your last entry will be on row 35.
Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.