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Did you know that Wag! caregivers are actually small business owners? That’s right, if you earn income through Wag, it’s earned as a 1099 contractor. This means you’re entitled to many different tax deductions that come with being a small business owner.

When it comes to tax deductions available to Wag! Caregivers, here are 6 of the best:

1. Mileage deductions

Did you know you can write-off miles you drive related to your work? You can take mileage deductions from things like: 

  • driving to and from dog walking clients
  • driving between clients when you're doing multiple walks
  • picking up a dog and bringing them to a park

However, when you're deducting work mileage on your self-employed taxes, it’s crucial to keep careful and detailed records of both on- and off-trip mileage. There are a number of ways to track your mileage, from a classic pen and paper log to using an app. An automatic mileage tracking app like Everlance can make this process a lot easier and make sure you're not missing out on mileage deductions! 

There are two ways to calculate your mileage deduction:

  • Actual Expense Method: calculate and deduct the actual expenses of operating your car. These expenses include gas, oil, insurance, registration, repairs, lease payments, or maintenance. For more information on the Actual Expense Method, visit the IRS’s guide.
  • Standard IRS Mileage Deduction: This is the easiest method and can result in a higher deduction. To use this method, multiply your total business miles by the IRS Standard Mileage Rate for business. In 2022, this would look like: 10,000 work miles x $0.585 mileage rate = $5,850 deduction.

Remember, you can deduct your mileage from your taxes even if you're planning on taking the standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions! Mileage is deducted from your gross income, so it lowers the amount of your income you have to pay taxes on before you decide whether to itemize or take the standard deduction.

2. Pet supplies deductions

Being a Wag! caregiver can also mean having a lot of supplies on hands to delight pets. Pet supplies that are tax-deductible for pet caregivers include: 

  • Balls and Toys
  • Treats
  • Food
  • Poop Bags
  • Leashes

Just make sure to keep careful records of what you're spending on business expenses throughout the year, including receipts! You won't be asked to provide receipts directly when you file your taxes, but if the IRS audits you, you will be required to provide detailed records.

3. Phone and phone bill deductions

If you use your phone for work, you can deduct the cost of your phone and your phone bill from your taxes! Using your phone for work can include things like: 

  • coordinating and calling clients
  • doing business-related marketing on your phone
  • using the Wag! app or other gig work apps to get jobs

When expenses are split between business and personal use, like your phone, make sure to only write off the portion of your time that’s dedicated to work.

4. Parking and tolls deductions

You already know you can deduct your business-related mileage from your taxes, but did you know you can deduct other vehicle-related expenses as well? If you incur parking fees while you're out walking a dog, a toll on the way to a client, or other fees and tolls while you're traveling for work, you can deduct these expenses as business expenses on your taxes.

In order to deduct these expenses, you'll need to track them carefully. Have a lot of business expenses to track? An expense tracking app like Everlance makes keeping IRS-compliant expense records easy. Everlance can even help you automatically find business-related expenses to make sure you're saving the most on your taxes!

5. Business expenses deductions

Of course, there's a number of miscellaneous expenses that come with keeping a business running in tip-top shape. These expenses can be deducted from your taxable income at the end of the year, too! Not sure what counts as a business expense? Some examples of things you can deduct include: 

  • marketing expenses to promote your business
  • business supplies
  • business cards
  • continuing education (related to your work)
  • walking shoes or other supplies needed for your work
  • even your Everlance subscription!

6. Health insurance deductions

If you're self-employed and purchase your own health insurance, you can deduct the amount you pay each month for your health insurance premiums from your taxes each year.

In addition, if you have significant healthcare bills or expenses, you may be eligible to deduct these from your taxes as well. If you think you may be eligible for additional deductions, consult a tax specialist before filing your taxes! 

Wag! Caregivers get 3 months of Everlance Premium for free. Claim your discount on our partner page here: Everlance for Wag! Caregivers

Have more questions? Check out our tax and mileage resources for self-employed workers: 

Gig Economy Tax Center
Self-Employed Mileage Guide