As a self-employed referee, the ball's in your court when it comes to reducing the amount you owe in taxes. The IRS won't come to bat for you — you need to be diligent about tracking your own business expenses, so you can deduct them from your gross income and ultimately lower your tax bill.
If you're still learning the ropes of filing 1099 taxes, you might not be sure of what kinds of expenses you're allowed to deduct. That's why we've compiled this list of common write-offs for referees: to help you come out swinging when tax time approaches.
If you drive for work ...
Your work may frequently land you on the road, driving to a sports event or picking up office supplies.Luckily, a portion of the money you spend on your car, like on insurance or repairs, can be written off your taxes.
Parking for a meeting downtown, or any other work trip, is tax-deductible!
A toll while driving to or from a work destination is tax-deductible!
Car purchase & depreciation
If you buy a new car, you can write off part of the cost every year for five years.
Flashlights, tire iron, duct tape, and other tools you may need in your vehicle are deductible.
Car insurance & registration
Car insurance monthly fees, registration, even roadside assistance are partially deductible.
Oil changes, repairs, and regular checkups are all tax-deductible if you drive for work.
If you leave town for work ...
The business trip deduction can be a game-changer for self-employed referees!
If you travel out of town to attend a sporting event or industry conference, you can write off your travel expenses.
Planes, trains, and car rentals are all work-related travel costs that can be written off.
When you travel for work, lodging expenses such as hotel rooms or Airbnb are write offs.
When you're traveling for work, all meals are tax-deductible. Even takeout!
If you work from home ...
You might have gotten into refereeing because you love being on the court or field. But a lot goes into working as a freelance referee off the court, too!
Plenty refs work from home on things like industry research or managing client paperwork. In cases like these, a portion of home office expenses can be claimed on your taxes.
A desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.
You can write off up to $2,500 for individual repairs to your property.
Gotta keep the lights on in your home office! A portion of your electricity bill counts.
Whether it's rental or homeowners insurance, you can write off a portion through your home office deduction.
It'd be hard to work in an office without running water, huh? You water bill counts.
Your Comcast bill is a tax write-off. You need internet to do your job!