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Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)--Make Money While You Shop

Nov 23, 2011

This is a bit off topic from the exciting taxes we usually deal with around here, but it is pertinent: Black Friday. We want to remind all our clients that shopping on "Black Friday" could be a good business move and could help save on your taxes when you file next year.

It is a good business move because it will save you money. Prices on thousands of items are drastically reduced by retailers hoping to attract customers into their stores. Whether you have a service business, a retail business, own rental property, etc, the chances are that you could benefit from doing a little shopping on Black Friday. Look around your office or building. What do you see that you could be buying in the next 4-6 months? Computer monitors for your employees? New appliances for that rental property? Promotional gifts for clients? A service truck for your business? New tires?

Perhaps you are not a "hard core" shopper who is reading this while sitting in a folding chair at the Best Buy parking lot. That is fine. You just have to do a little planning. Places like Best Buy, Target, and Wal Mart will be jam-packed on Black Friday. But those are not the only places where these sales are going on.

I remember a few years ago, we went out to Office Depot and got some monitors at unbelievable savings. We ended up getting 4 monitors for the whole office for the price we would have paid for 2!! That was smart shopping. Office Depot was not crowded and we were out of there in no time. The same will be true for many of the smaller stores (Home Depot vs Ace hardware, Sears vs A-1 appliance, Toys R Us vs the Learning Box, Walmart or Target vs anybody).

"I want to stay home," you say. That's fine, too. Go online and type Black Friday 2011 and you can catch many of the same deals online. The first 4-7 results should yield you some good sites that are nothing but Black Friday savings. You can be a hard core shopper in your pajamas in your bed!! Major retailers offer free shipping to your home or business or free shipping to their local store. Check it out. You can actually go online now because many places are offering their Black Friday prices right now.

Of course, the tax savings comes in the form of write offs. All business-related expenses are deductible by your business and those larger, capital purchases may be depreciated at accelerated rates. For 2011, the section 179 limit is $500,000. If you get some energy saving property, you could be eligible to claim an energy tax credit. For more details on what qualifies, look up form 5695 and read the instructions. Here's a link to the form in the IRS web site:

As you can see, you can save money and taxes. If you look through the Thanksgiving paper for 20-30 minutes, or spend 30-45 minutes online, you'll be "making money" while shopping!!

Category: Bookkeeping