Business start-up costs are the expenses you incur before you actually begin business operations. Your business start-up costs will depend on the type of business you are starting. They may include costs for advertising, travel, surveys, and training. These costs are generally capital expenses.
Note. Organizational costs usually only pertain to a corporation or partnership.
You can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of business start-up and $5,000 of organizational costs paid or incurred after October 22, 2004. The $5,000 deduction is reduced by the amount your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Any remaining costs must be amortized.
Starting a Business
For costs paid or incurred after September 8, 2008, you can deduct a limited amount of start-up and organizational costs. The costs that aren't deducted currently can be amortized ratably over a 180-month period. The amortization period starts with the month you begin operating your active trade or business. You aren't required to attach a statement to make this election. You can choose to forgo this election by affirmatively electing to capitalize your start-up costs on your income tax return filed by the due date (including extensions) for the tax year in which the active trade or business be-gins. Once made, the election to either amortize or capitalize start-up costs is irrevocable and applies to all start-up costs that are related to your trade or business. See Regulations sections 1.195-1, 1.248-1, and 1.709-1.
Amortization is a method of recovering (deducting) certain capital costs over a fixed period of time. It is similar to the straight line method of depreciation.
How to Amortize
Deduct start-up and organizational costs in equal amounts over the applicable amortization period (discussed earlier under Business Start-up Costs). You can choose an amortization period for start-up costs that is different from the period you choose for organizational costs, as long as both aren't less than the applicable amortization period. Once you choose an amortization period, you can't change it..
To figure your deduction, divide your total start-up or organizational costs by the months in the amortization period. The result is the amount you can deduct for each month.
How to Deduct Amortization
To deduct amortization that begins during the current tax year, complete Part VI of Form 4562 and attach it to your income tax return.
Please see IRS Publication 535 Business Expenses for more information. See pages 26-27 for additional information about which start-up and organizational costs are qualified. Also, there may be different rules depending on when the expenses were paid. Additional information can also be found in Section 195 of the Internal Revenue Tax Code.
To enter the start-up costs in the TaxAct program:
The current year expense and amortization amount will appear on Form 4562, Line 42. When you print the return, you will see a worksheet titled Amortization Expenditure Summary, which will provide a break-down of the total costs and how much was elected to be expensed in the current year.