Unless you were impacted by severe storms and qualify for automatic state and federal extensions to Oct. 16, April 18 is the deadline to file returns or extensions. For third-party meeting professionals who are self-employed and just waiting to sign and send, a last-minute check is always a good idea.

Some things have changed, and some have remained the same. We spoke to Bonnie Lee, an Enrolled Agent whose California-based firm, Taxpertise, specializes in the self-employed.

Some Things Have Changed

“Congress has passed these changes to the tax law,” says Lee.

1. Taxpayers may only take the charitable deduction if they itemize deductions. In prior years, the IRS temporarily allowed non-itemizing individuals $300 per person, up to $600 per family, which won’t be allowed this year. You may be able to use the deduction on your state income tax return.

2. Money received via a third-party app such as Venmo from friends and relatives as a gift or reimbursement for personal expenses is not taxable.

3. The standard deduction increased slightly.

4. Itemized deductions remain mostly the same. Employee business expenses are still nondeductible but list them anyway as they may be allowed on your state income tax return if you can itemize.

Read More: 5 Tips for Flexible Event Budgeting, No Matter the Format or Economic State

5. IRA contribution limits remain the same and 401(k) limits are slightly higher.

6. You can save a bit more in your health savings account (HSA) now: $3,650 for single and $7,300 for family coverage.

7. New mileage rate for 2022 income tax returns is $.585 up from $.575 in 2021. For 2023 it has increased to $.655

8. Business meals for 2023 revert to the old rules–only 50% deductible. No deduction for entertainment expenses.

“Naturally there are caveats, exceptions, special circumstances and other complications involved in all tax law. If you have questions, please consult your tax advisor for more information.”

Some Things Have Remained the Same

“Aside from the obvious—transportation, lodging and meals—you can write off a number of other expenses,” says Lee:

1. Tips

2. Dry cleaning and laundry

3. Taxis, buses, limos, commuter shuttles

4. Baggage and shipping

5. Computer rental

6. Public stenographer’s fees

7. Telephone, fax, internet access fees

8. All other similar ordinary and necessary expenses

“A trip outside of the United States will be considered entirely for business—provided the intent is business—if you are outside the United States for a week or less or you spend less than 25% of your time on personal activities or vacation was not a major consideration,” Lee advises.


Bonnie Lee

Bonnie Lee is an Enrolled Agent admitted to practice and representing taxpayers in all 50 states at all levels within the Internal Revenue Service.  Lee founded Taxpertise (formerly Symmetry Business Services) in 1982 to represent taxpayers in audits, offers in compromise, tax problem resolution, tax preparation, tax planning and to help non-filers safely re-enter the tax system.  For four decades, she has specialized in tax issues relating to individuals and small business.

Lee is the author of Entrepreneur Press book, “Taxpertise, The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets and Tax Deductions for Small Business that the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know,” published in 2009.