Enjoying a day offI say this all the time: women are no longer working in a cubicle culture. Instead of working the traditional 9-to-5 office job, they’re out there getting it, pounding the pavement and making something for themselves. Whether it’s starting our own business, freelancing, or carving out your niche within a larger company, you get the need to be self-sufficient and scrappy.

So why on earth wouldn’t you fight Uncle Sam to keep some of that hard-earned cash come Tax Day? Here, three creative ways ladies with an entrepreneurial spirit can save major moolah on their taxes—then turn those savings back around to invest in themselves and their careers.

After all, your tax refund isn’t free money: it’s your money. So fight for it!

  1. Get money back for work expenses. Make sure you save receipts for making photocopies, subscriptions to job posting websites and trade magazines, and even your subway fare or gas money. As long as these expenses are legitimately work-red, they are tax deductible—meaning more money coming back to you after you file.
  2. Save on your home office. If you spend most of your time working from home, say as a blogger or private stylist, you might be able to deduct part of your monthly rent, your internet/cable bill, even your utilities. It’s a great way to offset some of the costs of keeping up your “office,” and you can then use that windfall to reinvest in your budding brand. Just keep in mind that these expenses can be tricky to prove, so always make a notation at the top of the receipt on how/why you are using this item as a legitimate office expense. You can also take photo evidence if necessary.
  3. Student loans are your friend: You heard right: Something good can come from your student loan payments. If you went to fashion or art school and are still paying down student loans, you’re usually paying off interest, which is tax deductible. Tax deductible is a fancy way of saying it helps reduce the amount of money that Uncle Sam takes a percentage of. So, the less money you claim, the less money in taxes you pay. Remember: Reducing your tax liability is a good thing.