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You don't get anything back from write-offs, the IRS does not cut you a check for what you lost, thou the concept sure sounds good.
The only thing you can do with a loss is deduct it from your gross receipts, so it results in you not owing on what you didn't get paid. So if someone stiffs you on a $500 bill, you don't have to pay taxes on that, lol. But, you can not deduct it from what you did get paid, so if you did get paid $20,000 and you did not get paid that $500, then your total gross is still $20,000 (but not $20,500), and you pay taxes on all the money you got paid and no taxes on what you did not (kinda dumb if you ask me, but it does make sense).
I never deduct non-payments, I use my total bank deposits for my gross figure, what I did not deposit, I did not earn... In the end it's all the same: (Gross receipts - nonpays) = total deposits = gross income.
Beyond that, equipment and things have their own section and there is capital gain and loss, investment and so forth.
I recommend Turbo Tax with the $50 business extension, that's what I use, just buy the personal tax thing at the store then pay the extra $50 and download it after installing / running (or if they have the small business package at the store, that might work), even the plain personal turbo tax is good for starters, real good.