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Tax Tips For Bloggers

By Jan 28, 2019 21 Comments

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Tax season is creeping its way upon us faster than we probably want to accept it. For us solo-entrepreneurs, we can start filing our taxes on the 18th of January this year. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start getting all of your receipts and proof of income gathered up. Although I do have an accounting degree, this not official financial advice. I recommend that you talk to your personal accountant about these tax tips for bloggers, because everyone’s situation is different and, as a result, different rules may apply to you.

Tax Tips For Bloggers

Tax Tips For Bloggers

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If you’re anything like me, you go to all of the various online tax services to see which one garners you the biggest return. It may be time consuming to do that, but you could gain an additional couple hundred dollars OR MORE for the time spent doing this. The reason for this discrepancy is because each program handles deductions differently. Some tax programs ask every little question to help you gain the most refund back, and some are more general.

Common Expenses For Bloggers

Advertising

  • Paying for social media ads
  • ads on other sites
  • website (domain name and hosting)
  • website design and maintenance
  • any plug-ins you may have bought
  • Business cards (If you made them, what program did you use? What about the cost of the card stock?)

Software Costs

I know many of us pay to have PicMonkey, Canva, and/or Adobe products. We also pay for images. All of those expenses are covered as well. If you bought Photoshop or programs like it, these are also expenses.

Don’t forget antivirus software for your computer. I also pay for Microsoft 365, and that counts as an expense, too.

Additional Education

When you attend conferences, pay to join webinars, and buy courses and books, these are expenses you can write off. Don’t forget to count the cost of hotel rooms, food, and gas to attend these events as well as mileage if you drove your own car. If you bought special attire for these events be sure to count that, too.

Office Expenses

You can count office supplies such as paper, writing utensils, planners, printers, computers, and other supplies you may have used for your business.

Now, if you have an office that you use for blogging only, you can count it as a write off. You can also claim some of your utilities, internet, and other expenses in this instance. Be sure to talk to your accountant in regard to these write offs, because they are a bit more advanced, and you want to make sure you meet all of the requirements before you claim them.

Employee Expenses

If you hired virtual assistants be sure to write off those expenses. Don’t forget you could have hired your kids to work for you, too. If they made less than $600 you are NOT required to give them a 1099.

Things to Keep in Mind When You File Your Taxes

Speaking of 1099’s, be sure you don’t count income twice. You will be obtaining a 1099 from companies that paid you more than $600 for the year.

Also remember to count the income you made from products/services you received. That free refrigerator that you got in exchange for online promotion DOES count as income.

My absolute favorite place to do my taxes online is FreeTaxUSA, because they are simple and easy to follow along. However, they do not always provide me with the most refund, because this software tends to put everything into general sections rather than break everything down. When I know I have a lot of expenses I can write off, it’s not the best option to use. TurboTax is another solid choice to consider using, but beware they do go into major details. As a result, they do tend to garner a bigger refund.

I hope that these tips will help you to do your taxes with less stress. Doing ones’ taxes doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and using an online program can make it even easier. Be sure to reach out to Redefining Moms to get her Business Tracking Spreadsheet to help you keep your financial information organized this year and beyond.

Do you have any specific tax questions?

About Crystal Green

I'm a SC wife and homeschooling mother to three kids and a few animals. My family loves to share our life experiences with you one blog post at a time at Sharing Life's Moments so that you can make the most of yours. I LOVE interacting with new people and networking. I look forward to getting to know you more.

21 Comments

  • Jenny says:

    Thanks for sharing this post! Helps a lot

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  • Thanks for sharing such a valuable post, it’s very helpful for me.

  • Denver says:

    If you have little income your first year but you paid for computers or other long term assets then consider how you want to deduct their expenses. It may make better sense to spread out the expense over multiple years to offset income when your blog starts generating more revenue.

  • KEVIN FEENEY says:

    If you are just starting in blogging and still in the red, do you need a business license or other documentation to start claiming income/losses in your taxes?

    • Every situation is different. I personally do not have a business license, but I did get a federal ID number through the IRS to help with all of my tracking needs. Plus, I also have a business banking account to help keep expenses separated too.

  • Nichy says:

    Hey crystal
    Such an amazing post , i really appreciate your time for this post for us ,,, and your tips about make money are good and great ,
    Thank you Crystal for sharing

  • Crystal A. says:

    Hi Crystal! Love your name 🙂

    My question is how do you determine if you can take the deductions for blogging if it’s not your main source of income. I have a regular job and while I have made money blogging, it’s not something that actually pays the bills. I do have many expenses related to the blog and am wondering if I can claim them even if I’m not actually making a profit. Thanks for any help you can provide!

    • Even if your making a small bit of income from your blog, I would claim it. I know the first year I owned my blogs and was still in the red after the first year, it was still worth it to claim it. You can talk to your tax accountant to be sure it’s worth the time, but I think you’ll find it worth the effort.

  • gayle says:

    Great information! Question on travel to conferences or events that you pay your own way to attend -I know I can deduct my mileage to the airport but can I deduct the cost of the plane ticket?

  • These are GREAT tips! And the home office exclusively for blogging is great because I claim that every year!

  • Tiffany says:

    Good article but wanted to add a couple things as someone that’s worked with taxes over 11 years. Every special outfit you buy for an event will NOT qualify for a deduction. Only clothes that can’t be worn elsewhere (uniforms, special logo shirts for a brand paid for by you, etc) qualify, not just one for a special occasion. Be sure to review Publication 529 in general and page 7 for the clothes part. Also, keep all receipts and records for blog related stuff and then you can figure out what’s eligible or not later. Be sure to review things with a tax professional or contact the IRS directly for clarifications. Hope this helps.

    • Shanna says:

      I agree with Tiffany. As a tax professional, I confirm the clothing information provided in this article is misleading..

  • Brian says:

    While it is cool with these deductions I would think twice, deduct too much “Fluff” and you are a magnet for a IRS Audit and that could cost you more stress and sweat than the deductions is worth.

    • I do agree that sometimes it is not worth it and better to go with the standard deductions. However, it’s always best to check with a tax accountant to see if it’s worth claiming them.

  • Cardi says:

    Paying for social media ads has been the most espence bloggers encounter and also website maintenance. It’s really easy trying to maintain a blog to standard. Nice one.