20 Tax Write Offs Every Blogger Should Know
Oh, taxes- the bane of my existence. I don't know about you, but taxes always feel like kind of a bummer to me. Once you are self-employed, the process gets a lot more complicated than when you have a W-2 and can plug everything into TurboTax easy peasy.
In fact, the complication and hassle is the number one reason I'm hiring a CPA for next tax season. Hallelujah! Oh, and did you know you can write off your CPA too? You totally can. #worthit
One plus side small businesses can count on around tax time is being able to write off their expenses. And trust me, there are a lot of them that will take money off of your tax bill every year.
But before I give you my epic list of tax write-offs, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Save Your Receipts
If you only take ONE measly step towards preparing for tax season, make it this one.
Save your business expense receipts throughout the year!
Estimating your expenses is never a good idea at tax time, and if you get audited you'll need to be able to show proof of purchases. If you can't, you will likely face a penalty bill.
It may seem old-fashioned, but I keep a large envelope in my office full of receipts. I also take a snapshot of each one with my phone to serve as backup.
Set Aside At Least 25% Of Your Business Revenue
Most income-generating bloggers will need to pay quarterly estimated taxes, which means you need to have money on hand to pay the government every 3 months. I highly recommend setting aside 25 to 30% of all of the revenue your business generates in a separate tax savings account at your bank just for these quarterly taxes.
Trust me, this is not the time to fly by the seat of your pants and hope you have enough money in your checking every time the end of the quarter rolls around. Save now, and you won't sweat later.
20 Tax Write Offs Bloggers Can Use To Save Money
Think back to any conferences, seminars, courses, workshops or webinars you have bought to help improve your business. Lucky for you, these small business trainings can be written off on your taxes!
Hotel and Transportation for Business-Related Events
If you're going to a blogger conference or other business related event, you can deduct the cost of your hotel and transportation from your taxes. The key here is to make sure that your costs are within reason and that the event directly relates to and impacts your business in some way.
For 2018, the standard mileage rate set by the IRS is 54.5 cents per mile. That means that if you are traveling for business, you can deduct those miles from your tax bill at a rate of 54.5 cents for each mile driven. And that number adds up fast!
Your Computer, Camera and Other Electronics
As long as these electronics are used exclusively for business, you can write them off in full once tax season rolls around. Podcasting equipment, video equipment, cameras, business phones, lighting equipment, and camera lenses and flashes can all be written off if you purchase them for business use.
You knew this one already, right? Office supplies are probably the easiest and most obvious tax write-off that comes to mind for solopreneurs. All of those notebooks, binders, pens and pencils, staplers, printer paper, and more can be written off. Just make sure you save your receipt every time you buy office supplies!
Stock Image Downloads
I bet you didn't know you could write these off! Yes, stock photography is fully deductible for bloggers and other online entrepreneurs who use them in their businesses.
My favorite way to think about inexpensive business purchases that save me tons of time and sanity? I'm either going to pay for that product, or I'm going to send that money to the government. Either way, it's going!
And did I mention you can make your life so much easier with a Sassy Styled Stock Chic, modern, and unique images for your blog and social media accounts every month, and it's totally affordable.
If you use advertising to help grow your business, you're in luck because you can write those costs off too. Whether it's Facebook ads or promoted pins on Pinterest or Instagram ads, all of these add up to expenses that you don't have to pay twice come tax season.
Web Hosting and Domain Fees
As the backbone to your business, the fees you pay to sites like Bluehost or Siteground for web hosting and your domain name are fully deductible.
Blog Theme and Other Templates
Another cost you want to keep in mind is the blog theme you purchased when you first started out. Themes and templates are deductible, but you can only deduct them the year you purchase them.
So for example, if you purchased your blog theme in your first year than that is when you can deduct it. If, however, you pay a monthly or yearly fee to use your blog theme and other templates, then you can continue to deduct them every year that you pay for them.
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Business Software and Subscriptions
As a blogger, you're probably well aware of all of the different subscriptions that can make your life easier. Things like Leadpages, Convertkit, Tailwind, and other social media schedulers are all software subscriptions that you can deduct as a business expense. Hooray! These costs add up.
Virtual Assistants and Subcontractors
If you hire someone to help you with a project, whether it's a one-off or an ongoing arrangement, the costs you incur to do so can be deducted from your tax bill. One more great reason to start outsourcing a portion of your work as soon as possible!
If you work out of your home, you'll want to make sure to keep your Comcast bill at the ready once spring rolls around. If you use your cell phone part of the time for business as well, you may be able to write off a portion of your data expenses as business expenses too.
Yes, thankfully all of those PayPal fees that add up month after month are also considered a business expense. I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty peeved if they weren't!
Fonts and Design Elements
This includes any business-necessary digital products that you might find on places like Etsy or Creative Market. Woohoo!
Coaching and Consulting
Did you hire someone to coach you in the last year in order to help your business grow? If so, that person's fees are deductible as well! Thankfully, business training and consulting almost always comes back as a write off-able expense.
This one has a few more strings attached, but the bottom line is that if you use a room in your home as your office you may be able to deduct part or all of that space on your taxes. Make sure you look into the specific requirements set by the IRS in your area. There tend to be a lot of specific demands to write off a room in your home.
Within reason, you can write off furniture that is necessary for your business office. Be careful with this one though, you probably can't buy a new sofa and call it a business expense. I know, so sad.
Business Cards and Other Stationary
If you are buying paper products with your name and logo on them, you'll definitely want to save the receipt. Any sort of business cards, letterhead, engraved notepads, brochures, and flyers can all be deducted from your tax bill.
PO Box Fees
If you have a PO box that is specifically for your business, then those fees are definitely deductible. However, you can't write off fees associated with a PO Box that your family uses for personal use. Bummer.
Question: How do you plan to file your taxes this year? Will you hire a CPA or do it yourself?