Tax deductions for bloggers.
Taxes can be frustrating. There is no nice way to say it. But there is one thing everyone likes- Deductions!
I think a lot of people take up blogging as a potential revenue stream because there are minimal start-up costs. You don’t need much outside your computer. But, like all hobbies or businesses, there are expenses to the blogging business.
Even if you have been tracking your expenses and blogging income, you might not be sure if you have forgotten anything on your tax return. You don’t want to miss anything! I’ve compiled a list of 15 tax deductions for bloggers to help you out.
Tax Deductions for Bloggers
As a small business bookkeeper, I have a lot of experience with business tax deductions. And I often get asked, What can I write off on my taxes? When you file taxes you want to make sure you are taking all the deductions you can, but make sure you are taking them according to the tax law.
If you blog for income on your blog it is important to know what is and is not tax deductible. You want to think about all your business expenses. Here are some tax tips to keep in mind.
(And remember, this will all be easier to keep track of if you are using a good organization system. Here is the one I recommend my clients use—> Blog Bookkeeping OrganizationBlog Bookkeeping Organization)
Tax Deductions List
Here is a list of big things to remember when it comes time to determine your tax deductions as a blogger.
This includes things like registering your domain, site hosting, and any themes you purchase. (Yep, including parent and child themes.) Plugins, anti-spam programs, any stock photography you purchase may qualify as well. If you pay a designer to create your logo for you, that might also qualify to be on your tax bill.
Scheduling programs such Tailwind are potential deductions. Design software such as Photoshop, Canva, and Picmonkey are possibilities if you have a paid account. Email programs such as MailChimp and ConvertKit are potential deductions as well. Did you run any Facebook ads or promote any pins on Pinterest? Keep track of social media expenses come tax time as well.
If you have printed up business cards or letterheads these would be considered advertising fees. I know actual paper advertisements aren’t very common for an online small business, but they could be a part of your tax situation.
If you pay a bookkeeper to track your income and expenses for you and do your tax prep, that is something to note. Also, remember to include the costs if you have an accountant help you file taxes.
Any physical mail you send out for blogging purposes, for example, if you run a giveaway where you send the prize out, can be deducted.
Post Office Box
A post office box purchased for blog purposes may be deductible. (Many bloggers have post office boxes because a physical address is required for any emails sent out to an email list.)
Legal and Professional Fees
This includes anything you get professional help on for your blog. Attorney fees, and consultations fees such as for an SEO expert.
If you opt to move from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or S-Corp the fees for setting that up and maintaining it can be deducted.
This is the physical stuff you need to conduct your business. (Yay! I love office supplies) Paper for testing printouts, pens, paperclips, etc. The key is to make sure it is for blog purposes, not just something you need for the house, which is where you blog.
Costs of Good Sold
If you physically make a product that you sell on your blog the supplies needed to make that product can be deducted. (Note: This does not mean you can deduct the cost you are selling the product for, it is the cost of production.)
Courses, webinars, and ebooks your purchase to learn more about blogging are considered continuing education.
The cost of traveling to and from conferences and hotel fees are potential deductions. Meals during these trips should be documented as well. Keep in mind that meals are only a 50% deduction. (Travel bloggers may be able to write off more expenses, more on that in a future post.)
Computers, printers, cameras, etc can be considered in as much as they are used for blog purposes.
Donations made by your blog, such as cash donations or an item donated for charitable purposes are potential deductions. The item given away is limited to the cost of production, not the fair market value of the item. That is, you can deduct the costs of materials, not the value you would sell the item for.
Keep in mind this deduction passes through to your Sch. A, it is not included on the Sch. C. Finally, the IRS does not recognize the donation of services by sole proprietor businesses. So if you are donating your time in the form of a free consultation, you are doing that out of the kindness of your heart.
These are just some of the more common deductions the average blogger should consider, but they are the most common ones. As always, you need to check with your tax professional to determine what is best for you and how you should file. (You need to consider both expenses and taxable income.)
A good default to consider is whether or not what you are wanting to deduct is in fact used for blogging purposes. If you have to stretch to make it fit, you might want to reconsider.
Bloggers base a lot of their business on reputation, which requires good ethics in all areas. That includes your behind the scenes business practices.
If you want the IRS deduction explanation, click here—> IRS Deducting Business Expenses.
These are not the only deductions out there. (For example, home office deductions will be explained in a future post.) But it is a good resource to as a jumping off point next time you ask yourself, What can I deduct on my taxes?
(Unsure if you are ready to file as a business or a hobby? Here is the answer—> Hobby vs Business Blogging)