2016 was a little crazy. With a temporary career change, two family funerals and several doctor’s visits on the calendar, I wasn’t as diligent about keeping track of my small business expenses as I should have been.
But, I’m going to rock 2017.
My missing mileage log has been replaced. My accountant is getting tired of my phone calls. And I’ve been researching what tax deductions bloggers should be aware of so I can enjoy all the benefits of being a small business owner when tax season rolls around again next spring.
If you’re still dragging your heels about filing, you’re in luck. Use these tips NOW! Small business tax deductions are in place to help you be more financially secure as you grow your business. See if any of these ideas apply to your business, get your receipts in order and talk with a tax professional ASAP!
During my most recent conversation with my accountant, we discussed expenses that I should be deducting (but have been lazy about keeping records for) related to my paid lifestyle blogging. She noted that I should be keeping receipts for:
⦁ fees or tuition for classes or gatherings that offer experiences to write about
⦁ supplies needed to attend and participate in these classes or gatherings
⦁ mileage or travel expenses related to traveling to and from classes or gatherings
For example, I write about health and fitness often. If I explain to my readers a new technique that I learned in yoga class, the fee to attend that class would be considered a tax deduction. The class experience fueled my writing topic, which in turn generated revenue for my writing business.
Of course, you can also claim deductions for the necessities needed to run your business including:
⦁ advertising fees
⦁ marketing supplies
⦁ website hosting and domain registration fees
⦁ internet service
⦁ cellphone or landline phone service
⦁ tangible supplies, such as a computer, business cards or a desk
⦁ business insurance
⦁ insurance on tools used for your business
And if you have a home-based business with dedicated office space, you can deduct a portion of your home utilities and mortgage or rent payment.
For example, I’ve converted a bedroom into my home office and have a storage room in the basement for files and supplies. Those areas take up approximately 20 percent of our home, so I can deduct 20 percent of our mortgage, electric, gas, water and internet provider bills each month as business expenses.
Darren Rowse from ProBlogger and Kelly Phillips Erb from Tax Girl have crafted a very detailed blog post about this topic too! Check out 46 Tax Deductions that Bloggers Often Overlook for a fabulous list of tax deductions for freelancers.
Finally, don’t forget to deduct the expense of having your taxes prepared by a professional!
I’m a writer, not a tax professional. I’m simply sharing my experiences and opinions related to filing taxes as a freelancer. Please contact a certified professional accountant to review your tax liabilities and potential deductions based on the type of business you operate.
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Note: This blog post was last updated on June 1, 2022.