When you’re blogging and are rockin’ the online entrepreneurial world, you might find it difficult to get a list of blogger tax deductions that seems applicable to you.
I get it. I had a similar experience when I ran 2 creative businesses (which was prior to the online boom of these last few years). And I’ve frequently been witness to this particular frustration as I’ve helped bloggers with money mindsets and tax situations over the past several years.
The thing is, your business is structured differently than most people working in more traditional office settings. And that structure changes what you do on a daily basis, which influences how you make your money. Which also influences where you spend your money to make your money.
One of the key differences in online business tax deductions are expenses that affect anything visual your customer sees.
Why? Well, we’ve all heard the saying that image is everything.
And while we all know that image doesn’t even scratch the surface of who we are in real life, when your whole business is on the web, what you present is what you’re selling.
Now, one of the other things that often happens when you look at lists for blogger tax deductions is that…
You’re reading a list compiled by a blogger who doesn’t know about tax law (or business accounting) share their personal experience.
Which, hey, is awesome – I love reading about people’s experiences!
But… it’s not based on legal and financial knowledge or experience. At best, the blogger’s article is based on the level of expertise the tax filer they selected to file their business taxes has on blogging (which often is not a lot).
So what’s different about my list?
I’ve done the accounting and bookkeeping for dozens of bloggers and digital influencers since 2012, and I’ve spoken to hundreds of bloggers about their finances and answered just as many questions at half a dozen mega blog conferences. Plus I specialize in small business tax deductions–yep, really.
So, when I say I understand the ins and outs of what the blogging business requires, I mean it!
This is crucial because so much of what qualifies for a tax deduction is based on how a business actually makes money… And because the blogging business is not generally well understood by those outside of blogging (ahem, accountants and tax lawyers) you sometimes get bad advice about what can and can’t qualify as a deduction.
The other thing is, many of the deductions I’m going to list are a bit controversial because they are 100% legal IF you follow the rules… But, inevitably, many people don’t follow the rules. 🙁
Because clients don’t always listen, many professional accountants, bookkeepers and tax lawyers that *do* understand the ins and outs of blogging and making money, may choose to *not* tell you about some of the deductions on the list below. This is likely because it’s more work for them – and they figure it’s unlikely you’ll follow the rules and keep the records you need.
Let me be clear, I’m not sharing this to rip on other professionals. I’m trying to share why there’s so much confusion and bad information floating around when it comes to blogger tax deductions.
I personally, have definitely been in positions where I wished I hadn’t told someone about possible tax deductions and what they could do in their business. This has happened a few times when someone half-listened to our conversation and didn’t follow the steps I’d outlined, but come tax season, they want that tax deduction in their reports! And, because of the lack of documentation or the way they made money or how they paid for certain expenses, whatever it is they want to deduct is flat-out legally not deductible. At that point, no one’s happy.
Personally, I think the choice of what you deduct should be yours.
Especially when it will mean hundreds and easily thousands of dollars of difference every single year you operate your blog.
Agree? Thought so! 🙂
So without further ado, I give you,
The Ultimate List of Blogger Tax Deductions:
- Your blog theme and purchased plug-ins
- Your hosting (such as BlueHost)
- Your domain
- Any web design services or maintenance
- Professional photography*
- Professional videography*
- Professional conferences and workshops admission (local or far)
- Lodging, transportation & travel costs to professional events*
- Professional styling*
- Graphic design
- Purchased fonts and stock photography
- Professional dues & subscriptions
- Editing of photos and videography*
- Content writers and collaborators
- Virtual assistants
- Staff (both employees and 1099 subcontractors)
- Payroll processing (need a recommendation? try Gusto – more here)
- Professional e-courses that will elevate your skills for running & creating in your business
- Materials for shoots (job materials)*
- Commissions paid out
- Business gifts
- Auto expenses* (many possibilities on how to take and what to include)
- Parking for events and business related activities
- Ads on sites such as other blogs, Yelp, Facebook, Google AdWords, etc.
- Equipment (perhaps lighting, camera, a professional boom, etc.)*
- Legal fees (either to a professional or for legal templates like these)
- +23 more blogger tax deductions (download your beautiful, free checklist to get access to these 23 additional deductions below)
To get the complete tax deduction list with 23 more blogger tax deductions, make sure you download your free checklist here:
That’s a pretty darn exhaustive list, huh!?
Now about all the asterisks…
You may have noticed that several of the blogger tax deductions are followed by an asterisk. I marked some this way to act as a visual cue for them being more complex and needing a little extra love. (Often, these tax deductions are the ones not mentioned by tax pros or you’re told “no” about.)
If you choose to claim the deductions with an asterisk, you’ll want to put a little more thought into taking them. The great news is that once you figure out the logistics, you’ll get to financially benefit from it this year (and for every year you continue running your business). So it’s well worth it!
Anyhow, my suggestion as to the asterisked items? Make sure you understand the legal requirements of the deductions and how that pertains to your specific business, and keep particular records to safeguard these deductions during an audit.
If you have specific questions about these your blogger tax deductions or need help figuring out your specific tax situation, I offer 30-minute & 1-hour consults to help you get the clarity and information you need and would be honored to help you!
So Over To You:
Anything surprising in this list? What’s been your experience with blogger tax deductions? Share below!
PS. Make sure you download your your Blog Tax Deduction checklist for easy reference: