Blogging is supposed to be free right? Who would spend anything for blogging? One of my friend asked me this question. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of time AND money that goes into blogging. Yes, it can be free but free blogspot or wordpress.com can only get you so far. For control freaks and blogging addicts like me who want total control of the blog, we have to spend some money – hosting and domain at the very least. The bright side of this is we also have a ton of blogger tax deductions (or general online or home based business tax deductions that will work for any online freelancers). As I promised in my previous 2010 tax deduction post, here are the list of expenses (where applicable) you can deduct as a blogger or online freelancer.
List of Blogger tax deductions
Equipment and tools
If you have equipment that you use exclusively for blogging activities they are legitimate blogger tax deductions.
- Computer accessories (Mouse, keyboard, router, etc)
- Fax machine, dedicated fax machine.
- Printer accessories- toner, paper or special photo paper.
- Web camera, if you have webinars and podcast
- Mic, same as above.
- Camera (if you have a photo oriented blog)
- Cell phone or secondary business phone line.
- External hard drive for dedicated back ups.
- Voice recorder, if you voice-to-text your blog entries.
- Smart phones or any other gadgets used exclusively for blogging.
Internet related expense deductions
- Web hosting
- Domain fees
- Any premium word press plugin that you paid for, like Scribe SEO
- Premium word press theme (e.g. Thesis theme or Woo themes)
- If you use a newsletter service, like Aweber to manage your subscriptions, the monthly fee is deductible.
- Web design fee, if you hired a professional to work on your web design
- Graphics – Did you pay someone to create a logo or a header for your blog? That is deductible too.
- SEO services
- Social media consulting fee
- Stock images from sites like iStockPhoto
- Research tools/software fee –If you use a research tool like Market Samurai or Traffic Travis to research keywords, that is a valid blogger tax deduction.
- Paid research site subscription like LexisNexis.
- Other Software. For example, you purchased Photoshop for making pretty pictures for you blog or antivirus for the computer that you use exclusively for blogging.
- Blogging platform fees – example : Typepad fees
- Online advertising – Ad words, advertising in other blogs, etc.
- Any fee you have to pay for webinar creation or video editing, etc.
- The internet charges itself. If 80% of you internet usage is for blogging, 20% personal, 80% of your internet charges are deductible.
- If you have a secondary phone line, the charges for that.
- If you have just one phone, make extensive records on what was personal call and what was business call, time, purpose and duration of the calls. The business part of the charges are deductible.
- Smart phone/data charges
- Mailing charges (stamps, supplies, etc)
- P.O.Box fees
- Fax line charges
Advertisements and promotions
- Offline advertisements – flyer or any sponsorships
- Giveaway sponsorships you participate in, with other blogs
- Photo session fee (if you take any headshots for your blog or for any media promotions)
Education and knowledge tax deductions
- Any classes/courses you take to further your knowledge on your field (No, you can’t deduct that wine tasting course, if you don’t blog about wines).
- Library book charges (though as a personal finance blogger, I have to say this is a real waste of money, please avoid any late fee, library or credit card or whatever it is)
- Conference registration fees (BlogHer, BlogWorld, etc)
- Magazine subscriptions related to your field that you would need for blogging.
- Any books, videos, ebooks you buy to make your blog better.
Travel & entertainment tax deductions
- Air fare to the conferences and client meetings.
- Rental car
- Hotel charges
- Meals while traveling for business
- Laundry while traveling for business
- Long distance charges
- If you pay to belong to any professional organizations (example pfblogs.org)
Business expenses deductions
- Business incorporation fee
- License renewal fee
- Liability/Insurance fee
- Salary or any fees you paid for your employee (W2 form) or contractors (1099) or even if you outsourced some task or hired someone off ODesk or Elance to help with your business.
- Tax preparation fee
- Book keeping/accountant fees
- Banking fees
- Business credit card annual fee
- Trademark filing fee
- Any charitable donations your business makes
- Trade show fees
- Paypal fees
- Any money you pay to others for their services – babysitting fee when you attend a meeting or the pay for your virtual assistant or if you pay your son $10 to clean and organize your messy work desk
Supplies and stationary
- Business cards
- Letter head
- Any stationary used for business – Calendars, Pens, post its…
Home office deductions
Blogger home office deduction is not different than any other small business tax deduction.
- Part of rent or mortgage (for the area that is used for business exclusively and regularly)
- If you rent a separate office for blogging, that is 100% deductible.
- Part of utilities
- Home/Renters insurance
Some people say lot of tax deductions is a surefire way to get audited. I personally feel that as long as you follow the rules and are truly eligible for these blogger tax deductions, IRS doesn’t have a problem. If we have meticulous records and separate our personal expenses from business expenses very clearly, we should be good. These expenses sure add up fast. After all the time and money we put into our blogs, I am all for taking every single deduction I am eligible for. Won’t you?