If you haven’t already, it’s time for us blogger babes and business owners to start getting all of our receipts and proof of income gathered up. After a run in with the IRS for some income I didn’t know had to be reported, I made it a point to hire an accountant. Now that I’m a small business owner, I try my best to stay as educated as possible in regards to what I should be filing. Most of my friends do their taxes online and that’s perfectly okay, but I always suggest trying various online tax services to see which will give you the best return. Each tax service will go about creating your return differently. Some are very detailed and others are more broad with the questions they ask to help you. It’s indeed time consuming, but a couple extra hundred bucks is worth it to me.
Blog Expenses That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked
Think back on your 2017 and make a list of everything you purchased for your business. This includes social media ads, ads you put on other sites, your domain name and hosting expenses, design costs for your website, plug-ins you may have bought, business cards. Did you pay for any programs like Adobe Suite, or Microsoft 365? Other things we overlook are apps that we purchase like PicMonkey or Canva and stock photos that we purchase for blog posts. If you paid for it and it’s going towards your business, look into writing it off.
If you blog or work on your business full-time, look into writing off your workspace or “office”. This can get tricky, because the space has to be used for blogging or work only, so reach out to an accountant to figure out the best way to do this. You want to be certain you meet all of the requirements for this write-off. Other things you can write off are, paper, planners, writing utensils, camera equipment, printers, computers, and other supplies you may have used for your business
Did you hire a photographer, intern or assistant last year? If you did, be sure to write off those expenses. If they made more than $600 from you, you’re required to give them a 1099. As far as 1099’s go, if you worked with a company that paid you more than $600, they’re also required to give you one so don’t count the income they gave you twice. Oh, and all that free stuff you got…… tally that up too. Yep, hair products, headphones, even alarm systems can all be accounted for. A round-a-bout number should suffice.
Continuing your education by doing things like attending conferences, paying to attend webinars, and buying courses and books, are all expenses you can write off. This also includes the cost of hotel rooms if you had to travel, as well as food, and gas to attend these events. Did you drive your own car? Add mileage. Even if you bought a special outfit for these events, be sure to count that, too.
Lastly, do not try and nickle and dime what you’re able to claim and be certain that your expenses are legitimate. Deducting too much “fluff” is an easy way to raise a red flag with the IRS and spark up an audit. As someone who’s been through one, it cost me more stress than the deductions were worth so be mindful! If you’re in doubt, reach out to a professional for clarification.
The best part about all of this is, you actually made some money last year! Let me know if you’d like me to share tips on how to keep all of your business income in order and organized.