Tax Deductions for Bloggers

This article tackles the un-fun topic of taxes from a blogger’s perspective and was inspired by a campaign supported by Lifelock.

It’s that time of year when bloggers across the United States question whether or not they should just quit blogging. All of a sudden they are actually earning an income from their blog and are faced with the idea that their hard earned money isn’t all theirs. When you work a regular job, usually taxes are taken out with each check so it doesn’t feel as much like you have to give money away that you worked hard for, and often, you even get a refund on what you paid in.

But one thing I always keep in mind when it comes to taxes as an independent contractor, is that they never take ALL of my money, in fact, they really only take a small percentage. So to consider quitting because of a tax burden, just doesn’t make sense. One suggestion to overcome this is to put 20% of your earnings in a separate account to pay for your taxes at the end of the year. I bet you will find you have money left over after you pay the IRS, especially if you have taken deductions.

Tax deductions for bloggers

Did you know that just as your blogging income is taxable, many of your blogging expenses are deductible, and often as a dollar for dollar deduction – meaning that every dollar you spend on blogging, your taxable income is reduced by a dollar. I recommend consulting an accountant or tax professional to make sure you maximize your deductions so that you only pay what you owe and not a penny more.

A lot of bloggers, however, don’t realize the extent of what they can possibly deduct on their taxes. Again I stress the importance of a tax professional to take full advantage of the laws, but below is an infographic that discusses tax deductions for bloggers so that you have an idea of what you should be keeping track of during the year.

tax deductions for bloggers

Now that you have some pointers for getting the most out of your taxes, don’t forget to be smart when filing. Identity theft is one of the biggest complaints around tax season so you need to protect yourself. Lifelock has some great tips to help you protect yourself against identity theft, and if you take the Lifelock for Life quiz on their Facebook page you will be entered to win one of nine Lifelock annual memberships and a monthly grand prize of a $1,000 VISA Gift Card.

Earning an income as a blogger doesn’t have to feel like you are handing over all of your earnings to the IRS, you just have to know where you can take deductions and where you can’t. Proper planning and tracking during the year will make it easy to do your taxes or deliver the information to your accountant. Combine that with making sure you don’t expose yourself to potential identity theft situations, and taxes can be less painful than we expect.

Or at least less painful than a root canal.

Are you a blogger?

Did you realize the extent of the deductions you can take when filing your taxes?

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  1. Rebecca says

    This is a great list to keep handy! I face this every year with my design business and now I’ll have to also incorporate my new blog too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brittany says

    I just found this… I never even thought about taxes when I started blogging and I was hit hard in January when I wasn’t prepared at all, I had to backtrack an entire year. Thanks for creating such a great resource… I’ve been through it – but this makes it look so much easier! ;)

  3. says

    Great tips. I didn’t deduct anything this year because I didn’t realize all of the things that I could deduct. I will definitely be adding them all up this year though!

  4. Sarah says

    I have an appointment with my accountant tomorrow. Thanks for this post!!! I didn’t think to include membership fees (Philly Social Media Moms)

  5. Joyce@MommyTalkShow says

    I have 2 questions.
    Doesn’t this only apply if you have enough deductions to itemize?
    For instance, we are renters. So my accountant says we can’t deduct an office.
    Also, does this apply if you keep your blog income in a separate business account like I do?
    My hosting, memberships, etc come out of my business account.

    • says

      You know, some of this seems to change depending upon which accountant you use. I thought if you have independent contractor income as a sole proprietor then deductions reduced your income one-for-one and I also thought you could count partial rent. But I’m no accountant. I would say that if you have a separate business account then you are acting as a sole proprietor?
      This is why I hate taxes, everyone has a different interpretation.
      Maybe do some searching online and see what the common opinion is and then ask your accountant again?
      Good luck.

  6. says

    Great tips, I’m sure a lot of people don’t even consider a lot of these kinds of topics when they are barely starting something.

  7. says

    Awesome article. I definitely gave me some pointers and things to consider while getting ready for the next tax return.

  8. says

    Thanks for this, I am bookmarking your site and sharing this with friends who have tax issues.
    My situatioin is that I netted almost nothing and so my tax accountant was not comfortable letting us take the child care deduction which requires both parents to work. Clearly from my blog I am busy all the tme, but that is not reflected in the incme.
    I wish I knew someone who could advise me with that!
    thanks,
    Mitch

    • says

      Mitch,
      I am no accountant but from a business point of view, you have income, you have expenses. If you worked to create the income and the expenses cause the income to be very little, it still doesn’t negate the fact that you worked. Plenty of businesses aren’t very profitable in the beginning…
      We do not pay child-care so I don’t have experience. Maybe consult another tax pro?
      Good luck!