Taxes For Bloggers

Taxes-For-Bloggers

So I did my taxes last week, and uhhhhh it hurt.

But despite the fact that the government kept so much of my money, I was super happy this year because this was the first year that I really had a substantial amount of freelance/blogging income to report.

This past year, I made a little upwards of $11k+ blogging, so I definitely feel accomplished.

But given that it was my first year treating my blog as a business, there are a lot of things that I can improve upon moving forward.

There were a lot of things that I could have done differently to decrease my taxable income, so I’ll definitely be paying attention to that this coming year.

So based on the conversations I had with my tax guy recently, here a few tips for any of you out there making some monaaaay off of your blogs/side gigs! Taxes for bloggers 101.

1. Don’t spend all the money you make. 

Throughout this past year, I spent a lot of time reading about blogging and taxes and one of the figures that I kept seeing over and over again was that you ought to be saving 20-30% of your income for taxes. To be safe, I did save 30% of everything I made, and thank God I did, because that’s exactly what I ended up owing. So yea, it sucks that for every $100 I make, I only really get to keep $70, but it is what it is, so you need to put some money away so that you’re not hit with a giant tax bill you can’t pay come April.

2. Save all your receipts.

I’m the worst when it comes to saving receipts. I get a receipt, crumple it up, and throw it in the “black hole” also know as my purse. Joe’s always bugging me about that because if I throw a piece of paper in my purse, I’ll likely never see it again, so that’s usually what ends up happening to my receipts. But when you own your own business, or you’re doing freelance work, you need to keep those, so you can claim some of your expenses and reduce your taxable income. And don’t just throw the physical receipt in a folder and call it a day. No. Don’t do that. Instead, make a photocopy of the receipt and THEN save it, because physical receipts tend to fade rather quickly, and the last thing you want is to open up your folder come tax season and not be able to make out what your receipts say.

3. Don’t wait until the last minute.

You don’t want to wait until the night before you’re gunna do your taxes to get all your paperwork together. I did that this year, and NEVER AGAIN. There’s just no reason for this. Every month, you should be keeping a detailed list of what you made and any expenses, so that way, when you’re ready to do your taxes, you’re not scrambling to find receipts. When you wait until the last minute, you’re obviously much likelier to forget things that could help you, so do your best to stay organized throughout the year, and it’ll make things a lot easier at the end. Totally worth it.

4. Know your possible deductions.

I spent most of this year without knowing that there are SO MANY tax deductions for bloggers. And that sucks, because that means I could have reduced my taxable income by a whole lot more had I been smarter about tracking my expenses. So take some time to educate yourself this new tax season, and have a better game plan for 2016 when it comes to your expenses. For example, I had no idea that you can claim your mileage if you’re driving around gathering items and doing work for your blog, so that’s one of the things I’ll be tracking this year. I mean, every bit adds up, so it’s worth a shot.

5. Talk to a pro. 

I got my taxes done at H&R Block this year, but we made a point to make sure that the person doing our taxes really understood freelance work. This is your money you’re talking about here, so you shouldn’t take any of this lightly. You’ve worked hard throughout the year, so you want to make sure that the person doing your taxes and giving you advice really knows their stuff. It’s always a good idea to talk to your tax person a few weeks before you plan on filing them, so you can ask them any questions you have, and make sure you understand what necessary paperwork you should bring with you. Preparation pays off!

Best of luck to you guys!

Any other tax tips/suggestions? We could all use all the help we can get!

New to blogging? This might be a good place to start.

Oh, and I’m now offering 1-on-1 coaching sessions via phone to help answer any blogging questions you may have. $25 for a one hour session. Would love to share any advice I can give you, and make a new friend along the way! Contact me here for additional info 🙂

Books on blogging to help you take your blog to the next level:

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18 Comments

  1. Nicole

    March 14, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Congrats on how much you made blogging next year. I hope to be able o to start brigning in more money over the course of the next year myself. This is pretty good information too! like you, I’ve always heard about how you should definitely be saving a percentage of what you make for tax purposes and to keep those receipts. Hopefully, I can try to stay fairly organzied as I start making more blog income.

  2. Ivanna

    March 14, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Great post and great information. I didn’t make nearly as much as you but I hope to in the future, This is some great info to have.

  3. Cara

    March 14, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Great tips and congrats on all the accomplishments this year! This will definitely be helpful in the future!

  4. Emily

    March 14, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I just started blogging at the end of last year so I really didn’t make anything to report, but this is such a great resource. Will definitely be saving for future reference!

  5. Anika

    March 14, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Thank you for such a great collection of tips and resources. I just started blogging 2 months ago and am already freaking out about what I will need to do for taxes… pinning for the future.

  6. Kristin

    March 14, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I started my taxes and keep procrastinating finishing them. Last year was my first year earning blog income (similar to yours) and it’s so overwhelming trying to find receipts, deductions, etc. I have already told myself I will be more organized this year!

  7. leah

    March 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I’ve started to work on mine and it’s taking forever! Thanks for sharing these tips!

  8. Dave

    March 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Congrats on your success! Some really useful tips here. Thanks

  9. Melanie

    March 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this post. I just started blogging and haven’t yet started monetizing it but it’s nice to know what I’ll need to do as far as taxes are concerned. I’m looking forward to great things from my blog 🙂

  10. Michelle

    March 14, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Great tips! I hired a CPA to do my taxes this year. First time ever. Taxes were just so complicated for my blog this year. I’m paying more in taxes now than my salary at my old day job. This year I’ll be paying more in taxes than what my house I just sold was worth! UGH

  11. kat

    March 14, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Really important tips for bloggers!
    Thanks!

  12. Rachel

    March 14, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! Taxes for bloggers are so confusing!

  13. Tara

    March 14, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I used to love doing our taxes because we always got a hefty refund. Not so much now that I’m self employed. I haven’t started them yet because I’m just not ready to part with my money. Great tips.

  14. Sara

    March 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    This was such a big help! Thanks for the awesome tips and I loved the other links to deductions you added. I had no idea.

  15. Angie Scheie

    March 15, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I would be in heaven if I brought in 11K! Blogging really is a lot of work. Thank you for the tax tips and I’ll have to search around your blog for other secrets to your success.

  16. Julie

    February 26, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Hey Sweetie, This is Julie. I’m one of The Design Twins. Our blog is http://www.thedesigntwins.com and we are on IG at @juliesheartandhome and @jodiesdesignlife. Firstly, I wanted to thank you for sharing this. It was helpful but no overwhelming. I like your direct style and authentic voice. I also loved your resource list and have found some helpful books. My daughter is 20. She is a media journalism student and I’m going to share this with her. I particularly love the helpful books for 20 year olds for her. She is very motivated but of course would benefit from this direction. Thank you again for being a resource. Wishing you much success along our journey. XO ~ Julie

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