Tax Deductions Bloggers Should Be Aware Of

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If you make money from your blog and you live in the United States, you must claim that income on your tax return. There are deductions you can take on your tax return as a blogger to lower your tax liability, particularly if it is your sole source of income. Other deductions exist for bloggers who work out of their own homes. Of course, it's always best to seek the advice of a tax professional to ensure you qualify for any and all deductions based on your individual tax situation. The following list provides a general idea of deductions to be aware of and consider as you prepare your tax return.

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Internet-Related Expenses

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As a blogger, you may be able to deduct your internet-related expenses. For example, you may be able to deduct:

  • Hosting fees for your blog
  • Domain name registration fees
  • Internet access fees
  • Blogging software fees
  • Image or music downloads for your blog
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Computer Equipment

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You may be able to deduct:

  • Your computer
  • Upgrades such as memory upgrades
  • Laptop computer
  • Wireless router
  • New keyboard, mouse, and monitor
  • Software (for example, photo editing software, accounting software, tax preparation software)
  • Web camera
  • Digital camera
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Communications-Related Expenses

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Many of the communications-related equipment and tools you use to run your blog could be deductible, including:

  • Second phone line for your business or fax machine
  • Fax machine
  • Cellphone calls
  • Long distance calls
  • Smartphone
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Office Equipment

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Traditional office items can be deductible such as:

  • Desk
  • Chairs
  • Lights
  • File cabinets
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Supplies and Stationery

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Little supplies can add up quickly. Keep track of the receipts as these items may be deductible:

  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Paper clips
  • Staplers and staples
  • Paper
  • Post-its
  • Folders
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Advertising, Promotion, and Design

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Most bloggers invest in design, advertising or promotions each year. Remember to deduct applicable expenses such as:

  • Blog design (custom blog, header)
  • Advertising design
  • Logo, letterhead design
  • Advertising placement
  • Contest prizes
  • Promotional giveaways 
  • Paid site submissions
  • Search engine optimization services
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Travel and Entertainment

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If you attend blogging conferences or meetings, you can most likely deduct those expenses:

  • Conference fees
  • Hotel charges while away on business related to your blog
  • Dining charges while away on business related to your blog
  • Entertainment for clients you take out related to your blog
  • Transportation when it relates to business for your blog
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Professional Association Memberships and Periodicals

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Many bloggers belong to professional associations related to the topic of their blog or to blogging itself. Professional dues may be deductible. Similarly, periodicals and books that you purchase to help you learn and grow could be deductible, including:

  • Professional association dues
  • Books, magazines, online subscriptions
  • Professional website memberships
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Office Space and Related Expenses

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If you work out of your home to conduct your blogging business, you may be able to deduct the rent for your office space from your tax return. Alternatively, if you work from your home, you may be able to deduct a portion of your household bills for that space if you use that space solely to conduct your blogging business. Expenses in this category could include:

  • Rent
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Natural gas
  • Security
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Miscellaneous Other Expenses

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There are a multitude of little out-of-pocket expenses that you may be able to deduct as a blogger. Consider the following as you prepare your tax return:

  • Costs to reuse photos or images owned by another person or entity
  • Headshots used on your blog, website or marketing materials
  • Postage
  • Post office box if you use one solely for your blogging business
  • Safe deposit box if you use one solely for your blogging business
  • Fees for professional services such as a lawyer or accountant