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I am not at all a tax expert or accountant, but I’m sharing this post from my personal experience for those of you who are thinking about monetizing your blog or are filing for the first year, as I did. If you’re unsure of anything consult with an accountant or tax professional. It’s better to be safe than sorry and you’ll be better prepared for your next year as a money making blogger!
We’re in the midst of tax season and, this year, I filed taxes as a blogger for the very first time. Truth be told, I was terrified. But last year I knew that my main blogging goal was to monetize my blog, so I tried to be as prepared for tax time as possible.
During that time, I had also opened an Etsy shop and started selling goods and creating projects on Darby Smart. I was a busy girl and had a lot to account for. I made sure I kept track of everything so nothing would come back to bite me in the ass when it came time to file taxes!
WRITE IT DOWN
I have a seperate notebook for every one of my business ventures. I wrote my Etsy sales in one, my Darby Smart sales in another, and every sponsored post, ad campaign, or other incoming blog payment I received is written down in a notebook, as well. At the end of the year, I tallied up my grand total so I knew exactly what I made.
HAVE A FILING SYSTEM
Chances are, you already have a filing system in your home with folders filled with all sorts of household items and information. Now, my filing system is also filled with receipts, expenses paid, payments received, and other website info for my blog. Everything is right where I need it if I ever need to go back and look through my records.
PRINT IT OUT
I printed invoices that were paid and receipts for money received. These are all kept in my files. Those yearly website fees? Printed. Those receipts for incoming payments? Printed. Blog redesign invoice? Printed. It’s a good thing I was able to write off that printer ink because my printer certainly got a workout this past year!
KEEP THOSE STORE RECEIPTS
And speaking of write-offs, make sure you keep those store receipts! Anytime I receive a paid campaign, I print out the campaign guidelines. Then, after I shop for my supplies, I staple my receipt to the back of the printout and file it. This system certainly came in handy while I was adding up my expenses for the year! It’s also good to hang on to those receipts in the event that you get audited.
USE A RELIABLE TAX PROGRAM OR CONSULT AN ACCOUNTANT OR OTHER TAX PROFESSIONAL
I was finally used to using TurboTax, but then I had NO clue how to file for this year. So I enlisted the help of my mother-in-law who used to work for H&R. She helped me walk through filing my taxes with ease and now I feel better prepared for next year!
A few quick things to remember:
- If you made over $600 as a blogger, you have to file taxes and should have received the proper forms you need for filing in the mail by now. If not, get in contact with your networks ASAP!
- Allowable deductions include webhosting and other web fees, blog design, supplies, giveaway expenses, postage, software used for blog posts, home office expenses, and basically any other expense used to keep your blog running.
- Keep your files and receipts in case of an audit. These should be kept anyway to total up your expenses at the end of the year.
- When in doubt, seek the help of a tax professional. They’ll answer any questions you may have and help you file your taxes correctly and with ease.