Filing Taxes As a Blogger: Things To Know

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This was my first year filing taxes as a blogger and here are some helpful tips to other bloggers who earn and make enough money that they have to file taxes and report them in the United States. First when you are blogging you are a sole proprietor, this means you have to be extra resourceful and accurate when tracking your income and expenses. You must clearly document all of your blogging sources and keep receipts and web site printouts of payments and keep them on file in case you are audited.

You also have to do the same to track your expenses, I don’t know about other countries but in the United States if you are a blogger and sole proprietor this means you get to write off web hosting fees, part of your internet connection, house payment, utilities and anything else that is used and related to blogging. Don’t forget that you can write off any payments you make in promotion or advertising of your blog as advertising expenses. So if you pay for SEO links, or SponsoredTweets to promote your site you can write this off.

As I earned over $1800 blogging in 2009 after tallying up all my earnings and my two 1099’s one from PayU2Blog (Triangle Media) and one from IZEA (SocialSpark, PayPerPost, Sponzai…etc) I then tallied up all my expenses which added up to give me a negative earnings of over two hundred dollars. This means not only I didn’t have to pay taxes on my blog earnings, but the negative helped with my normal taxes and helped with my refund.

I filed my taxes through H&R Block and had paperwork for everything, I even paid for the peace of mind guarantee in case I get audited. So in doing all this work myself I made a little checklist for bloggers for when you file your taxes.

Income:

  • Collect all 1099’s from companies
  • Track all earnings from direct paid links (print and tally)
  • Track all earnings from AdSense and other CPC programs (print and tally)

Expenses:

  • Web Site Hosting Fee’s
  • BroadBand or Internet Connection Fees (a portion writes off if you use for work and personal, if you are a full time blogger you can write off about 50% of your broadband bill to be safe)
  • Advertising, Promo, AdWords or any other type of money you paid to promote your blog or sites (print receipts)
  • Take square footage of your home office or area you work to blog (compare this with total Sq Feet of house)
  • Note your home payments for month and year (including interest and total payment separately if you own your home) a portion can be written off
  • Note your utility bills for the month by month and year totals (electric, water, sewer..etc) a portion can be written off

If you are not comfortable with doing taxes I suggest you go to a professional tax service and make sure you get the maximum amount of write-offs possible and make sure you have receipts and proof for every source of income and expenses on file for 7 years.

-Justin Germino

Updated: March 10, 2010 — 7:19 pm