I recently joined the fatfoogoo team for a night out at the track. The that is. While most of the race footage was not shot by yours truly (I was working on winning), the edit is all mine. track
fatfoogoo goes to the races from Dan Taylor on Vimeo.
- Martin ‘Iznogud’ Herdina
- Daniel ‘Eat my Dust’ Petri
- Dan ‘Knows No Limits’ Taylor
- Stevie ‘KillCreek’ Case
- Tom ‘Herr’ Stagl
- Clive ‘Louis Hamilton’ Jefferies
- Johannes ‘Mo’Hawk’ Sperlhofer
- Patrick ‘LocoLoki’ Krippner
- Ritchie ‘Datenschmutz’ Pettaur
- Cynthia ‘Get that Camera outta my face’ Lederer
- Georg ‘What Crash?’ Nader
Oh joy of joys, it’s tax time. Officially, it’s been tax time since the beginning of January, but around the end of February, you might start looking at those 1099’s (if they’ve arrived yet – long story in my case) and wondering ‘How to I shave off a bit from what The Man in Washington wants from me?’ If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place, as let’s face it, no one wants to pay a dime (or in this economy, perhaps a penny) more than absolutely required.
I run my own small business (and when I say small, I mean moi) doing various writing, marketing, and consulting gigs. To add to the OMG, WTF do I do with all of this, I live in Austria and pay taxes here, but thanks to our good friends on capitol hill, I also have to pay taxes on any work I may have done for any American companies. Lovely.
Needless to say, I’ve already started combing the mountains of information out there, but wasn’t able to find a whole lot pertaining to my particular industry segment. Enter stage left, 101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers courtesy of Paul Michael via wisebread.com. Before digging into the list of deductible items, a notable suggestion from Paul:
“…your expenses shouldn’t really outweigh your income (although sometimes it’s inevitable in your first year of business, taking into account start-up costs and so forth). But, if you made $1500 from your blogging adventures, writing off a $3500 computer system may trigger a big bad red flag. The IRS doesn’t like it when you spend more than you make. And if in doubt, double check with an accountant.”
Without further adieu….
101 Tax Deductions for Bloggers and Freelancers
1. Industry books & periodicals, including audio books
2. Other books and periodicals used for research
3. Library book charges
4. DVDs and CDs related to your blogging
5. Movie or theater tickets, if related to your blogging or freelancing
6. Music and TV show downloads
7. Magazine subscriptions
8. Research sites that require a subscription
9. Further education classes
11. Business podcasts
12. Business-related websites (for me, that would be Adweek)
13. Memberships to professional clubs and affiliations
14. Internet access fees (at about $40 a month, that’s a biggie)
15. Public internet access fees (Internet café’s, airports etc)
16. Stock photo purchases for your blog
17. Search Engine Optimization services and fees
18. Paid site submissions
19. Website hosting fees
20. Website design and/or maintenance fees
21. Website/blog templates
22. Domain name cost(s) and renewals
23. Blog expenses (e.g. WordPress additions)
24. Film & Digital cameras
25. Web cameras
26. Handheld video recorders
27. Digital memory cards
28. Recordable CDs and DVDs
29. Zip drives
30. Photo printouts
31. Film & film processing
32. Printer ink and copier toner
33. Phone charging stations (e.g. at the airport)
34. Second phone line for your business/fax machine
35. Long distance charges related to business
36. Cost of phone/fax/scanner/copier equipment
37. Cell phone & PDA expenses (bills, equipment, accessories)
38. Personal voice recorders and memo machines
39. Business equipment rental
40. Computer equipment & peripherals
41. Computer upgrades (I had to upgrade my RAM twice last year)
42. Depreciation costs of computer equipment
43. Data storage (both online and external HDDs)
44. Any business related software (not games…unless you review them)
45. Software licensing fees
46. Anti-virus and anti-spam subscriptions
47. Unpaid invoices. If you do some work for someone, be it a simple blog article or a much bigger job, and you get stiffed on the bill, you can write off your loss.
48. Fees for other bloggers and freelancers. If you get overwhelmed and pay a friend or relative to help out, any money you pay that person for their assistance is a .
49. Tax and accounting software
50. Tax preparation fees
51. Business incorporation costs
52. Costs for Trademarks or Copyrights.
53. Business logos and graphic design fees
54. Business cards, letterhead and other stationery (even stuff you print yourself)
55. Office supplies (everything from paper to paper clips)
56. Home office expenses. You can deduct the part of your home you use exclusively for blogging or freelancing as an expense, including a portion of the rent, water, heating bills and so on.
57. Percentage of your home insurance (for your home office)
58. Online self-promotion fees (that includes banners and Adwords costs)
59. Trade show fees
60. Advertising costs (newspapers, stickers, posters, postcards etc)
61. Photography fees (e.g. headshots, pack shots etc)
62. Photocopying/faxing fees
63. Transportation costs: car mileage; airline tickets; taxis; buses; trains.
64. Highway tolls
65. Parking fees
66. Hotel costs for business trips.
67. Cleaning & laundering services when traveling for business.
68. Costs of conferences, plus all related expenses (e.g. BlogHer)
69. Health insurance costs (if you’re self-employed)
70. Computer equipment insurance
71. Food and drink purchased on business trips
72. Client entertainment (be reasonable…not sure you’ll get away with Strip Club deductions)
73. Postage costs (Stamps.com is ideal for keeping track of postage, and the service itself is tax-deductible)
74. PayPal and Western Union fees
75. Post Office Box fees.
76. Safe Deposit Box fees.
77. Self-storage fees, especially useful if your files and records are spilling over into your garage and you need extra space.
78. Advice. Any professional advice you pay for that pertains to your business is a tax deduction, and that includes counseling or coaching.
79. Membership dues to labor unions (do bloggers have a union?)
80. Charity work or donations (this one’s tricky. It’s limited to your out-of-pocket costs, not the final cost of the product. In my case, I’ve done some writing for charity, which is not applicable because you can’t deduct time spent. But any materials used during your charity work can be deducted).
81. Prizes and giveaways. Here at Wise Bread, we give away some very nice things. Often, they are generously given to us as gifts to pass on to you, or readers. But when we go out and spend money on a prize to give away, that can be deducted, as well as the cost to mail it out to you.
82. Business furniture. If you use it exclusively for your blogging or freelancing, then anything from a chair or filing cabinet to the whole desk can be written off.
83. Business functions. If you hold a little get-together for clients, even just one or two, then everything from the rental of the room (or golf course…know what I mean?) to food and drink can be deducted.
84. Business lunches. You can’t include your own meal, but if you pick up the tab at a power-lunch (or just a meeting with a potential client) you can write off their part of the check.
85. Props. I sometimes use props for photoshoots, and the cost of those props can be deducted.
86. Job search expenses. Any money you spend trying to get work, from postage to travel, is a deductible expense.
87. Alcohol and drug abuse treatment. If the pressure turns you into a Betty Ford patient, you can deduct the expenses of treatment. Let’s hope you never have to though.
88. Any losses due to theft. Away on business, your laptop gets stolen…write it off.
89. Moving expenses related to your blogging or freelancing.
90. You can deduct 50% of your self-employment tax
91. Home improvements. Turn the basement into a home office, those expenses are deductible.
92. Clothing and accessories. If you have to buy any clothing for a particular job (maybe you needed protective clothing & headwear to write an article about a building site) then those costs are also deductible. But don’t try and write off your new Gucci watch.
93. Business checking expenses. If you have anything more that free checking, it’s a deduction.
94. Business gifts. This is cool. If your mom watched the kids while you went off to do an interview or write an article, and you then bought her flowers or choccies, well, the gift is tax deductible. Very sweet.
95. Annual fees for business credit cards.
96. Physical therapy. Writing for eight hours a day can cause all sorts of problems, including the dreaded Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. I’ve been advised by many accountants that you can deduct the cost of that therapy. However, medical expenses are a complex beast, and usually need to be a percentage of your income. Check with your accountant for details.
97. Headache pills, eye drops and so on. If staring at the screen all day gives you a killer migraine, you can write off the cost of the meds to help you get through it and keep on working.
98. Wages. Say you pay your kid $20 a month to empty your office trash can, maybe as a way to earn an allowance. Well, you can deduct that expense.
99. Your dog. No kidding, if you can prove it’s a guard dog and is protecting your equipment, you can write-off the doggie expenses.
100. Net operating loss. If your deductions outweigh your earnings, which often happens in your start-up year, you can use that loss to lower your taxes next year.
And one big final deduction you may want to think about:
101. Your TV cable or satellite bill. I can deduct it because I need it…I work in the movie business. It’s a very nice deduction, too. If you blog about soaps, movies, TV shows, or anything else in the entertainment field, this could be a nice write-off for you.
A few weeks back, my production partner Magda Pressel and I had the opportunity to sit down with Amy Hoy, Freckle., Dieter Komendera, and Joe Markovics, a.k.a the team behind the time tracking solution,
MP: This is the team of Lets Freckle, a cooperative effort between Slash7 featuring Amy Hoy, and naturally Thomas Fuchs and abloom featuring Dieter Komendera and Joe Markovics. Amy and Thomas are well known and respected figures in the programming world, noteably for Thomas’ involvement in the development of .
MP: We’re here with the team of letsfreckle.com and I’m going to ask them some questions. So maybe just tell me something about yourself.
AH: My name is Amy Hoy, I’m the public voice, I write all the blog posts so far. I’m an interaction designer, self taught, and I’ve been making web pages in various forms since 1994.
TF: My name is Thomas Fuchs and I’m more on the development side of things. I’ve done web development since about the same time as Amy did. So, like fourteen years now. Amy reminds me that I’m the author of script.aculo.us which is used by sites like Apple, NASA, (AH) CNN, yeah, sites like that.
MP: Joe and Dieter share a similar past, both working in web development for the past 9 years.
JM: I started during college, together with him. We were at a kind of boarding school and we were bored all day. That’s how we got into web dev, and that’s what we’re still doing right now.
DK: My name is Dieter Komendera, and I am more on the programming side of things. I’m doing all the…most of the Rails stuff.
MP: All four members work as freelancers, and have spent a lot of their time trying to find a time tracking solution that was right for them; but often came up short.
AH: The idea came from looking at what other systems did not have that frustrated me. The first thing that I did when I was really hungover and working Freckle out on paper was to look at all the assumptions that the other software makes that you have to do first and see which we can get rid of.
MP: Indeed the software is well structured and user friendly. For example job codes can be created on the fly, and simply tagged. However, Freckle still is a work in progress. Customer feedback is quite important to the freckle team, but can sometimes go a little overboard.
TF: There were a couple of quite outrageous comments. It’s very interesting to see people who are getting that enraged about a piece of software.
MP: But while a number of time tracking solutions on the market today offer a host of additional features that Freckle does not, that’s not to say that the team isn’t hard at work building out additional functionality, including an API.
DK: We definitely have plans to integrate invoicing to freckle so that you can just run a report on the time entries you have and it will generate an invoice for you.
MP: Freckle’s API is designed to both import and export time tracking data from a variety of sources. With the Freckle API, developers can both push and pull data to and from Freckle.
DK: This of course can be used from any other application who wants to use Freckle or to integrate with Freckle.
MP: Like many small web application companies today, Freckle is 100 percent privately funded.
AH: We’re not funded in any way. We have very low costs, so we’ve been funding it, quote/unquote, with our time.
MP: Freckle; four freelancers that couldn’t find a time tracking solution that fit their needs simply built their own solution from the ground up. And in the process, they’ve successfully managed to create a new way of looking at time tracking.
- Freckle: Time tracking with style (ajaxian.com)