Concerns for Bloggers

Taxes and Travel Bloggers

Occasionally, I write tax-related articles for other sites. Below is a preview of an interview I had with Susan of Travel Junkette. It can be tricky to find answers to common situations encountered by travel bloggers. Check out the interview for answers to questions on the following topics:

  • Residency
    • If a blogger is constantly on the move, how does he or she determine state of residency?
    • How does being away from the state of residency affect taxes?
    • Can he or she receive per diem deductions?
  • Income
    • What income does a travel blogger have to claim?
    • If a blogger received a complimentary hotel room or activity, do they have to claim it? How do they determine amount?
    • Most travel bloggers do freelance work on the side. Can all of this income be grouped under one sole proprietorship?
    • Should travel bloggers be paying quarterly estimated taxes on their income?
  • Deductions
    • Travel bloggers can deduct the normal business expenses that all bloggers or freelancers do — but are there any ones that would be particularly relevant for travel bloggers?
    • Are travel expenses deductible? What if a trip is personal and business-related?
    • Is travel gear and clothing deductible?
  • Tools & Tips
    • Should travel bloggers have separate business and personal bank accounts? What about credit cards?
    • What digital tools and resources do you recommend?
    • At what point should a travel blogger hire an accountant?

Read the full interview here.

Blogging + Tax Season: A Q&A

Occasionally, I write tax-related articles for other sites. Below is a preview of an interview I had with Victoria of The Well: The B Bar Blog. Check it out for answers to the following questions:

  1. As a blogger, how do you know when your blog is actually a business, and when will you have to declare income and pay taxes on it?
  2. What are some of the common items bloggers forget to count as income?
  3. If you don’t pay estimated (quarterly) taxes throughout the year, how will that affect your annual return? Will you be in “trouble” with the IRS?
  4. What are common items that bloggers can deduct from their tax return? Can you deduct these items even if you made less than $400 a year from the blog?
  5. What are the major tax forms bloggers should remember to fill out, if they made more than $400 in 2013 from their blog?
  6. Finally, just to clarify, why is it that brands/companies on’t send you a 1099-MISC until they’ve paid you $600 or more, but you have to report income of $400 or more for self-employment tax to the IRS? It’s so confusing!

Read the full article here (and don’t forget to check out the “cocktails” I mixed for The B Bar: Accounting for Bloggers, A Blogger’s Guide to Giveaways, and Reporting Income from Gifted Items. Remember, any drinks purchased from The B Bar are business expenses for bloggers!)

Invest in Yourself

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The Jump Blog Tour is hosted by Stephanie Hall and Ashley Wilhite, the co-creators of Jump: Into your business, your life, your dream, a must-have digital guide for new coaches & creatives. They believe in the transformational power of taking the jump and creating a business you love. This all-inclusive eBook will teach you how to start a business, find your niche, brand like a pro, and make the jump with confidence. Find out more here.

When I help small businesses set up bookkeeping systems, there is one thing I always have to do, regardless of the type of business being established. Bookkeeping software comes pre-populated with common expense categories, but there’s one category that’s always missing. Education. It’s the first thing I add.

Education, as a business owner, is an investment in yourself. Ensuring you know how to use the latest software, are familiar with the current law, or are on top of the newest techniques is an investment in the future of your business.

This investment, however, costs money. As a small business owner conscious of every penny, it’s can be hard to spend money on things that don’t seem essential to the day-to-day running of your business. It’s easy to get caught up in what needs to get done today and forget about investing in what will come later.

If you are self-employed, you may be able to deduct work-related education costs so keep track of the amount of money you spend. This includes the cost of tuition, supplies, and certain transportation and travel expenses.

Investing in yourself by furthering your education in your field is one of the best ways a small business owner can spend his or her money.