It’s officially tax season, and with only a month left until April 15th, I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing or claiming on my taxes. I worked extremely hard last year on my blog, and it’s been paying off in the forms of free gifts, commissions, and full out paid reviews. I did some research, and wanted to share with you what I found. Keep in mind that I am by no means an accountant, and you need to check with your tax consultant if you have questions filing your taxes.
I hope this helps you get started on your taxes and makes things a little easier for you! If you have any tips or tricks for filing I’d love to hear them in the comment section 🙂
thanks, xo – Stefanie
Filing as an LLC, Registered Business, Sole Proprietor, or Individual – What’s the Difference?
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a form of business entity that limits the liability of its owners while allowing flexibility in operation and passing through its income to its member(s) with no income tax at the business entity level. A sole proprietor is an individual that owns an unincorporated business by herself. There is no legal distinction between the individual and the business and therefore no protection of the individual’s personal assets from any business litigation. Single member LLCs and sole proprietors are taxed the same and report their business income and expenses on their personal income tax returns on a Schedule C. A business owner should try to protect her personal assets from any litigation that may arise from her business operations therefore doing business as an LLC should be considered. Consult with your CPA and attorney to determine which form of business is best for you.
Can you Claim Your Clothing under any Circumstance?
Work clothes that can double as street or evening clothes are no more deductible than anything else in your closet. To claim a deduction for buying clothes, the clothes have to be mandatory for your job AND unsuitable for everyday wear.
Can you deduct donations that you’ve made? For example, if you no longer want or need that gifted item and choose to donate it, can you deduct that?
The general rule is that you can deduct the lesser of: (1) your cost of the donated property or (2) the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation.
If a company sends you a gift that you did not ask for or agree to, is that something you have to claim? Is the value of that product the full retail price or sale price?
Gifts, bequests and inheritances are generally not taxable income. Non-cash income from bartering (the exchange of property or services) is taxable income. Both parties must include the fair market value of goods or services received as income on their returns.
Can you claim any square footage of your house if you work from home?
Yes, but the IRS has very strict and complicated requirements which must be met to claim this deduction. You should consult your tax advisor to determine if you qualify for an office in the home deduction.
Can trips to fashion week including airfare, food, and transportation be claimed? Are international trips any different?
Yes, if the trip meets IRS rules and documentation requirements for business travel in North America. International business travel is subject to additional IRS rules and regulations in order for the business travel expenses to be deductible.
What’s the best way to keep track of everything throughout the year that will help make tax season easier?
Using Quicken or QuickBooks software is the best way to track all of your business income and expense activity.
What are some common expenses that bloggers can claim?
Generally speaking, any expenses incurred by the business for the purpose of generating income should be deductible. When in doubt about the deductibility of an expense please consult with your tax adviser.