46 Tax Deductions for Bloggers (or any Web Worker)

Posted on 07. Jan, 2008 by in Business, Taxes

There’s a fairly comprehensive list I came across over at ProBlogger.net for deductions that bloggers might overlook; however, the 46 Tax Deductions That Bloggers Often Overlook can also apply to anyone running their own business from home.

Warning: when most people read a list like this they get excited and believe they are now able to deduct everything but the kitchen sink. Quoting IRS Publication 535:

To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.

It is important to distinguish business expenses from:

  • The expenses used to figure cost of goods sold,
  • Capital expenses, and
  • Personal expenses.

Generally, you cannot deduct personal, living, or family expenses. However, if you have an expense for something that is used partly for business and partly for personal purposes, divide the total cost between the business and personal parts. You can deduct the business part.

For example, if you borrow money and use 70% of it for business and the other 30% for a family vacation, you generally can deduct 70% of the interest as a business expense. The remaining 30% is personal interest and generally is not deductible.

I just wanted to warn business owners that you need to be very careful when deducting business expenses, especially when allocating expenses between personal and business use. These types of deductions are audit red flags for the IRS, so be sure to keep detailed records of your justifications for making business deductions.

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