Running a blog is like running a business.That is, unless your blog is your hobby. You’re legally required to pay taxes on any money you earn as a blogger, either from advertising, affiliates or writing. It’s essential that you declare all income on your annual income tax return form.
According to the IRS, “Generally, an amount included in your income is taxable unless it is specifically exempted by law. Income that is taxable must be reported on your return and is subject to tax. Income that is non-taxable may have to be shown on your tax return but is not taxable.”
However, there area host of tax benefits for bloggers.
Most expenses that directly relates to your blog/s are classed as ‘allowable’. You will be able to deduct them from your tax returns.
If you’ve set up an office in your home which you use to conduct your blogging business, you may be able to claim against the rent or mortgage.Also, utilities that you use such as water, gas and electricity are tax deductible.
Below is a list of some of the items that you will also be able to claim against:
- Blog designs/logos
- Advertising fees
- Computers, keyboards, mouse
- Web cameras
- Professional letterheads and business cards
- Expenses relating to hotel charges – dining and hotel bills
- Lawyers, accountants and tax preparer’s fees
- Hosting fees
- Advertising for blog/s – text and banner ads
- Domain fees
- Software such as, photo editing, accounting and tax preparation software.
- Paper, staplers, paper clips and post it notes
- SEO Services
- Paid site submissions
- Fees for post boxes (post box addresses are best, if you want to keep your home address private).
- Car mileage
- Image or music downloads that you use on your blog
- Accounting software
Here are some tips to make life easier, and the process of paying your tax run smoother.
5 tips to consider when paying taxes
1. Avoid tax fraud
If you intentionally file false tax returns, not pay your taxes or enter an incorrect figure you’re committing tax fraud. Not declaring your actual income and claiming more for expenditure than what you actually spent is tax fraud. Should the IRS find out that you’ve cheated on your taxes, it could lead to criminal or civil penalties. You could end up with a big fine or get audited.
2. Have your list of income and total expenditure to hand
Keep a record of all expenditure incurred in running your blog. A simple Microsoft Excel spread sheet will do.
Another way is to file all receipts and invoices so that you have access to them when needed to complete your tax returns. A folder, shoe box or envelope is useful for storing them. Another alternative is to use https://www.shoeboxed.com/sbx-home/. This is an online site that keeps all receipts organized and clutter free. You could also create a simple computerized account by using tables, for your financial year. List your income on one side and expenditure on the other side. Your total expenditure is deducted from your income, to show a profit or loss on your blog.
3. Familiarize yourself with forms W-9 and 1099
A lot of companies, who employ bloggers to write, will ask you to complete a Form W-9 before you start writing for them. This is to inform the IRS that you’re basically self-employed. Therefore, the employer is not required to deduct taxes from any monies they pay you. It’s up to you to declare your income to the IRS. You are responsible to pay your own taxes. It’s best to familiarize yourself with form W-9 so that when you are completing it, you will know what to do. Here is a link to the W-9 form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
Form 1099 (this copy is for information only) records all the money you have earned within the tax year. It’s handy because all you need to do is include that figure in your tax returns. You may have to access that form yourself because not all employers will give you one.
4. Pay your taxes free via EFTP
Using the EFTPS (The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System) is a convenient, easy, safe and secure way to pay taxes if you live in the USA. You can do this over the telephone, online or by using a Voice Response System. It’s a free service offered by the US Department of Treasury.
5. You can file for an extension if you need extra time to pay your taxes
You could get an automatic extension of six months to complete your tax returns. There are different options open to you, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you haven’t got all the money to pay your tax, still complete the tax returns form and pay what you can afford, and request a Payment Agreement Application online. Send Form 9465, which is the Installment Agreement Request with your tax return. Or if you prefer, you can call the IRS to discuss your situation on the telephone. Click on this link for all the information you need on filing for an extension.
Contact a Tax Professional who will help you sort out your taxes. They will know the best ways to help you complete your tax returns so that you pay the right amount of taxes and avoid any over payments. Another advantage of using a Tax Professional is that they will ensure you get all the refunds you may be eligible for.
Paying tax as a blogger is not so scary, especially when you know what expenses you’re entitled to claim against, on your annual tax returns. The important thing is to keep accurate records of all your spending and earnings.
This post was written by John from Fast Forward Academy.
What Is Your Blog Post Publishing Frequency and Why?
From time to time, assess how frequently you publish blog posts. Ask yourself why? Sit. Wait for an honest answer.
I publish 4-5 blog posts daily. Sometimes I publish 6 posts. Why? I share oodles of helpful videos, podcasts and articles but on a deeper level, I intend to get my 124 eBooks in a billion hands or more. Yes; I wrote and self-published 124 bite-sized eBooks. Publishing 6 posts daily allows me to promote 6 different eBooks daily on my blog. I also publish 3 or more guest posts daily to share value and promote my eBooks in more spots. Note; that is 3 or more eBook promotions, in addition to all of my eBooks I promote on social media.
Promoting 124 eBooks daily is no joke. I needed to raise my vibe, practice writing and video and podcasting and get clear on upping my post frequency to drive traffic and business through an approach. I see my blog more as a high volume, blogging news portal, like CNN or Fox News, and less a blog for publishing weekly and leaving it at that. Hey; that is just me, though.
You may be different because all bloggers hold different intents and vibe at different frequencies. Imagine blogging once monthly. Today, you set an intent to publish 5 posts daily between videos, articles and podcasts. Seems foolish, right? Few humans make this quantum leap without putting in years of writing practice and also giving substantial attention and energy to energy management, or, mindset work. Never raise your blog post frequency from energies of fear and delusion; burnout and failure await.
But do bump up frequency if it feels fun, relaxing, prospering and generous to publish more frequently.
On the flip side, pull back on blog post frequency if your current schedule feels heavy, tiring, exhausting and overwhelming.
Only you know how frequently you post and why you post at that clip. You know the honest answer. Be straight with yourself.
Optimal Blog Post Frequency
Follow your fun and relaxation.
What feels really good and fun and relaxing, but maybe a bit uncomfortable, to you? Run with it. Daily? Awesome. Weekly? Cool. Twice daily? Great. One post, one day, and 3 posts, the following day? Why not? If readers enjoy your content they read your content, keeping up with what they can keep up with. Trust your gut.
I advise publishing at least weekly in most cases unless you publish a long form post monthly ranking well on Google, genuinely knocking folk’s socks off. Why? People forget you as you vanish from the stream for a month at a time. Blogs are news portals for your niche. News should not be published monthly. Weekly at a minimum works fine for news updates.
Making Money and Frequency
In my eBook:
I break down how you find buyers for your business online.
Pondering post frequency, money flows to frequent posters and less frequent posters. Everything money-wise depends on your clarity with receiving money and following your frequency strategy because your energy dictates your income. Feel good, and at peace, and relaxed, about your blog post frequency. Success will find you based on your money energy and life energy, independent of your blog post frequency.
Do the inner work and the outer results expand freely and easily over time.
Blogging Income Tip: How Do You Feel about Money?
As I promote my eBook:
I ponder one massive source of anxiety for most bloggers: money. Most of you grew up with money limiting beliefs. Money does not grow on trees. Money is not easy. Money is hard to get. Money is scarce. If you want money, get used to owning and facing each money fear because blogging full time requires you to work for free, generously, for a while, and no human with money fears works for free. All humans clinging to heavy money fears only work for pay. What is working for pay? Jobs. Working for someone allows you to get paid for every hour you work because being employees guarantees payment, per work, per your contract.
Guess what? Blogging is a different animal. Nobody gets paid to be an individual, business-owning blogger because blogging is a business. Business is about building something to boost skills and exposure to where your streams of income yield cash for you. Complete 180 from being an employee because you need face money fears, release fears, and proceed from a generous energy to gain skills and exposure enough to earn a full time income through your blog.
How do you feel about money? Does money feel scarce to you? Do you fear running out of money? Be honest guys. Being straight with yourself allows you to make money because before you make money through your blog, you need to face, feel and release money fears. Why? You never move into actions required to make money being burdened by the heavy fear of losing money, a yoke that saddles most of humanity.
I have noted how Gary Vaynerchuk did 2000 YouTube interviews before he began to get major media and TV coverage. He worked for free for 2000 interviews because he was not burdened by the terror of losing money, vibing abundance and generosity and trust. Most of humanity is so scared to lose all of their money that they never give one interview for free; these people work jobs to guarantee they get money for what they do work-wise, but sacrifice their fun and freedom in the process. You cannot live your dreams through blogging if you have no vision for the future and you cannot create a vision if you feel weighed down by the fear of money loss. How can you dream big dreams if you secretly feel terrified to lose it all? The fear of losing it all dominates your mind, body and actions so you will just work a job to get money and you will treat your blog casually, because your blog does not yield money, like your job.
Of course, your blog does not yield money because you vibe a poverty consciousness and poverty-vibing folks never do the generous giving – working for free, for a sustained period of time – to position themselves for success, a’la Gary Vee and his 2000 YouTube interviews. I have written and published nearly 1000 posts on Blogging Tips. Nobody paid me directly for writing and publishing these posts but the traffic and links and money I gained indirectly through these nearly 1000 posts helped me live a neat life. I began giving generously the moment I faced my money fears.
Expect to do the same if you want to live your dreams through blogging.
What Few Bloggers Understand
I live a pretty sexy life. I have circled the globe for the past eight years through blogging. Pretty cool, right?
But my blogging duties are seemingly mundane, not too sexy at all and in moments, quite boring. I genuinely love blogging. I have fun doing what I do. But I am also a human being experiencing a wide range of emotions on an hour to hour basis. Sometimes, I just want to go to sleep for a little bit because I feel tired and a bit bored with the blogging process. But if I intuitively know it is time to write a blog post I just write the blog post. In these moments, blogging feels boring and mundane and plain and not too sexy. But doing the seemingly mundane things in boring moments lays the foundation for living a spectacular dream life through blogging.
Few bloggers understand this basic fact of sometimes boring activities laying the foundation for a spectacular dream life. Most bloggers believe I do exciting, inspired and amazing things all day long to live an amazing life. This is 100% not true and nothing could be further from the fact. Blogging is fun for me most of the time but sometimes blogging feels boring. Even when blogging feels fun I am not doing anything earth-shattering or jaw-dropping anytime I write and publish blog posts and comment on blogs and promote one or all of my 100 plus ebooks. Does tapping a retweet button and sharing one of my eBooks on Twitter seem earth-shattering? Nope. Simple. East too. But few bloggers understand simple blogging activities lead to great blogging success.
Most bloggers believe you live your dreams through blogging by trying to knock the ball out of the park with viral blog posts and partnerships with the top bloggers on earth. Nope. You live your dreams by simply publishing helpful content, building friendships with top bloggers by being generous and asking for nothing, and by opening multiple streams of income from an abundant, trusting energy. Each of those steps is simple to put into action but sometimes taking each of those steps feel scary or highly uncomfortable. Nudge through the fear. Take the step. Simple, generous actions eventually lead to spectacular results because all meaningful blogging ventures begin with simple, generous actions. Do not believe top bloggers hit home runs everyday. We hit singles again and again and again and again for 10000 to 20000 hours until all those singles add up to something dazzling over the long haul.
Think in terms of tiny impressions made multiple times daily. I could have tried to write a viral guest post on this blog 3 years ago when I first published posts here. But I just chose to do a solid job writing a simple post some 900 times. Now I have written and published 900 + guest posts on this blog which means on a single blog alone I have 900 links or more, based on the ebooks of mine I link to as well. 900 + links leads up to something pretty sexy and spectacular but it was the simple, generous actions I took daily over 3 years of my life that led to the stunning long-term success. Blogging is doing simple things generously for hours daily for years of your life to build something special and meaningful.
Never believe that top bloggers hit home runs every day for a few weeks before they made it big. Anybody who makes it big does seemingly little things with love and generosity every single day over the course of years of their lives. Imagine 10000 to 20000 hours of doing simple things and you get an idea of what it takes to live a spectacular dream life through the medium of blogging.
Do you want to make money blogging?
Buy my eBook:
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