Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging/Etsy Tax Tips

I know it is Monday and it's usually blanket day, but I thought that this was something you would all be interested in!  And if you already filed your taxes this year, keep records for next year!
If you make money blogging or on Etsy you have to (ok.  You really should) claim it on your taxes.  Congrats!  You are a business owner! :) There are lots of deductions you can write off.  I'm not an accountant, so you should talk these over with yours but here are some general things that can help you save some money.
1. Internet related expenses.  Without the internet - there would be no blog right?  Hosting fees, domain name registrations, internet access, blogging software, picture storing, linky party subscriptions are all things that fall into this category.  Don't forget selling fees - Etsy, pay pal, Ebay.  
2. Your equipment. You need a computer right?  Any upgrades (memory and so forth), software (including tax software, picture editing).  And don't forget those cameras, sewing machines, and silhouettes!!
3. Do you tweet from your cell phone?  You can use part of your cell bill as a write off.
creative-office-design-idea-a1
4. Any new office furniture?  {My table from the trash would not count here lol}
5. Supplies/Stationary.  Supplies add up quickly.  Fabric, thread, needles, pins, rulers, cutting mats, pens, staples, paint brushes, Stamps.  Keep all of your receipts.  Your accountant can help you go through all of them.  I write notes on mine so I know exactly what project I bought each item for.  If it's something like Mod Podge I just write general.
6. Advertising, Promo and Design.  Do you advertise on other blogs.  Ask for a receipt or print off your pay pal receipt.  Advertising also include promos and giveaways! Did you have someone design your blog.  Print off a receipt! 
7. Travel and Entertainment.  Did you go to a blogging conference?  Conference fees, travel accommodations, and dining expenses can be written off. 
8. Office Space.  Do you blog from home?  Do you have an office?  You can deem that part of your home as your office and write off a small amount of your household bills for rent plus your utilities.
I know.  It's a lot!  Just remember to save your receipts!  Make small notes on them.  I put all of my receipts into a big folder and at the beginning of each new month I sort them and staple each category together.  I also try to keep Etsy/blog stuff away from my personal stuff when I check out somewhere.  For example I was buying tablecloths and towels for an order at Target but I also had milk and a movie.  Just have them ring it up as 2 transactions.  

I also keep a sales order book on my desk.  (You can get them anywhere).  Every time someone orders something or pays for advertising I write it down.  I keep all of the receipts in the book.  I also write how I got paid (pay pal, cash, check).  Keeping them in one place makes it easy to have them ready to go!    

Any tips you have for tax time?

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