Freelance Writing and Self-Employed Tax Deductions

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If you’re a freelance writer you know tax season is here. You have probably already received some 1099 forms in the mail for the work you have completed throughout the year. Taxes are always daunting, but deductions help lower the amount you owe or get a tax return.

45 Freelance Writing Tax Deductions

  1. Books bought for research or education
  2. Office Furniture
  3. Business Phone Line
  4. Stamps and Envelopes
  5. Business Banking Fees
  6. Advertising
  7. Website Hosting and Domains
  8. Printer
  9. Computer
  10. Internet Connection
  11. Magazines
  12. Business Trip Costs
  13. Business Meals
  14. Health Care
  15. Professional Organization Membership Fees
  16. Gas Mileage for Business Trips
  17. Software for Freelance Writing
  18. Home Office
  19. Cost of an Office
  20. Fax Machine
  21. Scanner
  22. Printer Ink
  23. Paper
  24. Pens
  25. Notebooks
  26. Camera for Article Photos
  27. Online Subscriptions for Freelance Writing
  28. Accounting and Tax Filing Fees
  29. Writing Conferences
  30. Writing Retreats
  31. Networking Group
  32. Babysitting or Daycare Costs
  33. Business Clothing
  34. Agent Fees
  35. Copyright Fees
  36. Business License
  37. Business Registration
  38. Writing Contest Fees
  39. 401K Contributions
  40. Subcontracting Fees
  41. Brochures
  42. Press Releases
  43. Business Cards
  44. Flyers
  45. Promotional Products

Filing Your Deductions

The Schedule C 1040 form is the self-employment tax form. You will see that in part 2 of Schedule C is where you need to list out your freelance writing tax deductions. There are categories for your deductions, so it is a good idea to prepare for that throughout the year. In your ledger or on the receipt note what kind of expense it is so you won’t have to go back and categorize them all at tax time.

Self-Employment Tax Rate

Self-Employment taxes is 15.3% of your income. For example, if you made $1,000 last year (writing’s my specialty, not math) you would owe $150 in self-employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To calculate your approximate owed taxes multiply your income by 0.15. The sum is about what you owe.

Pay Freelance Writing Taxes Quarterly

It is recommended that you save this percentage of your freelance writing income and pay it on a quarterly basis. When tax time rolls around you won’t owe that much and (depending on how much you make and what you qualify for) you should get a tax return.You need to use Form 1040-ES to file quarterly estimated taxes.

Keep Good Records

Save all of your receipts for business expenses. If you buy something online print out a receipt and put it away. Keep records of your income and expenses in a ledger so when tax time comes around you will be prepared. Use a small file box for your freelance writing taxes to file and save all of your tax records. That way you will have everything in one place. In your ledger keep sums of your gross income, expenses, and net income for the month, quarter and year. Make it a habit to brush up your ledger on a regular basis so when tax time comes around you are not completely overwhelmed.