Guide to Expense Deductions for Photographers

One of the most confusing parts of owning a business, is knowing how to do your business bookkeeping and taxes. 

And now that you have started your blog, you want to make sure that you are doing things right. 

Or maybe you've had your blog for a while now, but still aren't sure about what qualifies for tax breaks and expense deductions for your blog. 

There is a shortage of accountants and CPAs in the business world who fully understand online business. I regularly get asked about accountants and tax preparers that can help with online business. 

But the list that I have is very short because I have had a hard time finding accountants that I can recommend my clients and friends to since there seem to be so few who are taking the time to expand their knowledge base to include the online world. 

But as a business owner, you can arm yourself with the proper knowledge before you go to an accountant and then you will be able to help yourself and your accountant when you know exactly what you are talking about. 

In this guide, my aim is to make sure that bloggers know what deductions and tax breaks they can take when it comes to their business. 

So let's dive in. 

What is an expense? 

First of all, what is an expense? 

An expense for your business, whether you are a blogger or not, is something that is ordinary and necessary for the running of your business. 

An ordinary expense, according to the IRS, is an expense that is common and accepted in your type of business. What is common for one business trade is not always accepted for another type of business trade. 

A necessary expense, according to the IRS, is an expense that is helpful and appropriate for your business trade. 

For example, as a blogger, your email service provider (Active Campaign, Convertkit, Mailchimp, Drip, etc.) is both an ordinary and necessary expense for your business. But car expenses are not ordinary and necessary expenses for a blogger. 

There is a detailed list of expenses that apply to most businesses. In this post, we are going to dive into the expense deductions that are specific to photographers. 

You can find travel bloggers expenses here

You can find home decor/DIY sellers and bloggers here

You can find crafters and craft bloggers here

You can find food bloggers here

You can find beauty bloggers here

You can find online coaches here

You can find the general blogger's expenses here

You can find the general list of expenses here

You can find more information on the home office deduction here

What expense deductions can photographers take? 

The majority of the expenses a photographer can take should be self explanatory. Basically all of the things that it takes to run your business are deductible. 

Camera. Check. 

Lenses. Check. 

Tripod. Check. 

Photo editing programs. Check. 

Props. Check. 

There isn’t much that you will find here that isn’t already listed on the general expenses post, but we’ll talk about this stuff a little bit more. 

Photo Editing Programs and Equipment

Whether you pay a monthly subscription for these programs and equipment, or just one payment, the cost is deductible. 

These programs and equipment are a crucial part of running your business. 

Equipment and Props

Any of the camera equipment that you need to purchase, is all deductible. 

Need to buy or rent props for some of your photo sessions? Those are also deductible. 

But if you are just using props from around your house, the cost of these are not deductible. For example, you want to get a new couch for your living room, and then you also use this as a prop for a photo session, this is not a business deduction. 

Renting spaces

Do you rent spaces, like hotel rooms or other locations, for your photo shoots? 

The cost of these rentals are deductible. 

Travel for Photoshoots

If you are a photographer who regularly travels to your clients for the photoshoots instead of having a studio of your own, the cost of the travel is deductible. 

If you tend to use your personal car and drive a lot, make sure you keep a log of your mileage. When it comes to car expenses, you get one or the other: mileage or car expenses, like maintenance and gas. You can track everything, but you can only deduct one on your tax returns.

Expenses Deductions for Photographers

These expenses are pretty self explanatory, if it’s used for your business, it is most likely deductible. 

Just watch for the personal versus business use. 

Any questions? Anything confusing?

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