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 travel bloggers.
You can find travel bloggers expenses here.
You can find photographers 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 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 travel bloggers take?
Are you someone who travels to places and then you blog about it?
Or do you always blog about the places to see when you take vacations to certain places?
Then you definitely want to finish reading the rest of this post.
Costs to Travel
If you are the type of blogger who is traveling to places for new posts for your blog, then the travel costs for YOU only, are deductible expenses.
If you have a family or a partner who travels with you, the costs for other people to travel with you are NOT deductible.
But what about renting a vehicle or hotel room as a family/with a partner?
The whole cost of a single hotel room or a single car rental would count as deductible.
If you rent more than one vehicle or hotel room, only the cost of the one is deductible, because a normal human being can’t use more than one car or hotel room at a time.
For federal tax purposes, the food is deductible. For state tax purposes, you need to check with your state, not all states treat this the same.
But again, only your portion of the food is deductible. You can foot the bill for everyone else, but it’s not deductible.
Keep the Receipts!
Always make sure you keep copies of all of the receipts for your travel if you plan to use them as a deduction.
No receipt will immediately lose you the deduction.
What if you are someone who travels for your business, but don’t use it for your blog post?
Like someone who travels to conferences and hosting VIP days around the world, type of thing in your business?
Same thing, your personal costs are deductible.
BUT if you have an assistant that is traveling with you or meeting you there, yes the business can pay for your assistant’s expenses and it’s deductible.
If your family or partner is traveling with you, that is not deductible, whether the business pays or not.
So you travel to someone that is like a vacation, but you are spending most of your time working in/on your business? Yep the cost of the travel, again for you only, is deductible.
Business Expense Deductions for Travelers and Travel Bloggers
These deductions are pretty self explanatory, but basically, if the expenses are directly related to the business, like for you and people who work in the business, then they are deductible.
When you start including other people, like family, partners and friends, those costs are not deductible.
Any questions? Anything confusing?