A journalist is a relatively common freelance business, since the work can be done from anywhere. Whether you’ve always been a freelancer, or you’re just embarking on a career away from a news organization, you need to know about self-employment taxes.
Specifically, journalist tax deductions are vital to understand and track well before tax season arrives. By using all the appropriate journalist tax write-offs, you can reap the benefits of having your own business, besides the joy of being your own boss.
This handy book will guide through best practices to follow when calculating your freelance taxes.
As a journalist, there are a lot of expenses incurred as part of doing your work. And many of those expenses can be considered journalist tax deductions. As they add up, they reduce the amount of your taxable income, meaning you can pay less taxes in the end.
So it’s good to understand all the journalist tax write-offs that can be a boon to you at tax time, and in fact all year long. Starting and maintaining a freelance business has costs, so it helps to have deductions to offset them.
There are some expenses that are common among freelancers, and some that are specific to being a journalist or media professional. Since there are some nuances about what and how much can be used as journalist tax write-offs, it’s a good idea to check with an expert like an accountant.
Here’s a list of the most common expenses that can be considered journalist tax deductions.
To know what expenses can be used as journalist tax deductions, it’s good to know the definition of a business expense as provided by the federal taxing authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS states that a business expense can be a deduction if it is both ordinary and necessary. Ordinary is a common or accepted expense for your business, like a laptop for a journalist. Necessary is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business, but it doesn't have to be indispensable. A website that profiles your work in a portfolio would be an example.
You’re not expected to know every deduction and benefit available to you when you start your freelance business. Our list of journalist tax deductions will help you take advantage of being your own boss.
There are some expenses that cannot be used as journalist tax deductions:
There are a couple of ways you can ensure you take advantage of all the appropriate journalist tax deductions:
1. Make tax time easy with an online platform such as Bonsai’s accounting and taxes tool.
2. Set up a system to track all your expenses and use them as deductions when you file your income tax return.
3. Use the services of an accountant, who will direct you to track certain expenses and keep records of them.
Remember, you can use Bonsai's free self-employment tax calculator to estimate your quarterly taxes!
Not a journalist? Find tax deductions for your specific profession below.