Select Page

Welcome to our tax filing tips blog specifically designed for bloggers! Understanding the various ways you can earn income from blogging and determining your eligibility to deduct business expenses are crucial steps to filing an accurate tax return. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting out, acquiring this knowledge will save you time and money. Our practical tax tips on blogging are designed to help you navigate your next tax season more effectively. 

Declaring Income

Bloggers have several different avenues to earn income, which typically fall into three different categories. You are either self-employed, an independent contractor blogging for clients, or an employee. 

Most bloggers are considered independent contractors, managing their own blogs and content. If you are an independent self-employed blogger, your income will typically come from advertising, affiliate marketing, selling products and/or services, or creating sponsored content. Any income you earn will be reported on Form Schedule C. You will be able to deduct your related business expenses to offset your income. 

There are different tax forms that most bloggers may receive. If you earned money from a company or business, you will receive a 1099-NEC if you made over $600 per calendar year. If you made money on a third-party network (like PayPal and Venmo), you will receive a 1099-K. For 2024, this form will be issued for payments over $5,000 per year. For tax years starting in 2025 (the taxes you file in 2026), the IRS plans to implement the lower threshold of $600 for the issuance of 1099-K enacted under the American Rescue Plan of 2021. 

If you work for a company as an independent contractor, you write blog posts for clients or various companies on a contractual basis and earn money through freelance writing fees. If the company has paid you more than $600, you should receive a Form 1099-NEC. If you earned less than $600, you are still required to declare the income on a Schedule C if your net income is greater than $400, even if you do not receive a 1099-NEC. As an independent contractor, you will be able to subtract business expenses from this income.

Lastly, if you are blogging for a company as an employee, writing a blog would be considered another one of your job duties, and your income will appear on a Form W-2. Your employer will withhold the appropriate income taxes, you will have already paid Social Security and Medicare taxes, and you won’t be able to deduct any business expenses since this income isn’t considered business income.

Deducting Expenses

If you are self-employed or work as a freelancer, deducting your expenses helps lower the taxes you pay on your business income. The official IRS definition of a business expense is that it must be “both ordinary and necessary.” Ordinary means that the expense is “common and accepted in your trade or business.” Necessary means that it is “helpful and appropriate for your trade or business.”

There are a lot of ordinary and necessary expenses associated with running a blog Here are some of the top expenses that you might have incurred while running your business: 

  • Home office: If you use a room in your house for the exclusive purpose of running your blog, you can claim a home office deduction. You will need to calculate the number of square feet in your home devoted solely to blogging. Using that square footage, you can use the simplified method or you can use the regular method. The simplified method is $5 per square foot, and the maximum square footage allowed is 300, resulting in a maximum deduction of $1,500 for the year. The regular method requires you to calculate the actual expenses for the year and apply the percentage of home used for business to calculate your associated costs. Under the regular method, you will have to keep track of costs such as your real estate taxes and mortgage interest (or rent), maintenance, repairs, internet service, utilities, and even homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. 
  • Equipment: If you purchased any new computers or computer equipment, such as a printer, paper, or ink; you can claim these business expenses. You can also claim expenses for blogging equipment used, such as cameras and lighting equipment. 
  • Subscriptions, dues, and memberships: If you pay for any subscriptions related to your blog, whether industry magazines or membership dues, you can generally claim these expenses as well. If you pay for a service like Flickr Pro, that’s deductible, too.
  • Hosting fees and domain registration fees: Any costs associated with operating your blog are deductible, including the fees you pay your hosting company, the cost of registering domains, and the cost of any software packages you may buy (themes, design work, forum software).
  • Marketing and advertising: Expenses to grow your audience are crucial to being successful. Costs such as social media advertising, SEO services, and sponsored posts are tax deductible.
  • Training: Staying relevant is key in the blogging business. Courses, workshops, and conferences can not only keep you competitive in the industry but can also help you grow your blog and produce higher-quality content. Such professional development activities, when solely for business purposes, are tax deductible. 

Retirement: Consider making a contribution to a retirement account designed for self-employed taxpayers. It is a great way for you to invest in your future while also reducing your business income further. 

No matter what moves you made last year, TurboTax will make them count on your taxes. Whether you want to do your taxes yourself or have a TurboTax expert file for you, we’ll make sure you get every dollar you deserve and your biggest possible refund – guaranteed.

Share it on social networks