While you’re gathering your receipts and preparing your tax forms, don’t forget about the easy-to-overlook write-offs that apply to your writing career!
At Web Design Relief, we’re familiar with some of the hidden expenses of online marketing that you should remember to submit to Uncle Sam. In addition to your bookstore bills and library late fees, your website and social media expenses can add up (and lead to meaningful write-offs for empire-building authors).
Important Note: We’re not accountants, so this article is for information only. Be sure to talk with an accountant about all tax issues.
Website And Online Marketing Costs That Writers Can Write Off Their Taxes
Home Internet fees. If you’re using your Internet for research as well as for maintaining an online marketing campaign, your accountant may suggest that you can write off all or part of the cost of Internet in your home. And while you’re at it, you might be able to write off your home office.
Author website registrar. Your website registrar (the company that secures your domain name for you) might hit your credit card with an automatic fee when you’re due for renewal. Be sure to add those expenses to your list of write-offs!
Hosting fees. The fees you pay for website hosting may qualify as a write-off in certain circumstances.
Stock art fees. If you have paid for artwork for book covers, marketing materials, or your website, you might be able to write off the costs of any licenses you have purchased. Keep tabs on how much money you pay for images.
Headshot/portrait expenses. If you have paid a photographer to create a great portrait image for your author website, be sure to ask for a receipt (just in case you get audited).
Advertising and marketing costs. The money you spend to advertise your book via social media promotions or old-fashioned print ads is usually safe to write off.
Mailing list subscription manager. Writers often use third-party software companies to help manage their email subscriptions; if you’re utilizing a mailing list manager, be sure to add the expense to your list of write-offs.
Services performed by a human being. The fees that you pay your website designers often make for appropriate write-offs—whether you have designed a website from scratch or have simply installed a few new updates to refresh your author website.
Hey! It turns out that the folks at Writer’s Relief also fall into this category! If you’d like some human beings to help you with making targeted submissions to boost your odds of getting acceptances, check out Writer’s Relief. The cost of these services may be tax deductible as well!
How Do You Know The Government Will Approve Of Your Write-Offs?
In a best-case scenario, you’ll have a trusted accountant who can help you make decisions about what to write off (and what not to) so that you can avoid raising red flags with your tax return (and so you don’t get audited). But if you would like to have a better sense of how the government looks at write-offs for creative writers, you can start here: Taxes For Creative Writers: What Expenses Can You Write Off?
Question: What expenses do you write off as a creative writer?