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4 Things Freelance Writers Need to Think About When it Come to Taxes
Written by
Beth Derrick
April 2019
Written by
Beth Derrick
April 2019

April 15 is upon us. It's that time of year once again when everyone, including us as freelance writers have to be thinking about filing our taxes. While the required activity this time of year can be stressful for everyone, but it's especially stressful for freelance writers because figuring out deductions, income and expenses can be complicated, to say the least. After two months of meetings, back and forth emails and phone calls with the tax advisor working on mine, we finally got them completed and filed last week. If you're new to this line of work or even if you're a seasoned veteran of the craft, with the reformed tax laws, there's always something new we can learn when it comes to managing our taxes and finances.

You're Not Alone

The first thing you need to realize is that you're not alone. There are many freelance writers who are in the same situation that you're in and are every year. Remember, they had to start out as newbie tax filers as well, so do your research and find the best advice possible online. There are many articles and blogs out there from freelance writers such as yourself that contain tools and tips to help you get through tax time unscathed.

Maximize Your Deductions/Plan for the Future

You might not have a 401(k) plan through a traditional corporate job, but you're still saving for retirement, aren't you? IRAs can be used to help you on your taxes. Make sure that you don't forget to claim whichever tax deferred account you're a part of and don't forget, getting to the maximum amount for your IRA for the year is well worth scrimping and saving for, for a few months, don't you think? Your future is certainly worth it.

Hire the Professionals or Even Branch Out on Your Own

There's a time when you need to realize that taxes just aren't your thing, so to speak. While many writers are great with numbers, there are quite a few that aren't. If you're one that masters them, look around at all the accounting practices for sale out there and either branch out to include taxes in your vast field of knowledge or find one that's in business to help you figure out your tax situation and handle your books for you in the future. After all, what better way to make sure your taxes are done right is there than owning an accounting office yourself?  It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the money that comes into your freelance writing business. As an added bonus, owning a business is a great income stream!

Know the Cans and Cannots of Your Deductions

It's important to know what you can and can't deduct on your tax forms. Traveling then writing about it, dinner with your writer's group, a dinner where you're talking about the writing business with a client, any of these are deductibles, as long as it involves your business. Starting up a new blog, creating a website, and even the computer you use for your business and the space you use as an office, all can be deducted on your taxes, so keep clear and pristine records of these expenses and make sure you give it all to your accountant, so they can make sure it's good and expense it properly on your tax forms.

These are just a few of the things you should think about as a freelance writer when it comes time to file your taxes. Once you finally get them done, you'll have the rest of the year before tax season rears its head once again.

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