I don’t mean to be a downer, but tax season is quite literally right around the corner. If you’re like me, just the thought makes your skin crawl and it might even make you sweat a little. Taxes just aren’t fun. They can be so complicated and they even involve numbers and math and if you know anything about me then you know I’m just not about numbers or math.
Okay, sorry to induce a panic attack right off the bat there, but the truth is, taxes don’t have to be evil and scary. I mean it. They don’t. For us bloggers and for those who own their own business, taxes can get a little more complicated, but there are a few easy tips and tricks to remember when it comes time to start working on your taxes and there are ways you can prepare for tax season throughout the year to make that April 15th deadline a little less daunting.
one | Keep Track: When you run a for-profit blog or have a business, you need to keep track of every dollar that comes in as well as every dollar that goes out. Every dollar that comes in, is not taxed and therefore you will need to pay taxes on it. It’s a safe bet to put away 15% to 20% of each payment you receive. Keep it in a separate savings account so you’re not tempted to touch it and that way it will be there when you need it come tax season.
two | Deduct, Deduct, Deduct: The fabulous thing about a blog or a business is you can deduct some of the money you spend and some of the business expenses you have. It costs me $15/month to host my blog on WordPress– that’s almost $200 per year that I can deduct from my blog. Other costs I’ve accrued this year are things like a new camera lens, subscriptions to places like Buffer that I use to promote my blog, and advertising dollars I use to promote my blog on Facebook. All of those things can be deducted and can help to reduce the amount of money you have to pay in to the IRS.
three | Use TurboTax: I can’t sing TurboTax’s praises enough. Last year was the first year that I really made a decent chunk of money off my blog. It was also the first year I had a big girl nursing job and raked in a decent income and it was also the year that Cory and I got married. All of that made it a pretty scary and intimidating tax season for us, but thank goodness for TurboTax. It was well organized, insanely simple to use, and I didn’t have to pay in quite as much as I would’ve if I would’ve done my taxes on my own. I didn’t know about all the little deductions and such, but TurboTax is very small business friendly and walks you through each deduction you can claim. It is fabulous.
four | Save Your Receipts: Because you can get audited. Keep a file of your tax records and all of the receipts of the items you claimed as a deduction on your taxes. That way if you do get audited, you’ve already got it all together.
five | Don’t Forget Health Insurance: Thankfully, this year, even with the new health insurance requirement reporting on TurboTax for 80% of taxpayers is as easy as just checking a box. For those who received health care through healthcare.gov, they will just need to enter the information received from their 1095-A form. Boom!
This isn’t an all encompassing guide to filing your taxes, but I hope some of the tips shared have helped put you a little more at ease if you haven’t filed as a blogger or small business owner yet. Tax season doesn’t have to be that “scary” time of year. I believe in you and know you’ll have no problem filing your taxes with confidence this year.
You can do it!
Have you filed your taxes with TurboTax before?
What tips do you have for bloggers and small business owners?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.