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Common Expenses of Freelance Writers

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The first time that you pay taxes on your freelance writing earnings might hurt. That's because freelance writers, who are usually Independent Contractors often have to pay additional tax burdens such as self-employment taxes. After that first bite from the IRS, it is not uncommon for freelancers and other ICs to buckle down and ensure that they take note of every expense and cost associated with their freelance writing business. This is because allowable expenses help you to pay less taxes by adjusting the amount of income/profit you have to pay on.

In a recent meeting, I talked to a professional organizer who was also an IC. She said that her accountant gave her a handy-dandy list of every potential deduction imaginable. I'd like to attempt to build a like list for freelance writers. Below is my attempt.

Now, I've tried to tailor this specifically to us writers, as this topic is quite larger than me! In that same vein, though, I do want to point you to About.com's resident tax expert, who has a more exhaustive list of potential business expenses for a wider audience. Although I've tried to be thorough specifically for writers, you may want to double check that expense list, too. After all, every penny counts!

See anything missing or unclear? Be sure to email me.

  • Accountant services
  • Backup services (hard drive)
  • Banking fees (maintenance, banking)
  • Books (reference)
  • Books (review)
  • Business licenses
  • Contest entries (writing contests)
  • Donations
  • Fax services
  • Food and drink at meetings
  • Graphic design service
  • Hardware
  • Insurance
  • Law services (contracts, business documents)
  • Lease/rent
  • Marketing (general)
  • Memberships
  • Office remodel
  • Office supplies and equipment
  • Paypal fees
  • Postal costs
  • Print costs (business cards, etc)
  • Proofreaders
  • Repairs/upkeep (office, computer)
  • Software
  • Training
  • Translator
  • Travel
  • Web design/upkeep
  • Web designer
  • Writers/proofreaders (subcontract)

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