This week I’m welcoming the amazing Julia Day to the blog, to help me give you guys some crucial advice on the financial side of being a blogger! If you took part in my recent Blog > Business email course, we touched a bit on finances, but didn’t delve too much into the nitty gritty.
Here, Julia gives us all some awesome insight into the tax side of blogging and with the online tax return deadline coming up fast in the new year, it’s probably something we should all be thinking about. Enjoy and remember to head over to Julia’s blog, Easy as VAT to get even more amazing money tips.
Did you know that if you make money from your blog and submit a tax return to declare your earnings each year, you can also reclaim the costs of anything you’ve purchased for your blog?
Yep, that’s right. Self Assessment tax is based on your profit, which is your total income (also referred to as turnover) minus your total expenses for the year. The more expenses you claim, the less tax you’ll have to pay, so you’ll want to make the most of every expense!
When you submit your tax return, you’ll be asked for your total income and expenses figures for the year, so it’s really important to keep track of these, whether that’s using a spreadsheet or accounting software.
So what exactly can you claim? Pretty much everything, as long as it’s solely for the purpose of running your blog.
What you can claim
Common tax-deductible blogging expenses include your domain name, web hosting and your blog template. You can also reclaim the cost of advertising and marketing your blog, so if you pay for social media advertising, blogging events and business cards.
Possibly the best tax-deductible expense of all? If you buy props to prettify your photographs and videos and stationery to write down your blogging schedule and ideas, you can reclaim the cost of those as a business expense.
View this post on Instagram
What you can’t claim
For the most part, you can’t claim food or clothing as a business expense, as these are generally used for the dual purpose of keeping you alive and warm (and not in danger of public indecency!) as well as for business purposes.
However, if you are travelling for your blog, for example to a product launch or blogger event, you can claim the cost of getting there, any food or drink you need and the cost of your hotel if it’s an overnight stay.
The grey areas
However, not every expenses is straightforward. Some costs, such as computer equipment and your phone bill, can be claimed as a business expense, but you can only claim the amount you use for business. For example, if 75% of the time you use your mobile phone on blogging activities, like promoting it on social media and writing blog posts, then you can claim 75% of your phone bill as a business expense.
View this post on Instagram
You can also claim back the costs of utility bills, but these must be apportioned to calculate how much you use each room, which can get complicated and time-consuming. Luckily, you can simply claim a flat rate for your expenses depending on how many hours you spend working from, home.
If you feel confused by what kind of blogging expenses you can claim on your tax return, remember that as long as it’s been purchased solely to help you run or promote your blog, it’s probably allowed.