Author Topic: freelance writing tax deduction  (Read 1244 times)

pdean

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freelance writing tax deduction
« on: August 03, 2017, 03:02:21 PM »
I vacationed with my extended family over the Fourth of July, including a rafting trip. Out of the rafting came an article which I sold. I have an ongoing writing gig, so there will be other writing-related expenses in 2017.

The question is, can I deduct all expenses connected with the trip as part of my writer's expenses? If not, what portion? Thanks for any advice.


JoJo

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Re: freelance writing tax deduction
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2017, 03:59:11 PM »
following.  I started a travel blog this year and am trying to see what's reasonable.  I do have a little bit of income this year but my expenses of hosting, software, attending a convention, and other travel will far exceed any income.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: freelance writing tax deduction
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 04:43:55 PM »
I've done this a lot.

In Australia you determine the portion that was for personal enjoyment and the portion that was work-related.

For me that means claiming a percentage of travel, a percentage of accommodation, entry fees for specific events/places you wrote about (museums, national parks, etc), and meals but not alcohol.

jwright

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Re: freelance writing tax deduction
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 08:27:12 AM »
To me this is a gray area, where you can be aggressive (risky) or not.

If the trip is primarily personal, you can only deduct the directly related business expenses.  If you were writing a review of the rafting company, I would deduct your rental fees and gear (not your family's) for the rafting excursion.  You would not be able to deduct the travel or accommodations for the vacation as that is not directly related. 

Conversely, if you plan a business trip with incidental personal travel, you need to separate out the mileage or meals that are personal in nature and not deduct them.  Ie, deduct breakfast with a client, but not lunch with a friend. 

There are different standards for travel outside the US as well.

IRS Publication 463 has a number of examples of what/when to deduct business travel. 

pdean

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Re: freelance writing tax deduction
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 05:40:34 PM »
Thanks everyone -- jwright that's very helpful.

Trirod

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Re: freelance writing tax deduction
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 05:50:15 PM »
It is a bit of a gray area, but ultimately if the IRS audits you it's going to come down to how much you made from selling the article vs. the costs you incurred.  So if you sell the piece for $100 and had $1,000 of expenses, the IRS is going to be skeptical that it's a bona fide deduction. But if you see sell it for $3,000 then that looks quite different.