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Business Expenses For Hub Page Writers

Updated on April 26, 2013
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I recently turned in my tax information to my accountant. The year 2012 was the first year I wrote for Hub Pages and he asked if I had any business expenses to declare for the income earned from my Hub Page writing. I chuckled at that for a second. But then I spent a little time actually thinking about it. Do I have any business expenses related to Hub Pages? I already had a computer and a camera, so that wouldn't work. I don't use my printer because all my work is done electronically and published online and saved on my computer so no ink or paper expenses. I have gone on cruises and other trips and written about them on Hub Pages, but since I didn't specifically go on those trips for the purpose of writing hubs about them, I can't use the trips as tax deductions. And it would be ridiculous for me to state that I am writing off a cruise as business expense for Hub Pages when one looks at my earnings based on that cruise review or the few articles I write about the places I visited when I was away. But I figured if I put my mind to it, I could think of some legitimate tax write offs for my second year as a Hub Page writer.

The following examples are some that I plan to use:

Day Trip For a Hub Topic

I would love to be a travel writer and travel the world writing articles about my experiences. And to get paid on top of that would be even better. But alas, that hasn't happened yet, so instead, I write about my travels on Hub Pages. As I said in the previous paragraph, I can't use those trips I go on as a tax write off for Hub Pages, but what if I were to plan some day trips to do some investigative work for the explicit purpose of writing a hub? I live in Connecticut in the United States and there are two museums that are a 45 minute drive from me that I have always wanted to go to. But so far, in the 50 years I have lived in this state, I never have. My husband and I are thinking of moving South at some point in the future, and at that point, it will be much harder to go visit these museums. If I were to plan a day specifically to drive to Hartford and visit these two museums, take detailed notes and many pictures for the express purpose of writing a hub about each of them, then I could use this trip as a tax write off. I could keep track of the gas mileage and the entry fee, and it just so happens that these two museums are right next to each other, so it would be very convenient to visit them both in one day.

Picture Taking Trip

I have a camera that I use to take pictures to illustrate my hubs. I can plan one day that I travel all around my geographic area taking pictures specifically for hubs. I live in an area where in a 30 mile radius, there are 4 state parks and 10 museums. I already know a lot about these museums, but don't have pictures. I can keep track of my starting mileage and plan a route that encompasses as many of these sites as possible, and stop at each one taking a variety of pictures. At the state parks, there are numerous items to take pictures of that I can use in future hubs, so I can illustrate them with my own work instead of searching the internet for free photos that someone else has taken to illustrate my words. Examples of more generic items to take pictures of for future use are pine trees, pine cones, rocks, boulders, walking paths, a river or stream, birds, squirrels, deer or any other wildlife. These are fantastic fill ins to use with a variety of hubs. At the end of the trip I can write down the gas mileage and use that as a tax write off. If anyone else wants to try this, and has children, bringing them along for the ride, and stopping along your route for lunch or a playground stop would also make this fun for family members. And a picture on Hub Pages of a child sliding down a slide, or swinging on a swing makes a great addition to a Hub about kids or parenting.

Business Cards

Have you ever thought of printing business cards to pass around to friends and acquaintances that let them know you are an online writer? I have had many business cards in other jobs I have held, as well as in my previous entrepreneurial adventures, and I miss having them now. I have been toying with the idea of getting some printed. I also write for textbroker.com and so instead of Hub Page writer, my business card may state that I am a content writer, and of course as my website address, I would put my Hub Pages profile page. If I decide to do this, the cost of the business cards can be a tax write off. I could be very professional and go to Staples or a stationary store and have fancy cards made up. But I will probably get free business cards at Vistaprint.com and only pay for the postage. But the postage can be a tax write off for me, even though it won't cost much.

Events

If I go to a movie so that I can review it specifically for Hub Pages, then I can use the gas mileage and cost of the ticket as a tax write off. Or if I go to a play, or concert, again specifically for the purposes of reviewing it for a hub, I can do the same. There are many events for which this can be done, but the goal must be to write about it on Hub Pages.

Although these are only a few ways to develop tax write offs for Hub Pages, they are legitimate tax write offs and it could help writers of hubs save a bit on their taxes.

Hub Page Tax Write Offs

Did you use any of these tax write offs for Hub Pages for last year's taxes?

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    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great hub! All writers should think about this. I deducted the camera I bought last year for taking photos for my online articles. We can also deduct what we pay for internet. If it becomes your job to write from home, and you have an office, you can deduct office space and utilities. I'm not there quite yet! I deducted my subscriptions to Writer's Digest, the Writer's market, and other publications related to freelance writing. I've also bought a mouse for my laptop when mine went bad, a USB for storing articles and ideas, a year's subscription to Carbonite to backup my computer in case it crashes and I lose all my documents. I think I had a few more misc. expenses, but those were the main ones. There are lots of things we can deduct. If you get a blog, deduct what you pay for that, but I digress. :-)

      Business cards are a great idea, too. I need to get some! And I hadn't thought about going to events specifically to write a hub about it. That's a great idea, too. Great hub. Sharing!

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 4 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Interesting- since you have to pay taxes on HubPages income, it is reasonable to think about tax deductions for expenses incurred while earning that income. I wonder if coffee is deductible...

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Absolutely! Good thinking, by the time I have made all of my deductions I believe I will have a net loss writing for HubPages.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Victoria Lynn,

      Well, you are very ahead of me in the tax write off department. My accountant is very by the book so he wouldn't let me write off a camera unless I ONLY used it for Hub Pages and not for family photos, etc. I don't know what he would say about deducting for the internet since I use the internet for social things as well...email, Facebook, etc. but I will have to ask him. And wouldn't it be great if all Hub Page writers who want to write for a living become so professional at it that it does become our business and we can write off the office, etc. So cool...well here's hoping that happens for both of us! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      drpennypincher,

      First of all I love your name! And yes since we pay taxes on Hub Page income we might as well take deductions if we have legitimate ones.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Sherry Hewins,

      Well, yes, the is the thing we need to watch out for. I think we can only have 3 years of no profit from a business before the IRS says it's a hobby and we can't claim it as a business. So those of us who want to become professional writers need to watch out for that. Thanks for stopping by.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Awesome ideas and hub, Karen! One of the reasons I write on HubPages about my simultaneous involvement with eBay selling is to create and expand certain write-offs. Some examples include deducting 50% of my meals and beverages expenses while on a trip that requires me to stay overnight. I specifically go to coffee shops to write about eBay for HubPages, and so I write those incidental expenses off. I met with my sister and a couple specifically for the purpose of teaching them about eBay and was able to write off a part of my trip. If I buy things for the purpose of reselling them on eBay during a trip, I deduct those items as well. Mileage spent for traveling from one place to another to conduct business is deductible--for example, when my wife and I travel to a town 11 miles away to shop at a thrift store or go to yard sales, I deduct 22 miles (or the actual mileage). At the current 55 cents per mile, that's a wonderful deduction to keep track of.

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas with us.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I never thought of this. I shared a cause I'm peobably not alone.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Mhatter99,

      Thanks for reading and sharing. Actually, I should thank my accountant for this idea!!!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, you are right about all the tax write offs for an Ebay seller. Not so much for a Hub Page writer, but they are still present. Thanks for your tips on tax write offs for Ebay...you should write a hub about that for those of us who are new to Ebay but are thinking about giving it a try?!

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      I am new to HubPages. So income is ruled out at the moment but this idea is also new for me. I think it is worth implementing once I reach a stage to do it. Thanks for adding to my knowledge.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Karen,

      You and Hawaii give some good points. I do hope Hawaii does write a hub as such. My brain is always elsewhere.

      Thanks for this informative hub.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      srsddn,

      Welcome to Hub Pages. Keep plugging away and before you know it you'll be making money on Hub Pages, if that is part of your goal.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      wetnosedogs,

      I hope he writes that hub as well. Did you read that hawaiianodysseus??? The world of Hub Pages is awaiting your wisdom!

    • TylerKathy profile image

      Kathy Andres 4 years ago from Lansing, Michigan

      Thank you Karen for the great article! I spent almost all of 2011 either in the hospital or nursing home. I have a whole different outlook on life. There are so many things we take for granted! I have a 4 year old grand daughter who holds my heart in her little hands! I would like to take her to movies or museums, but I have been concerned with my medical costs. If I were able to claim the cost as part of my writing, that would benefit me! I really appreciate what you have to share on your Hub!!!

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thanks for these tips Karen. Tooo late for me this year but definitely for next year and who knows, maybe I will have some earnings to report too!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Lizam,

      I certainly hope you do have some earnings to report. Just keep at it and you will.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Tylerkathy,

      I am so sad for you that you didn't have a very good year in 2011. Keep writing and you will earn from Hub Pages. Yes, take your grand daughter to those places and then write a hub about it. Just make sure you don't go overboard on expenditures because if you don't make a profit on your writing in 3 years, the IRS considers it a hobby and you won't be able to write anything off at that point. Good luck. Thanks for commenting.

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