Tax Breaks Freelancers Should Take Advantage of This Year


Taxes; everyone hates them. There seems to be no real reason that anyone would appreciate handing over a sizable chunk of their hard-earned income to the government every year, and that’s all right. We can all hate it, as long as we continue to pay them. Taxes are probably the biggest drawback to the freelance industry. See, no one takes our money and gives us what is left at the end of the pay period. We are responsible for doing that on our own. So while those who work for others are aware that they make more money than they actually receive each month, they are not used to seeing that money before their check arrives, which makes it a little bit easier. The rest of us, however; we see that money. We see it, and then we have to take it and send it off to the government and it’s a bummer. It’s a serious bummer that requires a lot of dedication and patience.

That’s why freelancers love and look for tax breaks all over the place. Every single tax break a freelancer can find can only help to make our tax liability a little bit less impressive and our out-of-pocket expenses a little bit less expensive. Of course, we still have to pay. We all still owe money to the government every single year. And it’s not fun. It’s not our favorite; and it’s not something that we enjoy paying, but it’s our civic duty or something to that effect. Fortunately for you, I’m a former tax preparer and a freelancer who pays taxes, so I have a few tax breaks I recommend for all freelancers across the country. Read on to find out which tax breaks you should take advantage of this year.

Home office expenses

If you’re like me and you work from home, you can write off your home office business expenses. For me, this includes things like my computer and my internet since I use both to write, research and publish my articles. I even get to deduct a portion of my mortgage since I use my home as an office. The amount is determined based on how much of my home I actually use for my own office, and the fact that I have a private office with a private entrance is something that really does work to my advantage. I can calculate that to figure out how much of my home and my home expenses are deductible. It makes it a lot more cost-effective for me to pay these things and get the tax advantages of them.

Website hosting

Most businesses have learned the value of hosting websites in terms of their business expenses are concerned. Think about it; how often do you do business with someone when you cannot find them on the internet? How often do you do business with people you find in the phone book? The what? When I was growing up and we needed things like phone numbers, we had to use this big book with black numbers in it that belonged to phones that were not cellular phones. They were real phones. With cords and bases and things that you haven’t seen in many years; now we use the internet. If I need a contractor or a service, I look online. If you do not have a website, I do not call you. It’s that simple. This is why you can do things like look online to find companies you can use for business purposes. And when you have a website, you tend to have more business success. You also have more tax breaks.


Did you know that all advertising you do for your business is tax deductible? It is, and it’s easy for you to take advantage of those breaks when you really get into it. From your business cards to flyers, to the sign you hang outside your home or office, you get to take advantage of the price that it costs to create those and use them as a business expense. Additionally, provided your business takes part in any trade shows or things of that nature, you are eligible to take advantage of those fees as business expenses as far as advertising is concerned come tax time.

Business travel

Okay, so we are not talking about that vacation you took with your friends just for fun. We are talking about travel to different trade shows, to provide services, to meet new clients or anything that was even remotely work related to your business. You can deduct everything from your flight to your tolls to your rental car to your hotel to your meals and everything in between while you are on this trip. It’s a great advantage if you travel often for work, since travel adds up quickly. Take advantage of it and go ahead and write it off at the end of the year.

A little advice

There is a bit of advice I’d like to offer to those who want to write off some of those business expenses as a freelancer. One such piece of advice is to take extra care when it comes to your record keeping. You need to be careful to take care of your records all the time. There is never a good time not to care immaculately for your tax records, as they are exceptional essential should you ever have any questions to your tax preparation needs or you are the unlucky recipient of the unfortunate audit. Another piece of advice is to talk to a tax professional or at least use a professional tax preparation software company that will make it easy for you to get your information recorded properly and accurately. You do not want to make mistakes that will cost you more in the long run; since no one wants to owe any more money than they already do to the IRS. It’s not fun to write more checks than necessary.

Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images


Leave a Reply