What can you expense as a freelancer? The “Social Influencers” Edition
You’ve made it. You finally have enough followers to monetize your online presence and join the exclusive club of people who can call themselves Social Influencers. But what does that mean for your taxes?
Unlike what most people believe, running a social media channel, whether it’s on Youtube or Instagram, is a full-time endeavor. Creating content, interacting with your audience, looking for partnerships… It is not the life of leisure and casual posting some people think it is - it is truly like running a small business. So like any other freelancers, you are entitled to tax deductions.Now here’s the catch though: of course, not everyone who posts on Instagram can call it a business and use it as an excuse to deduct their trips to the Caribbean! You have to earn money directly from your social media activity, whether it’s from partnerships or ad revenues.
Computer Software and Hardware
Phone, computer, tablet, Smartpad, digital pen, printer, mouse, keyboard...
Subscription to software (Adobe Creative, Microsoft…),
Subscription to services (Google, Vimeo…),
Cell phone bill and data usage,
Everything and anything you use when your screens are on.
Gear and Equipment
Everything and anything you use to take pictures or make videos!
Every expense (big and small) you spend on the production of a photo or a video is deductible.
If you’re baking a cake for a video, all the ingredients are deductible.
If you’re taking a photo of a look, clothes and make up are deductible.
If you’re producing a vlog from your trip in Portugal, your trip expenses are deductible.
Themes and plugins,
Fonts and stock visuals…
Online is your place of business, so everything you spend there is tax deductible.
Pens and Pencils,
If you still do things the old way, all your office supplies are still tax-deductible.
Work from Home Expenses
If you turned part of your home into a little studio and it is used exclusively for that purpose (meaning your bed doesn’t count!), you can deduct the percentage of that space on your rent and/or mortgage.
Desk, furniture and decor,
Portion of your utility bills (water, electricity, internet),
Portion of your property/renter’s insurance...
You run an office at home, so some of your home expenses count as work expenses.
If you meet clients face to face, the cost of the food and drinks on the table between you is tax-deductible.
No matter the vehicle you used to go meet that client or go to that shoot location, whatever you spent to get on that vehicle or make that vehicle move is a work expense: train or plane tickets, gas...
Classes and Training
Did you learn new skills to be more efficient or expand your offerings? These expenses are tax-deductible.
Subscription and Dues
Whatever you spend to stay up to date with design, entertainment or fashion trends (like a subscription to a magazine or a video streaming service) are part of your work expenses.
Gotta be in good health to do business! All your health expenses (premium, out of pockets, dental, vision…) are tax-deductible EXCEPT if you’re covered under a spouse or a relative’s plan.
Conferences and Festivals
If you participate in a business conference or take a seat in sessions at a content festival, the cost of your trips (conference pass, meals, hotels) is deductible.
If you go meet a client more than 100 miles away from your home, the trip counts as a business trip, therefore all the expenses engaged are tax-deductible: hotel nights, 50% of your meals, transportation...
For more details and information, please refer to this IRS article regarding business expenses.