I hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed the fellowship and gift exchanges with family and friends! Now that Christmas is over, in a few more days we’ll be celebrating the New Year, which means it won’t be long until we self-employed folks have to fork over some of our earnings to Uncle Sam. With that in mind, I thought I give you a few tips on how you can manage your business expenses. These tips will help you give as little as possible to Uncle Sam. Furthermore, they’ll help you keep your writing business more organized in 2011 and the years to follow.
Business Expenses You Can Claim
As long as your yearly investments had to do with your writing business, you can pretty much claim them. Some of the things we writers can claim are: mileage for any travel related to a writing job, any equipment bought for writing (laptop, computer, printer, fax, digital camera, flash drive, etc.), telephone expenses for interviews, research and fact checking, supplies (printer paper, ink cartridges, etc..), charitable contributions, books that you bought to help you learn more about the industry, advertising expenses, insurance expenses, postage expenses and more — visit the IRS Website for additional information.
Managing Your Business Expenses
- Keep receipts of everything you buy (online and offline) related to your writing business.
- Keep a record of all your business expenses. The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet with four columns: purchase date (date you made the purchase), amount spent (how much you paid), what (the name of the product or service you bought) and for (what the item, service or etc. was bought for).
- File all your receipts in a folder labeled business expense receipts or something similar.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Join me again in 2011 for another post. In that post, you’ll discover how to build a store on your writing website that will help you increase your income in 2011. I plan to share a list of writing-related products you can sell, so stay tuned! Until then, I hope you have a very happy, safe, blessed and prosperous New Year!
Photo credit: Mat Honan