The life of a travel blogger is enviable and from an outside perspective, it may seem like they can live an ideal life of exotic vacations and fancy meals. However, the reality of the work is a lot more complicated than just play and luxury!
With the US tax system, you enter sort of a gray zone when it comes to travel blogging. But as a general rule, as long as your blog/website turns a profit within five years, it’ll be classified as a legitimate business.
As freelancers, travel bloggers are required to file quarterly taxes, four times a year. Quarterly taxes for people who do not have their taxes automatically withheld from their earnings. This means they pay their taxes to the IRS four times a year.
But, one of the perks of being self-employed is that you can deduct expenses.
Kelly is a travel and lifestyle blogger who has visited over 30 countries. As a self-employed individual, she has struggled with her taxes since the IRS doesn’t provide a clear set of instructions regarding applicable deductions.
Generally, any expense that is deemed ordinary and necessary for your trade or business is considered a legitimate deduction.
As a travel blogger, Kelly can claim a couple of deductions like-
- Start-up costs
- Website and hosting expenses
- Content-related expenses
- A home office
- Marketing costs
- Payments to outside contractors
- Computer equipment
- Other equipment
- Online product and services
However, aside from these common deductions, there are also many lesser-known deductions that can be claimed by travel and lifestyle bloggers, which is exactly what FlyFin did for Kelly.
FlyFin is the world’s first AI tax engine that is specifically designed for freelancers. It is not only powered by A.I. but also backed by CPAs to provide you with the most accurate tax review. With the help of FlyFin, Kelly was able to write off an entire trip as a business expense!
She went out for a trip to Mexico and was shocked to learn about the number of deductions she could claim. Kelly often creates content from her travel experiences and shares it with her followers on different social media platforms. Since she is often busy with work during her trips, FlyFin and its team of CPAs categorized her entire trip as a business expense.
The following represents some of the tax deductions Kelly claimed:
Lodging/Rental: Aside from her lodging, Kelly had rented a space for her photoshoot. After verifying this deduction with the app’s CPAs, she deducted the full cost of lodging incurred for business purposes.
Conveyance: All her travel expenses that were necessary while working were deductible. So for example, she was able to write off all the Uber rides she took to her shoot locations and business meetings in Mexico.
According to the IRS: flights, hotels, taxis, and food are deductible business expenses as long as they’re for actual, legitimate business purposes.
Food & Beverages: Usually, you can deduct up to 50% of the cost of a business meal. However, as of 2021, you can now deduct 100% of business meal costs, which is exactly what Kelly did. She was able to deduct 100% of certain meals (which included dine-in, takeout, delivery), under specific conditions that CPAs helped her understand.
The CPAs told her that all the food & beverages were deductible if she consumed them while on the job, as long as they weren’t extravagant or for entertainment purposes.
Photography: All her business expenses like paying for a photographer, and editing, were tax-deductible.
With FlyFin, she was able to automate and streamline all her tax deductions along with the help of CPAs, whom she could consult directly without paying any additional costs.
If you are a freelancer too and happen to be confused about deductions, download the FlyFin app now and find out what you can write off.
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