Tax time for editors!

I just spent an afternoon with the lovely Deb of DLD Bookkeeping Solutions, who helps me with my taxes every year. Without her help, I would be lost when it comes to taxes and accounting. My strength lies in words and language, not numbers! I found so many great deductions this year, I thought I’d share some ideas.

If you are a freelance editor, did you know you can claim the following? Many of these also apply to authors, especially those who write for a living. (Obviously check with your own tax preparer for specifics, but these have worked for me.)

  • Your home office. If you have a devoted space to work from home, you can claim part of your mortgage interest, property taxes, and insurance for the business.

  • Part of your phone and internet costs.

  • Healthcare costs. No joke, healthcare is expensive, and that goes double when you are self-employed. The good news is that you can claim both the cost of your health insurance (if you buy it yourself from the market) and health-related expenses on your taxes.

  • My mailbox. I maintain a PO box for clients to use so I don’t have to give out my personal address.

  • EFA, ACES, or any other professional membership fees.

  • That copy of CMoS or Merriam Webster you bought, not to mention the grammar refresher course. Books, workbooks, classes, and any other educational costs related to your job can be deducted.

  • Your website hosting and domain name costs.

  • Bought a new copy of Word (or Acrobat, PerfectIt, Scrivener, or any other editing software)? Deduct it!

  • Computers, printers, ink, notebooks, business cards, red pens, or any other office supplies you purchased for your business.

  • The cost of professional tax preparation from the previous year. Seriously!

  • Bonus tip: Are you a parent? I found out this year that I can deduct my kid’s school fees, which doesn’t have to mean tuition. It can be anything from supplies to field trip money.

Self-employment is not for the faint of heart, but if you stay organized and keep up with your documentation throughout the year, you should be in good shape come tax time. Round up your 1099s and receipts and invest in a reliable tax professional. A freelancer who stays on top of their taxes is a freelancer who is likely to make it another year in the business, so get to it!

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