What Writing Expenses Are Tax Deductible?

If you're trying to earn money from your writing (whether that's by freelancing or trying to sell your novel) you get the benefit of business-related tax breaks. But there are some conditions. Here's what you need to know.
Author:
Publish date:

I’ve been writing for a couple of years now, both working on a novel and doing some freelance work. What might be considered business expenses that I can deduct on my taxes? —Kaley A.

tax-deductions-for-writers

The writing business is like any other business, and that means you get the benefit of business-related tax breaks. If you’re a writer and are earning money from your writing (or are at least trying to earn money from it), you can deduct most materials related to your writing venture. This includes pens, paper, printing costs, postage and other writing supplies (though not snacks such as nacho-cheese-flavored Doritos, even if you get your cheesy fingerprints on the supplies—trust me, I’ve tried!).

Other deductible expenses that you should keep receipts for include writing-related travel costs, conference admissions, writing group or association fees, and business lunches—such as when you’re interviewing someone over lunch or dining with a potential client. Research materials (all those books, magazines and newspapers, huzzah!) are deductible, too. You may also deduct items such as a new computer or printer, though you may have to amortize the equipment deduction over a couple of years, so it’s best to consult with a professional tax preparer on those types of purchases.

Also, it’s important to note that if you claim your writing as a business, the IRS expects you to start making money after a couple of years. So if you’re making minimal money, for tax purposes you may only be able to claim your work as a hobby, which would allow you to deduct expenses only up to the amount of income you’ve made from writing.

The key to tallying tax deductions for writing-related business expenses is to keep receipts and records for everything. That way, if you’re ever audited, you’ll have the documentation to back it up.

But, if you’re ever in doubt, consult a professional tax preparer.

Want to learn more that can save you money?
Get Finances and Tax Issues for Writers.
For a few bucks you can improve the business side
of your writing career. Order now.

Z6917

Finances and Tax Issues for Writers

**********************************************************************************************************
Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian's free Writer's Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter
Buy Brian's book OH BOY, YOU'RE HAVING A GIRL, A DAD'S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO RAISING DAUGHTERS

Tags
terms:
Brian Klems
4 Keys for How to Interview in the Age of Zoom

4 Keys for How to Interview in the Age of Zoom

Now that anyone can be reached remotely, you might find yourself anxious about how to best conduct a videoconference interview. Here, author and host of "The Story King Podcast" Giancarlo Ghedini has some tips to guide you.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Shouldn't Do This

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Shouldn't Do This

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have one of your characters help someone when they know they shouldn't.

5 Things Writers Should Know About Flight Attendants

5 Things Writers Should Know About Flight Attendants

If you're thinking of including a flight attendant in your story, let author (and former flight attendant) Lacie Waldon give you some tips.

3 Rules for Writing a Better Dystopian Novel

3 Rules for Writing a Better Dystopian Novel

Science fiction author Marissa Levien discusses what makes a dystopian novel great—and what mistakes writers should avoid making in their work.

Shawn Nocher: On Letting Your Characters Lead

Shawn Nocher: On Letting Your Characters Lead

Author Shawn Nocher discusses how thinking deeply about her characters lead her to a breakthrough when crafting her debut novel A Hand to Hold in Deep Water.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 570

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a summer poem.

How I Sold the Cover of My Latest Book as an NFT and What I Learned

How I Sold the Cover of My Latest Book as an NFT and What I Learned

When faced with the difficult task of promoting his novel Catch 42: A novel about our future, writer Felix Holzapfel had a wild idea: Why not use non-fungible tokens?

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Author Bridget Morrissey explains the differences in her process for writing her first adult debut, Love Scenes, compared to her YA novels, what she wanted to explore in adult fiction, and more!