We've been gearing up for tax season, and boy have we run into some hurdles. Normally, I do my own taxes. I have for years now, because I've had very simple finances (i.e. no mortgage or business purchases, usually one line of income, etc.). But this year, things have gotten a bit hairy.
Travel blogging, or travel writing, deserves a lot of research as far as taxes are concerned, because it's a newer career, or means of making money. To be honest, there isn't much out there on the web in terms of extensive information on this topic. We had questions. Can we deduct the cost of monthly RV payments, if we do half of our work from inside the RV? Is mileage deducted between travel destinations? How are expenses and deductions even calculated?!
We even read a travel blogging tax horror story. In 2008, Joshua Pingel quit his job, created an LLC and took a 401(k) distribution to finance all of his travels, totaling around $17,000. He spent around 6 months backpacking around Europe, Asia and the Middle East, blogging about his experiences and taking tons of photos along the way. Yet, when he went to claim his travel as a write off, he was denied. Truth be told, Pingel had a weak case. His blog prose about the "best" ice cream in Paris never named any specific locations. Not to mention his blog was "accidentally" deleted by the time everything even went to court. The judge says anyone trying to write off taxes as a blogger, should really have a blog, right?
After searching further, we finally came across a great article that did answer a few of our questions. Susan Shain interviewed an accountant who provided some great personal insight on travel blogging taxes. You can read the article in entirety here: http://susanshain.com/taxes-travel-bloggers/
Although we haven't been able to acquire more personal information in terms of taxes and travel blogging, we're certainly going to try. We'll be in touch with a few different places/accountants and report back our findings.
Stay tuned for a Part II!
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