Keep an Eye Out for Writing-related Tax Deductions

sharonwotrhead.gifThe Parent-Writer: Strategies for Success
By Sharon Miller Cindrich

When I think of spring, I think of two things: jelly beans and taxes. Whether you make $400 or $40,000 writing, you’ll most likely be filing taxes to document your income and earnings.

Keeping receipts is key for the parent writer – you never know when you may find yourself writing about a fun picnic at your local state park (write off the picnic, mileage and parking) or review a local performance of “A Christmas Carol” (write off tickets, mileage and parking) or sell a story on how to make the most of a road trip (write off food, lodging, videos, crafts and, of course, mileage.) If you’ve held on to your receipts, you can deduct these costs from your annual earnings.

While tax laws vary from state to state, consider the following when filing your taxes–and more importantly, when planning this year’s expenses.

Gas it up. Trips to the beach, a forest preserve or even an amusement park can be deducted for mileage – this year 48.4 cents a mile – if you can connect them to your writing job.

Toys, snacks and bicycles, oh my. Toys, recreational equipment or even snacks that you’re using as a component of a story can be deducted as an expense.

Bucks for babysitters. Check your state requirements to see if you can deduct childcare expenses based on your writing projects.

Renew your subscription to Parents. Subscriptions to magazines, newsletters or newspapers that you use for research or write for can also be deducted.

Do you do the zoo?
If you write about local attractions in your area, you can deduct memberships and admission to organizations like the zoo, the conservatory or a community pool. Consider pitching stories about local theater, museums or family-friendly sports events.

Understanding deductions can help you make the most of your family activities, ignite ideas for fun pitches and manage your bottom line.

E-Parenting, Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids by Sharon CindrichSharon Miller Cindrich is a freelance writer whose work has been published nationally in magazines and newspapers around the country including The Chicago Tribune, Parents Magazine, and The Writer. She is a Contributing Editor at FamilyFun Magazine and writes a bimonthly humor column for West Suburban Living Magazine in the Chicago Suburbs. She is a regular contributor to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lifestyle section and Metroparent Magazine. Her book E-Parenting: Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids is now out from Random House. Read more about Sharon at http://www.pluggedinparent.com/.

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