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  1. #1
    Member cheapmom's Avatar
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    Write Offs for webmasters
    The last thing I want to do is create a red flag on my taxes next year but- we are taking a family vacation in October. If I write some articles about this trip as content to my web site- could I write of some of my travel expenses?

  2. #2
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    Strictly Business
    I have a friend with a travel site. It has become an "authority" site.
    He was offered $1 Million for it and turned them down.

    He travels with his wife all the time. They are currently in Barcelona doing research which is strictly business.

  3. #3
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    If your site covers items such as how to vacation on a budget, etc and you can document all expenses, then you MAY be able to do so. However, I would, in order to be absolutely sure, explain my business model to my cpa or tax attorney to get their professional opinion. If they guide you incorrectly, they'll bear the burden of that misadvice.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Ward
    I have a friend with a travel site. It has become an "authority" site.
    He was offered $1 Million for it and turned them down.

    He travels with his wife all the time. They are currently in Barcelona doing research which is strictly business.
    wow, what site is that ?

  5. #5
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    This seems to open a great big pandoras box of writeoffs:

    I talk about my good experience buying X on my X-site and use it as a powerful testimonial on my X-site. Can I write off the purchase of X?
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    I wish I could write off the purchase of X since I did a web review on it, but since I keep x and continue to use it I think that I can't. If I were to sell x after my review I think I could probably write off my loss on the item.

    I think the travel thing would be easier to write off if you were going by yourself for the sole purpose of writing an article. But as you said it is a family vacation.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    You can write off your portion of the trip is you can justify the expenses as "business related" such as taking the trip to "do" reasearch for an articles for you website...

    I do this all the time.... however when I take my wife I can't claim that part of the trip because she isn't part of the business...

    Documentation is key here!

    It is no different then deducting the part of your house you use for an office..

    If you have a dedicated room that you use for an office and nothing else you can claim a deduction for that % of you rent or house payment as an business expense but not the entire payment.

    However, if you use a corner of your family room as an office you get no deduction because the primary use of the space for family related. same goes for phone, ISP, electricity etc....

    This is why it is so important to separate your person and business expenses
    co-mingling expenses is a jungle with all kinds of land minds just waiting to be tripped...

    JOe
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    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    A good accountant is a worthy expense. If mine is giving me the wrong info I'll have to change, but so far he has told me to expense a portion of the ISP, electricity, etc... for my corner.

    I've questioned him about trips with my business as main focus, and certain portions seem to not be a problem. Also, a per diem for trips out of town is quite generous. I document everything, keep receipts, notes, etc...

  9. #9
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I am about to put a whole new section on my house just for the office. How much of that can I write off. My estimate will be about $40,000 or so. It would be sweet to write off the whole thing.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  10. #10
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    FWIW my tax guy has a little different view on the home office thing.. It is a simple calculation based on the square footage of the house compared to the footage of my office ( a 11x11 office in a 1500sq foot house )..

    I COULD deduct the room, utilities, etc for my office BUT if I try to sell my house the government gets a percentage the sale price for Capital Gains or somethink like that because I was using it as a deduction..

    Depending on how big you are a good tax person can usually find enough other deduction to make up the difference without jeapordizing you potential future income on the sale of a house..

    Trips for business he lets me write off a percentage. Dinners out with friends or s/o's who have web-sites I've designed are business expenses because they are customers. The $600 GPS I just bought COULD be one because I'm using it for a review on one of my sites BUT it might throw up a red flag.

    He said I'm better off approaching a company and trying to get perks or products for reviews than deducting everything.. Tell them I run a travel site and give them a link to it and my review section, see if they are willing to comp a room for a review or something like that..

    Personally I'll walk the line but am not willing to cross it.. I think the general theme here is get a tax person that is aggressive without breaking the law.. See how many times they have had customers audited and how successfull they have been.

    Just my opinion..

  11. #11
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    I should have a pizza review site and travel the world looking for the best pizza. Write it all off

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I should have a pizza review site and travel the world looking for the best pizza. Write it all off
    Oh that would be great.. You could invite friends over and have them rate the movies and pizza for your site

  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents

    However, if you use a corner of your family room as an office you get no deduction because the primary use of the space for family related. same goes for phone, ISP, electricity etc....

    JOe
    My accountant advised me that I could write off my ISP cost. I even told him that it is used for other things such as my regular day job.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  14. #14
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I use a corner of my apartment for my "office" (what would normally be part of the dining area) and write off part of my rent, part of my electric bill as well as my cable internet connection. I'm fixing to even add my cell phone (and only phone) to the tally since it's starting to get alot of business use.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotspice
    FWIW my tax guy has a little different view on the home office thing.. It is a simple calculation based on the square footage of the house compared to the footage of my office ( a 11x11 office in a 1500sq foot house )..

    I COULD deduct the room, utilities, etc for my office BUT if I try to sell my house the government gets a percentage the sale price for Capital Gains or somethink like that because I was using it as a deduction..

    Check with yoru accountant, but I believe this is incorrect. This is only the case if the business directly makes payments for your home etc, or at least not dependant on the business use of your house. Because of course you will have to pay tax on the sale of your house, and that will be a capital gain, but there is no extra tax just because you deducted a percentage of your home as a home-office.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador meleemel's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to look into this! I was also told, and read that the "office space" had to be used soley for the business. I'm using a "corner" of the room as my office area as well.
    mel

  17. #17
    Full Member ellen-s4y's Avatar
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    From the IRS:
    Do You Have a Deductible Home Office? http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...108138,00.html

    And from:
    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p587.pdf

    "Exclusive Use
    To qualify under the exclusive use test, you must use a specific area of your home only for your trade or business.
    The area used for business can be a room or other separately identifiable space. The space does not need to be marked off by a permanent partition. You do not meet the requirements of the exclusive use test if you use the area in question both for business and for personal purposes.

    Example. You are an attorney and use a den in your home to write legal briefs and prepare clients’ tax returns. Your family also uses the den for recreation. The den is not used exclusively in your profession, so you cannot claim a business deduction for its use."
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I should have a pizza review site and travel the world looking for the best pizza. Write it all off
    Methinks you should create an authoritative site on self-cleaning ovens. Then you could write off that pizza.

    Michael

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