>Happy tax day. I hope you’re not still stressing over your return, but if you are, remember that you can deduct your expenses as a freelance writer. You need to fill out a schedule C as sole proprietor of your own business, but that’s not as hard as it sounds. Just fill in the blanks. You’ll need to know how much you made, how much you spent and what you spent it on? Didn’t keep track? Uh-oh. Start right now and try to recreate as much as you can from January through now then keep it going through the year in a ledger book, a program such as Quickbooks or notes on your daily calendar. And keep your receipts!

Even if you don’t make any money this year, you can deduct your expenses as long as you can show through your submission records that you’re trying to make money. Among the deductibles: office supplies, computers, mileage, photo gear, telephone and Internet expenses, writing courses, workshops, and conferences, publications connected to your work—including your daily or weekly newspaper—and work-related travel expenses. If you’re making lots of money and you have a home office dedicated to writing, you can also deduct the costs of that space. However, don’t bother if your expenses already outweigh your income. If you already make way more than you spend, hire an accountant to worry about this stuff for you.

If you’ve got questions, you can find many answers at www.irs.gov.

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