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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by zeke12, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    OK, as many of you know I'm back in the business after a layoff for grad school.

    I am now a SE at a small shop where I do pretty much everything.

    My question is, what receipts should I be saving? What can I write off as a legitimate expense? Cell phone bill? Cable bill? Home internet connection? SI subscription? Mileage?

    I will likely go talk to an accountant eventually, but for now I'm just interested in knowing what you all write off on your taxes...
  2. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I don't write off anything because I never have enough that would make it worth my while to itemize. Every time I do, Turbo Tax tells me I'm better off with the standard deduction, even when I was a freelancer and claiming a new laptop and all my mileage. But there are smarter people than I (duh) who can give you far greater advice.
  3. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    Work-wise, I write off the cell phone and the difference between my company's mileage rate and the federal standard. 11 or 12 cents, multiplied by thousands of miles, can add up. ;D
  4. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Turbo Tax is wrong in terms of being a freelancer.

    A freelancer would be, in effect, a business. Therefore, most legitimate expenses to produce income are deductible - the new laptop especially, and any record books you might buy.

    The problem Zeke would have is that being a salaried employee, you would have to get enough deductions to be better than the standard deduction. If you own or will purchase a house, then there is a good chance you benefit if you itemize. However, it is a good idea to save all of the receipts anyway so you can see what things cost you.
  5. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    Jerry : So we're going to make the Post Office pay for my new stereo?
    Kramer : It's just a write off for them.
    Jerry : How is it a write off?
    Kramer : They just write it off.
    Jerry : Write it off what?
    Kramer : Jerry, all these big companies they write off everything
    Jerry : You don't even know what a write off is.
    Kramer : Do you?
    Jerry : No. I don't.
    Kramer : But they do and they're the ones writing it off.
  6. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Cell phone bill. Whatever percentage of the time you use it for work, write off that percentage of the bill.
    Cable bill... write off 50-60% of it, saying you spend nearly half your time watching sports as part of your job.
    Home internet connection -- same as cable and phone, write off a percentage of it saying you do some work from home and need access to the e-mail and various websites.
    Mileage -- write off the difference between the federal allowance and what your company reimburses you. If they don't reimburse you, write off all your mileage.
    SI Subscription -- Doubt you can write that off as a work expense, but check with an accountant.
  7. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Yes, you can write it off as a work expense. You're a sports writer/editor. SI is a sports magazine. Any publication you subscribe to -- as long as its tangentially related to your job -- is deductible.

    We subscribe to the NY Times. It's not cheap (about $500 a year), and it gets written off every year. Working in PR, I could deduct basically every magazine/newspaper I subscribe to, but my boss beats me to the punch by subscribing to all the golf-related pubs and circulating them at work.

    Your internet connection? Deductible, since you do work from home.
    Your cable bill? Most likely deductible, using the ESPN/Fox Sports/The Golf Channel/etc argument

    As the disclamer goes, talk to your accountant/tax professional. I did, which is where this info came from.
  8. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Work-related books/magazines are a deductible expense.
  9. Be careful there.
    You can't just start deducting cable and internet bills.
    If you get audited you damn well better be able to prove that you have those things for work use. Not work-related use and not for part-time work use.
    Deductible items, such as laptops, software, internet services have to be used and purchased for business use.
    I'd watch deducting your cable and internet bill.
  10. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    If you can deduct your cellphone bill (or a portion of it) for work related use, you can certainly deduct a portion of the cable or internet bill. If your total cable & internet bill is $120 a month, you can certainly deduct $30-$40 a month of that on your taxes for work related activities.
  11. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I was pretty sure on the cell phone. Not as sure on the cable.

    A percentage sounds fair. And if I do get audited, I can point out that we don't have a TV in the office, so I have to watch anything I want to watch from home or in person.

    Thanks for the tips, all.

    Keep them coming, if you have more...
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

Draft saved Draft deleted

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