Journalism Related Tax Deductions

Journalists have an important in reporting the current events and other newsworthy stories to the public. When it comes time for taxes, it’s important for those who work as a journalist or to know what to expect. You will receive a Form W-2 from your employer which will document the amount you earned and any tax withholdings. If you freelance, you are considered self-employed. Self-employed taxpayers have to report on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business.

Self-employed individuals will not receive a Form W-2, but should instead expect a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, which will show the amounts paid from the sender of the form. Net earnings over $400 require you to file a tax return and pay on all income reported on Schedule C. You may have to make quarterly estimated tax payments to cover the self-employment tax you are liable for.

You can reduce your taxes by claiming work related as deductions. Any unreimbursed expenses relating to your job can be deducted on a Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, or Schedule C in the case of self-employed individuals. You’ll be required to keep receipts which serve as proof of your expenses. You can deduct costs associated with:

  • Production of business cards, resumes, and portfolios, as well as technical expenses such as website development and software.
  • Payments to others for services such as personal assistant, information sources, or attorney advice.
  • Travel for business purposes, such as meetings, seminars, assignments, job searches and interviews you are required to conduct.
  • Continuing .
  • Subscriptions to professional magazines and trade publications
  • Union dues, licensing fees, and business gifts.
  • The use of a (subject to regular -office deduction rules).

Media professionals who appear on-air are generally required to maintain a specific appearance. In these cases, the expenses incurred are considered personal, as opposed to work-related, because the benefit of the services is inherently personal. Due to this, no deduction is allowed for personal expenses relating to upkeep of a specific appearance, such as clothing, makeup, hair, or fitness.