Twilight Zone Trump Era: #2

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Back at the end of January, I wrote my first post in this series on the Trump era. I had planned to regularly write about things I notice happening around me, as suggested by a series of posts by Amy Siskind.

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

She is up to Week 22. I have not been up to the task. I read a lot of tweets, articles, blog posts and watch videos about all that is going on. I saved links to share them, but it got too overwhelming and I didn’t write that next post. Until today.

With each revelation of Trump’s connections with Russia and the resignations of many of his staff, I hoped that finally this house of cards was collapsing and his administration would end. It seems that nothing is enough. Isn’t this treason? Shouldn’t treason be enough?

This past week, tensions with North Korea seemed to be coming to a head with threats of nuclear war. I was surprised to wake up Saturday and Sunday. It’s Monday, a holiday here in MassachusettsPatriot’s Day.

We are closing in on 100 days into this horrifying administration. Since I have a bit of time and we seemed to have survived this new century’s answer to the Cuban Missile Crisis, I decided that I would make note of a few things.

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The Tax March happened this past weekend. People marched all over the country and world demanding that Trump release his income tax returns. He still refuses. Trump tweeted yesterday, Easter Sunday, that people marching were paid protestors and that the crowds were small. Reports and pictures showed very large crowds and of course people were not paid.

Maxine Waters continues to speak out against Trump and discuss impeachment.

The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts passed a resolution asking Congress to look into impeaching Trump.

Trump wants to eliminate dozens of agencies and programs.

Today, the White House is hosting the annual Easter Egg Roll.

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Stay strong my fellow Americans. We seem to be in this for the long haul.

Tax Day: Tax Tips for Bloggers

*This post is not tax or legal advice. See full disclosure below.*

1040 Tax form

It’s Tax Day! At least for those of you not in Maine or Massachusetts. We have until April 19th to file our returns, because of Patriots’ Day today.

Back in 2012 and 2014, I wrote some posts with tax tips for bloggers. Since the subject of blogging income interests me and many readers as well, I thought I’d revisit the topic. There’s always a new crop of bloggers out there!

Generally, if you earn money blogging, that is considered income. You may have accidentally become an entrepreneur by turning your passion project into a job. Or maybe from the beginning, you wanted to earn money by blogging.

The way you think about your blogging work is key, especially when it comes to the IRS. Once you have the intent to make a profit and you treat your blogging like a business, then you may be considered self-employed.

While you may not be earning full-time money that you can live on, it doesn’t matter. You may be considered self-employed even with a part-time business. The threshold for earnings is surprisingly low according to the IRS.

You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more. If your net earnings from self-employment were less than $400, you still have to file an income tax return if you meet any other filing requirement …

There are benefits to treating your blogging as work that you are doing for profit versus a hobby. Below is an IRS rule to remember.

In general, taxpayers may deduct ordinary and necessary expenses for conducting a trade or business or for the production of income. Trade or business activities and activities engaged in for the production of income are activities engaged in for profit.

If you are paying to eat at a restaurant, so you blog about your meal and you are earning advertising revenue on your blog, you might be able to deduct the cost of your meal as an ordinary and necessary expense for conducting the business of your blog.

These are just a few things to think about when you earn money from blogging. Below are links to some recent articles that go into more detail. You may find them interesting and helpful as well.

If you already filed for 2015, this post may come to late, but you can always start planning for next year!

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Tax Tips for Bloggers [Intuit Turbo Tax]

Travel Blogger Denied Tax Writeoff For European Backpacking Trip [Forbes]

Tax Time: What Bloggers Need to Know [Katy Widrick]

Business Expenses for Bloggers (What can I deduct?) [Brilliant Business Moms]

Taxes for Food Bloggers: Deductions. [Fervent Foodie]

The Blogger’s Guide to Tax Deductions [Kimi Who?]

Tax Filing Tips for Freelance Bloggers in the US, UK and Canada [Be a Freelance Blogger]

Home Office Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners [NerdWallet]

Favorite tax deductions of personal finance bloggers [PolicyGenius]

Blogging and Taxes – What You Need to Know [Making Sense of Cents]

Tax Tips for Freelancers in 2016 [Artisan Blog]

Blog Tip Thursday: Tax Tips for Bloggers, Part 1 [Healthy Living Blogs]

Blog Top Thursday: Tax Tips for Bloggers, Part 2 [Healthy Living Blogs]

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Disclaimer: While I am a Massachusetts licensed attorney, I’m not in private practice and not seeking clients. This post is not meant as legal or tax advice. Every individual has unique circumstances and questions. While I love comments on this blog and emails, no tax or legal questions will be answered here or via email. Please consult an attorney or accountant licensed in your jurisdiction for specific questions. The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only and geared toward bloggers in the United States.

Photo: Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman /