25 tax write-offs for freelance content creators

There are two major types of freelance content creators. The first kind is the entertainer. These are the people in front of the camera, racking up thousands or even millions of views and likes on their photography, video content, podcasts, and blogs.

The second kind is the promoter. These are the creators you don’t always see. They’re working hard behind the scenes, creating highly engaging content for other brands and people and helping them shine online.

Whether you fall into the first camp or the second, one thing’s for sure: there has never been a better time to be a content creator. If you have a knack for writing, videography, photography, design or social media, you could make a living (or earn additional income) creating your own content or creating content for others.

If you are making money from your content creation work, you should be keeping track of any business expenses so you can deduct them from your overall income and keep more of your money once tax season rolls around.

Not sure which expenses you should track? Well, keep reading.

General tax write-offs

Gear and equipment

Lighting equipment, sound equipment, camera lenses … any gear or equipment that you use for your work is tax-deductible. This could also include props that you use for shoots. 

Phone

If you use your phone to manage social media channels or respond to comments on videos or podcasts, you could write off a portion of your phone bill.

Software

Are you still using Windows Movie Maker? Consider upgrading to something better and write off the expense. Software used for your business is tax-deductible. Licensing fees for subscriptions like Adobe Suite, stock photos or stock music are also tax-deductible.

Electronics

The cost of electronics like external hard drives and extra monitors can quickly add up. Fortunately, all of these costs are tax-deductible.

Website expenses

A website is often the first point-of-contact for potential clients or collaborators so you want to make sure it’s functional and well-designed. Good thing website hosting fees, domain costs, professional web design costs are all write-offs.

Marketing

Are you using services like Facebook Ads or Promoted Videos on YouTube to advertise your content and grow your following? The costs associated with these are tax write-offs. You can also deduct the cost of prizes from contests and giveaways.

Inventory costs

Do you sell swag or merch online or at trade shows? These costs are tax-write offs. And if you can’t keep your inventory at home, you can also write-off the fees associated with self-storage.

Shipping and postage

Postage costs, such as mailing giveaway prizes to recipients or snail mail pitch companies, can be deducted from your taxes.

Networking event

These days, there are all kinds of meetups and conferences specifically for content creators. While the fees for these events can be steep, they’re also tax write-offs.

Professional development

With digital platforms and algorithms changing constantly, content creators need to make sure they’re always upgrading their skills. Any courses or books that you buy to support your professional development are tax write-offs.

Professional services

Did you hire somebody to help get your YouTube channel off the ground? Or maybe you worked with a consultant or coach to grow your business? Any fees that you pay to experts to help guide you in making sound business decisions are tax-deductible.

Payment processing fees

Whether you work with clients directly or have monetized your content creation work through ads or sponsors, you will likely use some kind of online payment processor to conveniently access the money you’ve earned. This convenience comes at a cost, but it’s also a write-off.

Bank fee

Bank fees are annoying but guess what? They’re also write-offs.

Not a fan of tracking your expenses?

We get it. That's why we've built Benji to find tax write-offs automagically. On average, it takes less than 5 minutes for freelancers to find tax write-offs with Benji.

Get early access

Working from home?

While you might do most of your shooting and recording in the field, a lot of the work that goes into creating content (e.g. editing photos and videos, recording podcasts, scheduling social media posts) can be done from home.

If you have a space in your home dedicated to your content creation work, you can deduct the following expenses. And it doesn’t have to be a large space. A dedicated desk is sufficient.

Utilities

Your heating bill? Hydro? Water? A portion of these utility costs is tax-deductible.

Internet

It’d be pretty hard to do much work without a decent WiFi connection. You can write off a portion of this bill too.

Rent or mortgage

It doesn’t matter if you pay rent or own your home. A portion of those expenses is tax-deductible. This includes mortgage interest, but not the principal.

Property taxes

Depending on where you live, you may have to pay a pretty penny in property taxes. But if you work from home, a portion of these costs are tax write-offs.

Insurance

Whether you have rental or homeowner insurance, you can write off a portion of these expenses.

Maintenance

Do you get your home professionally cleaned from time to time? Home maintenance costs are partially deductible.

Home office expense

A desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.

Looking for more tax tips for freelance content creators? 🤓

Follow @betterwithbenji on Instagram to get real-deal tax advice delivered right to your feed.

Meeting with clients?

Remember those two types of content creators? If you’re an entertainer, you may not have clients per se, but you will probably still have to meet with other content creators or with professionals like agents, managers or brand representatives. If you’re a promoter, you likely will have to meet with clients to chat about business or to capture content for them.

Regardless of which type of creator you are, if you’re meeting people for work-related purposes, then many of the costs associated with these meetings are tax-deductible.

Office rental

Depending on your work, you may need to work out of a coworking space or rent a studio from time to time. Any costs associated with room bookings, coworking space memberships, or rental fees are tax write-offs.

Food and drinks

If you’re discussing work with a client at a restaurant or cafe, it's a write-off!

Travel for work?

From photoshoots to conferences to networking events, the life of a content creator often involves a lot of travelling. For most people, this can be a pretty major perk.

Another perk? If you’re travelling for work, you can write off almost all of the expenses associated with the trip.

Transportation

If you use your car to get to work commitments, you can claim car-related write-offs. These include expenses like gas, car maintenance, insurance and registration, parking, tolls, and the annual depreciation of your car.

If you’re travelling out of the city or out of the country, airfare, train tickets, cab rides and rental car fees can also be written off.

Accommodations

Your lodging costs (i.e. hotels or Airbnbs) are also tax-deductible.

Food and drinks

When you're travelling for work, all meals—even takeout—are tax-deductible.

Let's get started

In 5 minutes, you’ll have your account set up with Benji actively working to find tax write-offs for you. Sign up for our beta program. No credit card required.
Start free trial
Free 90-day trial. No credit card required.

"Seriously, it's a frickin' game-changer! It's less intimidating and so clean and easy-to-use. You have to try it our for yourself."

Christine Lieu
Sole Proprietor at CL Designs