How do sex bloggers file and pay taxes?
My life isn’t all orgasms and rainbows; there’s much unglamorous admin work behind the scenes.
If you want to kill a boner, just mention paying taxes. Unfortunately, tax returns are part of the business of sex blogging in the United States.
At what point does a sex blogger have to pay taxes on their earnings?
If a sex blogger (or practically any small business owner) earns more than $400 from their hustle, they have to include self-employment earnings on their tax returns.
There are other filing requirements listed in the Form 1040 and 1040-SR instructions, but the main thing to know is that, above the $400 mark, you have to pay self-employment taxes and income taxes.
That first applied to me in 2018, when I started taking my blog seriously as a business. I’ve filed tax returns every year for my sex blog ever since.
How do sex bloggers and freelance writers pay their taxes?
Here’s a summary of how I file taxes as a blogger and freelancer in the United States. Of course, I’m no tax expert. Furthermore, what I do might not apply to your exact situation.
- Enter your expected earnings in a 1040-ES form.
- This part can be done digitally in tax software, too!
- Estimate your quarterly tax payment amount based on the above.
- Make your quarterly payments in April, June, September, and January
- I like paying my taxes online using the EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System)
- You can also set up auto payments!
- Gather documents (e.g., 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC) from your affiliates, sponsors, and platforms.
- Calculate your earnings from other sources that didn’t send you the above forms.
- File a tax return by the deadline.
- Get a refund if you overpaid or pay more if you underpaid.
- Celebrate! You did it!
Not everyone finds it fun, but here’s what “having to” pay taxes means to me: I have the privilege of earning money from writing about pleasure.
Yes, being a creator has its ups and downs. Yet, we can all agree that doing what you love and gaining the freedom to live the way you want is a perk!
What business write-offs can a sex blogger claim as tax deductions?
Now onto the fun stuff: as a sex writer and freelancer, you’ve probably invested quite a bit in your business and branding. I’ll separate this section into two subtopics:
- Business write-offs I have claimed before
- Business write-offs I hypothetically could claim (but just haven’t yet)
If you’re a sex toy reviewer or smutlancer, see if these business expenses apply to you! Remember that writing off a business expense doesn’t mean you get the thing for free. It just means that you don’t get taxed on that portion.
Tools and services I have written off for my sex writing business
Web hosting and storage – Perks of self-hosting your blog and using WordPress.org software include:
- Hella versatility with themes, plugins, and coding
- Not having to worry about changing TOS for adult content — and potentially having your blog shut down
I use Dreampress by Dreamhost. Your needs as a creator may vary, though. You can get shared server plans cheaply, but that also means getting the performance and speed you pay for.
Studio rent – While I can do most work tasks from home, I also rent a room at a friend’s house for storage space (300+ sex toys is a lot!) and to do elaborate photoshoots.
My computer setup – I need a computer to blog. And having a touch screen for photo editing and illustration helps.
My camera – I like using a large sensor compact camera for even crisper image quality than my phone camera. I also find it way more convenient to edit photos in a batch.
Additional photography equipment – Background stands? Shutter remote control? LED panel lamps? Tripods? Include all of that in your business write-offs!
Photo editing software – Adobe Lightroom is a chef’s kiss emoji for photo organization and editing. Need to edit out the dust and lint caught on silicone? Lightroom’s gotchu. VSCO filters are great on my phone. And I occasionally used Photoshop for hardcore enhancements and creative projects.
Canva graphic design webware – It’s cheaper and simpler than Adobe Indesign. I deeply respect the latter, but I don’t need all the frills right now.
Zoom Pro – allows you to record Zoom meetings to the cloud.
Potential business write-offs that I haven’t reported — yet
Gasoline costs going to and from my studio. Also, utilities for the space.
Manicures – One of my friends euphemized my job when talking to his mom: “She’s a hand model.” Well, my hands are often in the pictures holding my sex toys!
An automated, warming lube dispenser – Yeah, that’s a thing. I have yet to justify the cost to myself, though.
The best VR porn. Or like, any premium porn at all.
Office supplies. My planner.
Photoshoot-specific (or work-specific) clothes, makeup, and props – If getting an inflatable pool for sex toy photos doesn’t sound like fun, you’re wrong.
Heads up! This post was sponsored. Opinions expressed were my own.