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Influencer Tax Write Offs

Content Creator Tax Write Offs

You’re a content creator or influencer and have a growing audience. You’ve just started to make money from sponsorships, affiliate links, and YouTube. Which means you’ve also just started to worry about how much the big, bad IRS is going to take. And if you’re not strategic, they’ll skin you alive, because that’s how they roll.

But the truth is that you don’t have to pay the IRS nearly as much as you might think. It’s all a question of use the right 100% legal strategies, strategies I know every detail about. Why? Because I worked at the IRS. I know exactly what you can and cannot write off. So, sit back and let me teach you the secrets to grabbing the best content creator tax write offs.

What Are Tax Write Offs?

When you’re in business working for yourself, that makes you an independent contractor. In other words, you’re your own boss, and you pay taxes as you go. In contrast, when you’re a “Wagey”, your boss taxes out of your check for you, which means you pay more tax. So how do you pay less tax, not more? You find “write-offs” (i.e. deductions) to subtract from your income. The more write-offs you have, the less tax you pay.

Here are my top 15 write-offs for content creators:

15 Influencer Tax Write-Offs

#1 Website Costs

Expenses that have to do with your website are tax write-offs. The most common ones are:

  • Domain Expenses
  • Hosting Expenses
  • Web designer costs
  • WordPress costs (themes, plugins, etc.)

These include domains that you purchase so you don’t have to deal with cyber-squatters (I own both and

#2 Computer, Video and Camera Equipment

If you use your computer, laptop, or other equipment, then those items are deductible. That’s right, you can write off your camera equipment as a business expense (e.g., that $1,000 Canon EOS camera is a write-off). But make sure you’re using it to create content, not just filming your cousin’s wedding. Here’s a more comprehensive list:

  • Laptop (for editing videos)
  • Camera equipment
  • Video equipment
  • Lighting equipment

#3 Wardrobe and Costumes

One question I get often is, “Can influencers write off clothes?”. Only if your clothes or uniforms are custom to your influencer personality or brand (I’m talking to you, Cosplay Streamer Girl.) In general, clothing is not deductible, but if it’s uniforms with your brand logo, or custom clothing you created specifically for your content, you can deduct it.

For example, you can write off your cosplay wardrobe since it’s custom and for also for your cosplay influencer business. But you can’t deduct the generic Nikes you bought at Target.

#4 Props, Products and Staging Furniture

If the content you’re creating requires a prop to get your point across to your audience, or background furniture for your pictures / videos, then you can write those off. Examples are:

  • Sound absorbing panels
  • Backgrounds and backdrops
  • Greenscreens
  • Props used to imitate characters you’ve created in your videos
  • Staging furniture for video production.

Keep in mind, if any of these expenses are for personal use (like your living room couch) you can’t write it off.

#5 Products for product reviews

Another question I get is, “Can I deduct the products I review?”. The answer is yes. However, you need to be careful that the products you’re buying are just for the YouTube review video you are making, and not for personal use.

Example: you buy 3-5 different smart watches to do a YouTube video review for. You can write off the costs of the watches, since you are not using all of them personally. However, you decide to start using one of them personally, that one would not be a write-off. Also, if you return any of them to the store, you wouldn’t get a write-off, because you got your money back.

#6 Apps

App purchases and subscriptions you shouldn’t forget about:

  • Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)
  • Canva
  • Video apps (Premier, Literoom, Opus Clips, etc.)
  • Stock photo websites (Shutterstock or iStockPhoto)
  • Mobile apps (Giphy, Hyperlapse, etc.)
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • YouTube Premium
  • Stock music (epidemic sound)
  • Expense tracking software (Quickbooks, Freshbooks, etc.)
  • And hundreds more

Bottom line: If you use it for content creation, write it off.

#7 Home Office Deduction

This is one of the most common deductions for content creators. You can deduct a portion of your rent, mortgage, and utilities. This write off is more complicated, so I wrote an entire article on it at: Home Office Deductions

#8 Cell Phone and Internet

Do you use your phone to make TikTok or YouTube videos? Great! You can write that off. Don’t forget that your monthly internet cost is also deductible. But be careful, the IRS doesn’t like it if you deduct 100% of your cell phone and internet. Make sure to check with your CPA or Tax Return Preparer so you only deduct what is reasonable.

#9 Continuing Education and Courses

If you take an online course (e.g., Masterclass, Udemy, Skill Share) or pay to attend an industry conference, you can deduct it so long as it is related to your business.

#10 Meals

Meals are deductible, but only if you are paying for somebody else’s meal as well. Apparently, the IRS doesn’t like introverts. The rules are:

  • Must be a business meal with clients or colleagues
  • Must be actually discussing business
  • If the meal is over $75, you must keep the receipt and record whom it was with and the nature of the business meeting

#11 Subcontractor Costs

Do you pay anyone else for services like video editing, additional content creation, SEO ranking, and the like? These are all write-offs.

#12 Travel and Hotel

If you are traveling specifically to create content or for continuing education related to your business, then the costs are deductible.

#13 Advertising, Marketing and Prizes

All advertising and public relations expenses are write-offs, such as:

  • Google ads (AdSense)
  • Facebook ads
  • Video promotions
  • Giveaways and prizes

#14 Tax Prep and Accounting

If you pay someone to do your monthly bookkeeping, or your tax returns, you can write off all their costs.

#15 LLC or S-Corp Business Formation

Some of you have an LLC, or paid LegalZoom to set up your S-Corporation. All those legal and professional fees are write-offs. Including your yearly annual fee to the State you live in (for example, I must pay the State of Nevada $350 a year to maintain my LLC).

Bonus write-offs:

  • Health insurance (but you must pay for all of it yourself)
  • Business insurance
  • Professional development (e.g., your business coach)
  • Bank fees
  • Credit card fees


Are these all the write-offs you can take? No, there are even more, but these are the most important ones. Each content creator’s situation is different. Reach out to a CPA or tax professional to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Keep in mind that it’s hard starting out as a content creator. Once you start making money, you will have come a long way. Don’t give it away to the IRS. Using these content creator tax write-offs will keep more money in your pocket.