Accounting for Affiliate Marketers
If you are an affiliate marketer, then you are in business. Therefore, you should treat it like a business. Keep in mind that Linkshare, Clickbank, Commission Junction and all the other affiliate marketplaces are going to report your earnings to the IRS.
Each of them requires that you provide a Social Security Number or EIN number when you apply with them. These numbers are used to report your earnings. At the end of the year, you'll receive a 1099 form which is the IRS earnings document given to Independent Contractors.
Since you have to pay taxes on your income, you should take care to make sure that your income is properly calculate. Remember, gross adjusted income is going to be the total amount that you earned - your expenses. For this reason, you really need to keep track of all of your affiliate marketing expenses.
Keep receipts and track all the following:
* Web Hosting Costs
* Affiliate marketing tools (such as your WordTracker membership fees, the cost of products like Adwords Analyzer, etc.)
* Any PPC advertising that you purchase.
Don't do as I have been prone to do and wait til the end of the year before you start putting these numbers together. You'll forget many and you won't be able to gain access to others.
For example, with PPC advertising, Google seems to keep records online forever. Great. But Overture only keeps the last 90 days and you can't - I repeat - You CAN'T get those records older than 90 days. (Ask me how I know :(
Getting receipts means that you'll have to think ahead. When you buy something online, print the receipt page. When you subscribe to a service that may pull a fee from your checking account or credit card account on a monthly basis, make sure to opt in to any e-mail notification of transactions that you might be able to get.
Print everything out and put it in a folder for that years tax records. You won't regret it when tax season comes along.
You will also get a much better picture of how much money you're earning. I think a lot of affiliate marketers brag about their checks, but conveniently forget that out of the $10,000.00 they earned last month, they spent $8,000.00 for PPC advertising, $27.00 for Wordtracker, $100.00 for their web host, ect, etc, reducing their actual profit to enough to buy some bubble gum.
There's great software that makes all of this easier of course. Quicken or MS Money Home and Business editions or PeachTree accounting would all make the whole process of tracking these numbers much less painful.
Finally, there are real benefits (and some costs) to incorporating yourself. Incorporating changes the tax rules and create scenarios that let you put more of your profit into your pocket. They also help to shield you from liability. I'm not a lawyer, so I'd recommend talking to an tax law lawyer. I incorporated in Florida and the entire expense was about $495.00.
Charles Waters discovered affiliate marketing in 2003 and has never looked back. He operates several successful websites, including www.affiliate-home.com">The Affiliates Home
This morning we see three key reports of economic data for investors to mull over Major U S indexes now have their eyes on a possible ninth straight week of closing in the green but based on more speculation and hopefulness than actual statistics Being Thursday we have new weekly
We remain lacking on normal economic data ahead of today s opening bell not only because Q4 earnings season s deluge has dwindled but because the overhangs of the 5 week government shutdown has continued delays in data such as the January Housing Starts and Building Permits that had
To kick off a shortened week due to Presidents Day Monday we see a much lighter calendar both in economic data and Q4 earnings releases Aside from a report on the February Home Builders Index due after the opening bell and a few key earnings reports so far this morning we re notably
As I have pointed out on many occasions in the last few months, the big move down in stocks at the end of last year wasn’t about anything that actually happened. While Q4 wasn’t exactly a barnburner, it wasn’t a disaster either. Job growth remained strong, wages were starting to pick up as a result and, most
The market surged on Friday, driven by renewed optimism that when the March 1 deadline comes around, the U.S. and China would have already shaken hands on a trade truce. Tariff-related rhetoric and thoughts of an economic slowdown had become a restraint, particularly amid the recent market rebound. Was it a “head
Data collection is no justification for increasing investor
Retail sales for December 2018 showed consumers backed away from the spending trough. Is this a precursor for things to come? Retail sales release for December was delayed due to the government shutdown. To understand graphically how bad the headline data was for retail sales, the graph below adjusts the
Import and Export Prices 160 for the month of January have been released ahead of this morning s opening bell with results much as we ve seen with recent economic metrics coming up short of estimates Import Prices month over month hit 0 5 lower than the 0 3 expected
Gold prices have been down ever since the precious metal hit all-time highs of nearly $1,900/oz eight years ago. That’s quite a long time, and a nice rally appears overdue. Well, one Wall Street punter thinks that time is just right to purchase the commodity. Bernstein says investors should look at gold and gold
Futures have swung to negative levels following three main economic metrics hitting the tape before Thursday s opening bell Happy Valentine s Day BTW everybody Perhaps early traders are still trying to digest what these figures mean and none are cataclysmic though all are worse
Adobe stock A new study has found that a horrifying 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year due to medical bills they can’t pay. In the end, it’s easier to declare bankruptcy than to allow oneself to drown in medical expenses. That’s how you know when a country is broken. According to researchers of a
The American political discourse has changed since the 2018 midterm election. Enthusiasm and passion were to be found on the left-wing of the Democratic Party. A new sense of hope and mission replaced the defeatism and cynicism seen in 2016. Some identified with democratic socialism, but in the political rhetoric the
Pre market futures are again trading up today as expectations continue to be favorable for two things that have yet to be officially resolved the U S China trade war where an increase on the current 10 tariffs on Chinese goods is scheduled to increase to 25 March 1st and a budget
Following an optimistic start to the year and the best January ever for oil prices, hedge funds and other money managers began the month of February more cautiously as fears about global economic growth outweighed (again) OPEC’s cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. In the latest reporting week to
Chinese President Xi Jinping hatched " Made in China 2025”, it didn’t go down well with many world leader, especially in Western economies. And now Germany has proposed an equally abrasive push. Germany’s economic affairs minister, Peter Altmaier, has launched an ambitious and somewhat controversial industrial