Tax Time: Expense Hints for Creative Freelancers Beyond the Basics

As a freelance voice talent, filing taxes can be as a self-employed person, as a small business, or even as a Corporation, such as in my case.


I did A LOT of equipment purchases and exchanges last year, to try out new mics, and to outfit my Studio Bricks booth. The receipts were a nightmare. Make sure you have all that you purchased on your expense list, even if it was paid by a credit, because credits won’t necessarily show up on your paypal or bank account statement, if you’re paying from a store credit outright.

Further, I was writing down all expenses, then reconciling it with PayPal AND my bank accounts and credit card. However, the bank and PayPal are as accurate as you’re going to get, so writing everything down ended up being redundant. Time saver for next year.


  1. Include your PayPal fees as Bank Fee expenses.
  2. Did you classify any of your equipment as capital expenses? Create a separate spreadsheet for Capital expenses, unless your software provides a balance sheet.
  3. Don’t forget to add your accountant’s fees from last year.
  4. Did you hook up your bank account to your accounting software (like FreshBooks) and reconcile to make sure nothing has been entered twice through user error?
  5. You can create your own categories in FreshBooks, in addition to the ones they have. I reviewed all the categories and streamlined them to make it easier for my accountant and I to communicate.
  6. Did you add all the expenses you incurred when you went on a trip to a conference, adding meals, accommodations, taxis, parking etc?
  7. Break down all your equipment or office supply receipts so everything is itemized.
  8. Do you have all your receipts organized in case of audit?


  1. Do you need to break out any HST/GST on the expense receipts and include in your books?
  2. Did you reconcile all US expenses to Canadian dollars with the Bank of Canada rates? Click here for a link to the Monthly Average Exchange Rates from the Bank of Canada.
  3. Print out or write down the Bank of Canada monthly exchange averages for the year, so you can refer to it easily.

In all my wisdom, I’m going to finally set time aside each month to do the previous month’s expenses. I’ve been saying it every year, but this time it’s for reals!

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