If you live in the United States, it's that time of year again! Tax Time!
If you're a newly published author, or a pre-published novelist, you may wonder -- how does this affect my taxes?
1.) Should I claim my freelance writing as a business, even though I've only sold two magazine articles this year?
2.) Can I count that conference I attended in September as a deduction? If I can -- should I? Or will that make me likely to be audited 5 years from now?
3.) Can I count my office supplies? Can I count my new computer -- even though I'm actually only using it 1/2 time for writing and 1/2 of the time my teenage son is using it for school and facebook?
4.) How do I count "royalties" from this first book on my taxes?
5.) And what about all that money I spent promoting the book? What about the cost of my website? My gas driving over to that book signing or that school presentation I did last month?
6.) Do I need a CPA or tax attorney who knows about this stuff to do my taxes? Or am I still fine on my own doing it online?
These are just a few of the many questions we have. And - alas - all the CPAs are super busy right now, so...if you haven't thought to ask these questions before, you may have a hard time finding an available CPA to sit down with you for several hours so you can ask these questions between now and April 15th.
But do not dispair. There are some great websites written by such CPAs and Tax attorneys, and by other writers, that can give you initial advice on the best strategies for how to file your taxes related to your writing. (*Although - since this is tax info, you should always check with a CPA to make sure the rules are still the same in 2013)!
Check the articles out here:
TAXES AND THE WRITER - written by a CPA (note, this was written in 2006 so a few details may have changed, but the basic info. on deductions is very helpful! )
FREE E-BOOK on BUSINESS TIPS AND TAXES FOR WRITERS (updated 2013) by CPA Carol Top
TAXES and WRITERS - Interview published in Jan/Feb 2013 Southern Writers Magazine.
So, these are just a few of the great tips out there on the internet to help U.S. writers as you file your taxes this year. For the international audience of Writermorphosis -- search online for similar resources in your country when tax time comes around!
HAPPY TAX SEASON TO EVERYONE!
UPCOMING AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: In the next few weeks we'll have amazing YA/MG and PB authors coming to share their tips with us, including NY Times Best Selling YA author BETH REVIS! See you there!