Sunday, February 3, 2013
THE TAX MAN COMETH
In another life, for a short period of time, I worked for a well-known tax company, then I came to my senses and returned to writing. However, here are some tips to help make tax time easier.
This is NOT tax advice, for that please consult a professional. Good luck, and may your refund be big. --mcf
To claim your writing income and expenses, you need to itemize your taxes and file a Schedule C with the IRS. Note that if there is no income, the IRS will disallow all expenses unless you can show proof of a profit motive—that you are writing so you can make money. Also, remember that not all expenses are deductible. Be honest and be prepared to defend your expenses to the IRS.
It may be dull and tedious, but this is extremely important for a writer.
• Keep good records and keep them in a safe place.
• Keep all receipts. When in doubt, keep it.
• Keep log of expenses. For example, membership dues paid to which organizations; conference fees; contest fees; research books; etc.
• Keep track of contest entries, queries and submissions. For example, what you sent to what publisher and when. This log shows proof of profit motive.
• Keep copies of all correspondence especially from agents and editors.
• Keep business cards from conferences as they are proof that you are working on your writing.
• Document everything! When in doubt, keep it!
• Computer, software, printer.
• Printer paper, ink, tablets, pencils, pens, markers.
• Books (paper or e-book), CDs, and/or cassette tapes on how to write.
• Classes on writing.
• Contest entry fees.
• Membership costs in RWA and each chapter.
• Conference fees, travel expenses, and meals while in travel status.
• Repairs to computer/printer/etc.
• Agent's fees.
• Vehicle expenses.
• Business use of the home♥