Most people dread preparing their taxes each year. If you write professionally, even if it’s part-time, you should know that the IRS considers it a business and requires you to account for your income and expenses. I found out, the hard way, that records should be kept monthly to avoid the last-minute rush of trying to locate the information for filing. I’m including links to some articles on tips for writers on what they should claim on their taxes and also a list of what I claim on mine.
Although as a new writer, my expenses far outweigh my income at this point, I still need to account for both. My income this year came from three library talks, an article I published in a magazine, an award I won in the Cat Writer’s Association contest last summer, and my royalties. Since publishers often pay royalties on a quarterly or monthly basis, the dates the amounts are deposited are later than when the author earned them.
One of the categories that I listed for expenses included my annual membership fee in writing organizations. I pay for all of them except International Thriller Writers because they offer free membership to authors who publish with a publisher on their approved publisher list. I’m lucky that my publisher, Solstice Publishing, is one of these publishers.
Other expenses included:
Prizes (gift cards as well as books)
Bookmarks/Business cards and other promotional material
Conference Fees (travel, hotel, registration, etc.)
Contest Entry fees
Subscriptions to writing Magazines
Books on writing and publishing
Miscellaneous costs (Book trailers, Editing, Teasers, etc).
Here are links to some articles about taxes that might be helpful to authors.
Writers, please also feel free to comment on any other expenses or income you have claimed that isn’t mentioned in this post.