Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fifteen Tax Deductions for Writers to Consider

 “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.”
                                                                                                                          - Mark Twain

The holidays are over - it’s time to get back to work and, unfortunately for many of us, to confront the annual ritual of tax returns.

Yes, in the US you have until April 15th to file the final version, but remember that if you are making a profit on your writing you may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments and the next one is due January 15th.  

Not sure what costs you can deduct from all those book sale royalties you have collected? Everyone’s situation is different of course, and laws vary from country to country, but here’s a reminder of some of the possible costs that you may have incurred:

  1. Editing and proof-reading services.
  2. Cover design.
  3. Set-up costs – ISBN fees, copyright registration, distribution charges.
  4. Cost of author copies for direct sales (print) or reviews and promotional purposes (both print & eBooks if gifted).
  5. Stationery – paper, ink, even pens & pencils (if like me you write your drafts by hand).
  6. Promotional costs – business cards, postcards, bookmarks, flyers, banners.
  7. Web-site costs – set-up and maintenance.
  8. Advertising costs– either online or in print.
  9. Travel for research and promotion.
  10. Conference costs including travel and accommodation.
  11. Reference books.
  12. Mailing costs for review copies, giveaways etc.
  13. Subscriptions to relevant organizations.  
  14. Software costs.
  15. Admin/PR assistant (if you are lucky enough to have one!). 

And don’t forget, if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of taxes and want to hand it all over to a tax-preparer, you can deduct their fees too!

This article is for general information only and is not intended as tax advice. Please consult your accountant/tax preparer for specific advice on your own circumstances to ensure adherence to local income tax laws.  

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