Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tax Tip Sources for Authors

Tax Time is fast approaching here in the US, and while I think I have a pretty good handle on keeping track of my writing expenses and incomes, I've been doing a bit of research on the subject and thought I'd pass it along.

1.  Is Your Writing a Hobby or Business? Suppose you write in your free time. You submit short stories to magazines and occasionally receive a small check...  by Helen Sedwick, guest posting on The Book Designer website.

2.  Suppose you spend $5,000 hiring editors, designers, and other freelancers to publish your book. At the end of the year, you’ve made $2,000 in sales, which you offset with $2,000 of expenses. Can you deduct the remaining $3,000 from your “day job” income and reduce your income taxes? Yes, if you treat your writing as a business and not a hobby. (What Every Self-published Author Needs to Know about Taxes...) by Helen Sedwick, guest posting on Jane Friedman's Resource for Writers website.)

3.  Sure, your pens, computer printer ink and paper are tax deductible — but you might learn something new in the following details and tips about book author tax deductions. Tax Deduction Tips for Authors.  By Valerie Peterson, Book Publishing Expert posting at About (Money).

4.  Just ask yourself: “Would I buy this if I weren’t writing a story about X?” If not, then it’s a legit research expense. 5 Top Tax Tips for Writers. By NS Smith at Tax Tips for Authors.

5. While the simplest way for a small business, a writer, to report their income and related expenses is on Schedule C of their personal tax return as a sole proprietor, the two most popular entities for authors thinking about expanding beyond a sole proprietor are LLCs and S-Corporations. Tax tips for authors: LLC or S-Corporation? by Robert M. Pesce on TAA.

6. Is your writing activity a business? Tax Deductions for Writers, by Stephen Fishman, J.D.

And finally, if your eyes are getting blurry, give your ears a shot:
7. For novelists who hate taxes but still want to become bestselling authors. (how to stay out of jail … when it comes to your taxes) Wow! This is a new writing site for me, and it looks/sounds great! Novel Tax Tips for Authors (Podcast)

8. Coffee and Chocolate.


  1. Great tips! Thanks for the links.

  2. You're welcome! We should get our OA excel expert, Abby Annis, to make a tracking spreadsheet for expenses and income...specifically geared for authors. :-)

    1. Seconded! (We're awfully free with Abby's spare time, aren't we?)

    2. I made an excel spreadsheet this year and was very good about keeping it up-to-date (I even used formulas to keep running totals!) -- but now it's so spread out and messy... I'll probably have to print it in chunks and tape it together for my tax guy... or redesign it completely so it makes more logical sense. LOL

  3. Thanks for the links! Very helpful stuff. =o)

  4. Oh great stuff! And just in time!!

  5. Oh great stuff! And just in time!!

  6. Thanks for the round-up. Most I knew, some I hadn't thought about (EIN!), and a good reminder for all.


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