Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tax Tips for Writers

Hey writers, did you know that you can claim a good chunk of your writing expenses on your taxes? It's true. If you are actively pursuing a career in writing (which means submitting, not boundless reams of paper hiding out in your home office), then you can claim all expenses associated with that pursuit.

I've been doing this for a couple years but just recently realized most writers don't know that they can. The trick is to treat it like a business. I have a separate checking account for all of my writing expenses. My copywriting, short stories, and other related payments are deposited into this account. From this account, I purchase all office supplies, books on writing/publishing, workshops, conferences, even travel expenses and meals while I am at meetings (there are special restrictions on how much you can claim for meals). I also claim my hosting fees for my author site and the cost of backing up my files on a remote server so I never lose my genius work!

To do this without getting in trouble again you have to treat it like a business, keep accurate records (receipts, receipts, receipts!), and to keep things totally legit, have a separate account for those transactions. Agent Rachel Gardener had a great post about taxes on her blog, with more in-depth info on resources and websites.

**OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER*** I am not a CPA, nor I have I ever wanted to be, impersonated as such, or otherwise claimed. This is not professional advice and you can't sue me if the IRS comes after you. You really should go talk to a CPA and find out what you can/can't claim and how to go about it.

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