Linda Maye Adams

G is for Greenbacks: Taxes and Writers


I recently filed my taxes — always a thrilling experience.  But this time it hit me — when I go indie hopefully later this year, I’ll have to file taxes next year.  H&R Block handily provided me with information on things I would need to do, like get a second checking account, use one credit card for the business side, and keep receipts, even if I’m not sure they’re deductible.

But the thing that has me stumped is how to deal with the receipts.  Most of the filing solutions are tend to have a left-brained slant, so it makes it difficult to find a system that works for me.  In the past, many of those systems have gone by the wayside because they ended up being too complicated, or worse, black holes.  So I’m having to ponder what I need to do to keep me straight.

QUESTION FOR YOU:  Do you have any suggestions of what kind of system I can use?

5 Comments

  1. I PDF all receipts online and save in an online folder and print those out. I also scan any paper receipts and put in that online folder. Then I keep a folder in my drawer with all printed. Seems to work! Make sure you are keeping everything you can to deduct, esp if a paid writer. Count up your mileage to workshops, conf, readings, etc and food. Dont forget if you use office space at home to write you can deduct part of your lights/heat for that too (based on sq footage of your hosue!) EVEN movies, books you buy – hey its all research if you are an author 🙂 Keep in mind when you go Indie! And good luck. Nice to be in the A to Z with you!

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    • Put everything on one charge card. They will give you a nice printout at the end of the year (at least mine does). Keep notes on your calendar, so you can go back and doublecheck things.

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    • Some good ideas in there! Thanks!

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  2. What I’m trying to figure out and haven’t seen any good resources to explain is at what point can you start deducting. I’m working at being a writer but haven’t made income yet (haven’t yet jumped into freelancing, but I’m considering trying this year). I’ve got a lot of outgo from workshops, conferences, etc. to up my skills, but no income yet. At what point do I get to deduct anything? When do I start worrying about receipts, etc.

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    • I think that’s where you want to ask questions from a tax professional. The internet is going to be a good resource, unfortunately, because it’s hard to tell if it’s accurate information or not.

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