Monday, January 30, 2012
The tax man cometh
In 2011, I had a mystery release in hardcover and large print, and I re-released a backlist romance. Those efforts came with expenses: chapbooks, postcards, envelopes, stamps, mailing labels, large envelopes for ARCs and giveaways, plush St. Bernard puppies to launch the mystery, an ISBN bundle from Bowker, and a new book cover - plus author copies to sell at local festivals. I tried a Facebook ad this year for the indie pubbed book. Ca-ching!
Then I looked at conferences. I hit three in 2011: Malice Domestic, Killer Nashville, and Writer's Police Academy. We drove to all of those places, so we kept track of all the mileage. Other receipts I have from the trip include lodging, food, and research books. And yes, all books I buy at conferences and in my genres are research material. Hang onto those receipts, friends! Also for the conference circuit this year, I sprang for imprinted pens. Hopefully those didn't get tossed with all the hundreds of conference bookmarks.
I rented a booth at several festivals this year for the purpose of selling my books. Those booth fees, plus the hardware apron I bought to be my money holder, are business expenses.
I transitioned from a desktop to a laptop in 2011. The new computer, software, and virus protection - all business expenses. I also had a bill come in from my webhost - my multi-year package of hosting was up for renewal - business expense. Also, website updates, which I pay for, these count as business expenses. Toner for the printer and paper for the printer - bought several of each in 2011 - added to the tally.
If you pay someone to do your taxes, it's a business expense. Don't forget to count that on your own taxes.
On the income side, total up your advances, royalties, speaker fees, honariums, festival proceeds. If you edit for money or write short stories for magazines - all biz income.
If I've left something out, please chime in with a comment. Let's all make sure we don't forget a category of expenses.
Death, Island Style, March 2012 - the artsy lady is accused of killing the dead guy in the surf
Murder in the Buff, March 2012 - murder blooms in the naturalists' garden