Saturday, February 06, 2016

Having fun with income taxes

Well, not really. I’ve spent the last two days sorting out information for my accountant. I know some people just dump it all on the accountant and let him/her do it, but I am too Scottish for that. I figure I save money by having it organized enough to complete the tax organizer. I also figure some things need explanation, and I keep track of those as I go along.

My taxes aren’t all that complicated, but there’s enough I can’t just file a short form. I have income from several sources—mostly small checks from various publishers, though a couple of distributors were pleasant surprises this year. I keep track of business expenses having to do with my writing and household expenses, because I have for years taken a home office deduction. It’s all too much for me to figure but I can organize—though I’m sure I miss some deductions here and there.

Today I did my business account. Did I really spend $216 for supplies at Staples in one trip? Turns out it was computer repair. And there was a check to a press I’d never heard of—found the invoice showing it was for a blog tour. This year I became an indie publisher and discovered, as many have, that I simply can’t do it all—so I hired an editor, formatter, webmaster, etc. And I began to do more advertising—found I spent an inordinate amount on Facebook ads which most authors say are useless. Must change the ceiling on my ads—though then you limit the people reached. I think it’s a pay-per-click system, so if you pay more it means more people clicked on your ad.

There are puzzling questions—what do I do with royalties that are below the level where the IRS requires a payer to file a 1099? I’m reporting them, but I generally just send the 1099s to the account to figure my royalties. And then there are odd expenses that fit nowhere—why did I spend $26 with Just Answer? And how did my hearing test get in with business expenses?

I’m not done by any means but I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Still, I quit for the night. Going to read some more of The Storied Life of A . J. Fikry and go to bed early—going to first church tomorrow.

Sweet dreams, everyone.


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