Welcome: Now you can get the answers you’re looking for (pinned post)

Hello Fellow Authors,
I’m EM Lynley. That’s my pseudonym. Like you I had a lot of tax questions when I first started getting paid for my writing.

I know exactly what you’re wondering, because I already asked the same questions, and now I’ve got answers. Four years ago I took a 3-month long tax preparer class, to make sure I had the right answers to my own questions about writer-specific tax issues.

I’m here to help you with the same issues and problems. Feel free to leave your own question on the Ask a Tax Question Form, or subscribe to the newsletter for monthly tax tips.

Whether you are published or not, self-published or have a publisher, or even if you have an accountant, you’ll find something of value here, because as an author, I have the experience with writer-specific tax deductions.

 

4 Ways to Save Money by Calculating your Profit/Loss Right Now #taxtip #smallbusiness

September Online Writers’ Tax Workshop Will Help You Get It Right

taxesWe’re coming up to the end of Q3 in September. While it seems weeks away, it’s a great idea to get started on pulling together income and expenses for the quarter (or the year-to-date if you haven’t been keeping up with the numbers!)

An Accurate Q3 Profit and Loss Snapshot Can Save Money!

That’s as good a reason as any, isn’t it?

Here’s how:

  1. You can get up-to-date on any estimated tax payments you might owe. This reduces the chance of an IRS penalty for underpaying estimated taxes. If your income is below expectations, you may find you don’t owe anything  this quarter, but it’s important to find out.
  2. Once you have an idea of where your profits will be for the year, you can plan to move up any large purchases into 2015 and save some taxes. Do you need a new computer, want to register for a pricey convention like RT or RWA? Will a deduction help you more in 2015 or 2016?
  3. Collecting and recording income and expenses so far this year means you’ll have a lot less to do in January or February to finish the calculations for your 2015 tax return. If you’re getting a refund, you’ll want to file early, rather than wait till the last minute.
  4. If you have problems or questions, you still have plenty of time to learn what you need to know to file your return and get all the deductions you deserve.

If you want some help going through the process, be sure to sign up for the next Online Writers’ Tax Workshop for September. Seats are limited.

Can’t take the workshop? Then buy the workshop in a book: 2015 Writers’ Tax Workshop is available from Amazon for Kindle and in print. (Contact me if you need EPUB or PDF format)

 

2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (Sept 15-30)
2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (Sept 15-30)
Consists of 15 lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 11
Price: $50.00
Price: $35.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:

 

 

Have you sent your Q2 estimated tax payment?

Find out who needs to send a payment and how to calculate the correct amount. If you don’t have a regular W-2 job you need to know this stuff!

Join my newsletter for all the instructions

Get your copy of the 2015 Writers’ Tax Workshop book

Or sign up a class focusing just on Estimated Tax Payments, or my next online Writers’ Tax Workshop and learn everything you need to correctly file your Schedule C and make timely estimated payments.

2015 How to Make Estimated Tax Payments (July 25-30)
2015 How to Make Estimated Tax Payments (July 25-30)
It is not to too late to send in your Q2 payment, or get a head start on Q3. Course consists of several online lectures, Q&A, plus step-by-step guidance in calculating the correct amount of estimated tax for authors.
Available Qty: 15
Price: $35.00
Price: $25.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:
2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (Aug 15-31)
2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (Aug 15-31)
Consists of 15 lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 11
Price: $50.00
Price: $35.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:

Last-minute OH CRAP Tax Workshop for Writers #taxes

Late sign-up is okay! All lectures and Q&A will be available online after the workshop is over. Register whenever you want to access all the information and ask your own questions. Contact EM Lynley if you have trouble registering.

2015 Last Minute Oh CRAP Tax Workshop for Authors (Apr 11-12)
2015 Last Minute Oh CRAP Tax Workshop for Authors (Apr 11-12)
Two days of intensive lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 12
Price: $50.00
Price: $30.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:

[contact-form to=’emlynley@gmail.com’ subject=’Question from Tax Tips’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

5 Last-minute Tax Tips for Writers #taxes #authors

 

2015 Authors' Tax Workshop in a Book
Buy the Book, Get the Answers.

Panicking because you aren’t ready for the April 15 tax deadline? Here are some last-minute tips to make the process a little less painful. To get all the deductions you deserve and plenty of tax planning and prep advice, check out EM Lynley’s book 2015 Writers’ Tax Workshop.

If you try to rush through a Schedule C in a day or two, I guarantee you will miss deductions and end up paying more tax than you really owe, especially if this is the first or even the second year you are filing a Schedule C as a writer. There are a lot of specialized deductions you may not know about, and it’s worth the effort to keep good records and allow enough time to properly prepare your tax return.

1. Didn’t get organized in time? File an extension. If you haven’t got your expenses tallied in time to get all the deductions on your Schedule C, don’t worry. You can file an extension that gives you until October 15 to file your return: another six months to get your act together. Most tax software has an extension option, or you can go to the IRS website and download the PDF at the link below. Fill it in and mail it to be postmarked by April 15.

The caveat here is that the IRS expects you to pay what you owe now, even if you haven’t completely figured it out! If you have a refund coming, don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything. But if you have a balance due, or you aren’t sure, make sure that between withholding and other tax payments that you pay as much as your tax liability from LAST year. Then you won’t get an IRS penalty. You may owe interest on the difference, but it’s far less than the penalty for under-withholding during the year and not paying anything by April 15.

Form 4868 Extension Request

Tax liability is on Line 61 of your Form 1040 for last year.

2. Owe money to the IRS and you can’t pay it by April 15? That’s not as big a problem as it sounds. Go ahead and file your return on time, and send what you can afford now, even if it’s just $10. The IRS is happy to send you a bill for the remainder, and that letter will have instructions for setting up a payment plan. You can take up to 5 years to pay any balance due, at a monthly payment that’s affordable for you, as low as $30 or $50 a month.

Remember: the penalty for NOT filing is 5% of the balance due per month, up to a maximum of 25% of the amount you owe. But the penalty for paying late is only 0.5% per month, just one-tenth of that amount. File, then figure out how to pay later and you will save yourself a lot of money and a lot of stress.

3. Realized you forgot to claim something after you filed, or are you missing a vital receipt for a deduction? Not a problem. You can file an amended return up to three years after the due date. For 2013 returns you have until April 15, 2017 to correct anything you forgot to deduct. You’ll file a Form 1040X (Amended Return) for the specific year you need to correct, after you’ve redone your return with all the deductions you are entitled to.

4. Want to reduce your 2014 tax liability? The only way to fix what you owe for 2043 now is to put some money in a traditional IRA account by April 15. You can deduct up to $5,500 of traditional IRA contributions, depending on your income level and whether you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at your day job. Roth IRAs aren’t deductible. They are made with post-tax dollars, so they’re completely tax free when you take the money out in retirement.

NOTE: IRA contributions only reduce your income tax liability, not your self-employment tax liability.

5. Take the Last-Minute, Oh Crap Writers’ Tax Workshop on April 11-12 (Sat-Sun), to get lots of information about deductions writers miss, self-employment tax, home-office deductions and PLENTY more.

Register here:

(after you add item to cart, scroll back to this spot to check out).

2015 Last Minute Oh CRAP Tax Workshop for Authors (Apr 11-12)
2015 Last Minute Oh CRAP Tax Workshop for Authors (Apr 11-12)
Two days of intensive lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 12
Price: $50.00
Price: $30.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:

Get more useful tax prep and planning advice in my book Tax Tips for Authors. It will help you get all your deductions for 2014 and get organized in advance for 2015 tax filing, with lots of essential bookkeeping advice.

 

Want even more information? Sign up for my Tax Tips Newsletter, or visit the Tax Tips for Authors website. Best of all, pick up a copy of my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014. It’s got new information for filing 2013 returns, a Schedule C walkthrough, chapters on self-employment taxes and quarterly payments, and a whole lot more.

 

 

EM Lynley is a former investment analyst and White House economist. For the past five years she has been much happier writing erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone”—only gayer. The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon & other book distributors.

 

Visit EM online Website Blog FacebookTwitter

 

2015 Tax Workshops for Authors

2015 Schedule

taxes-creativecommonsI’ll be doing three full workshops this tax season. Registration is at the bottom of this page.  If they fill up, then I will add another workshop. I’m offering all workshops at a discount if you register by the end of January, but prices will go up as tax season advances. Getting the most deductions on your tax return can take time, so please don’t leave it to the last minute.

As both a writer and a tax preparer, I can offer my expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax-prep fees.

Self-publishers: I strongly suggest you take the January course. You need to understand your obligations for issuing 1099s to cover artists, editors, formatters and other contract work you pay for. 1099s are due to your contractor by January 31, so please be sure you provide these people with the correct paperwork on time.

What the courses cover

6a0133f3fc5805970b019b04ce868f970d-320wiWriters, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping.

Here are some of the topics we will cover

  • Hobby vs. Business
  • Legal Issues
  • Issuing 1099s to Contractors
  • Schedule C v. Schedule E
  • What Expenses are Deductible? What Expenses Are You Missing?
  • Calculating Home Office Deductions
  • Schedule C Walkthrough Line by Line
  • Self-employment Tax
  • Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments — the Short Cut Calculations
  • Deductions for Unpublished Authors

Course Format

taxesAll courses are run through Yahoo Groups. I will provide approximately 15 lectures including examples and offer plenty of opportunity for discussion. Participants can ask questions about anything in the lecture. Q&A will continue for an additional week past the end date for the course.

New for 2015

  • The Affordable Care Act and your taxes
  • Self-publisher issues including 1099s

 

Updates to Tax Tips for Authors

If you bought my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014, there will be a revised version coming out later in January 2015. It will have a new ISBN so you won’t automatically get the updates via Kindle updates. I will offer you the update at a reduced price. Contact me for details.

Register Here

Please email em@emlynley.com if you have any trouble with the shopping cart or payment system.

Payments are processed through PayPal.

 

Your cart is empty

———————————————

 

2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (January 10-24)
2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (January 10-24)
Consists of 15 lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 1
Price: $50.00
Price: $25.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:
2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (Feb 18-28)
2015 Tax Workshop for Authors (Feb 18-28)
Consists of 15 lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 9
Price: $50.00
Price: $35.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:
2015 Last Minute Oh CRAP Tax Workshop for Authors (Apr 11-12)
2015 Last Minute Oh CRAP Tax Workshop for Authors (Apr 11-12)
Two days of intensive lectures, open Q&A throughout the course and for an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group. Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping. Lecture topics include: Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.
Available Qty: 12
Price: $50.00
Price: $30.00
Email address for Yahoo Group Invitation:

4 Last-minute Tax Tips for Writers #taxes #authors @emlynley

4 Last-minute tax tips for writers #taxes #author

Panicking because you aren’t ready for tomorrow’s tax deadline? Here are some last-minute tips to make the process a little less painful. To get all the deductions you deserve and plenty of tax planning and prep advice, check out EM Lynley’s book Tax Tips for Authors.

If you try to rush through a Schedule C in a day or two, I guarantee you will miss deductions and end up paying more tax than you really owe, especially if this is the first or even the second year you are filing a Schedule C as a writer. There are a lot of specialized deductions you may not know about, and it’s worth the effort to keep good records and allow enough time to properly prepare your tax return.

1. Didn’t get organized in time? File an extension. If you haven’t got your expenses tallied in time to get all the deductions on your Schedule C, don’t worry. You can file an extension that gives you until October 15 to file your return: another six months to get your act together. Most tax software has an extension option, or you can go to the IRS website and download the PDF at the link below. Fill it in and mail it to be postmarked by April 15.

The caveat here is that the IRS expects you to pay what you owe now, even if you haven’t completely figured it out! If you have a refund coming, don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything. But if you have a balance due, or you aren’t sure, make sure that between withholding and other tax payments that you pay as much as your tax liability from LAST year. Then you won’t get an IRS penalty. You may owe interest on the difference, but it’s far less than the penalty for under-withholding during the year and not paying anything by April 15.

Form 4868 Extension Request

Tax liability is on Line 61 of Form 1040 for last year.

2. Owe money to the IRS and you can’t pay it by April 15? That’s not as big a problem as it sounds. Go ahead and file your return on time, and send what you can afford now, even if it’s just $10. The IRS is happy to send you a bill for the remainder, and that letter will have instructions for setting up a payment plan. You can take up to 5 years to pay any balance due, at a monthly payment that’s affordable for you, as low as $30 or $50 a month.

Remember: the penalty for NOT filing is 5% of the balance due per month, up to a maximum of 25% of the amount you owe. But the penalty for paying late is only 0.5% per month, just one-tenth of that amount. File, then figure out how to pay later and you will save yourself a lot of money and a lot of stress.

3. Realized you forgot to claim something after you filed, or are you missing a vital receipt for a deduction? Not a problem. You can file an amended return up to three years after the due date. For 2013 returns you have until April 15, 2017 to correct anything you forgot to deduct. You’ll file a Form 1040X (Amended Return) for the specific year you need to correct, after you’ve redone your return with all the deductions you are entitled to.

4. Want to reduce your 2013 tax liability? The only way to fix what you owe for 2013 now is to put some money in a traditional IRA account by April 15. You can deduct up to $5,000 of traditional IRA contributions, depending on your income level and whether you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at your day job. Roth IRAs aren’t deductible. They are made with post-tax dollars, so they’re completely tax free when you take the money out in retirement.

NOTE: IRA contributions only reduce your income tax liability, not your self-employment tax liability.

Get more useful tax prep and planning advice in my book Tax Tips for Authors. It will help you get all your deductions for 2013 and get organized in advance for 2014 tax filing, with lots of essential bookkeeping advice.

(Available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords and AllRomance/OmniLit and in print)

Want even more information? Sign up for my Tax Tips Newsletter, or visit the Tax Tips for Authors website. Best of all, pick up a copy of my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014. It’s got new information for filing 2013 returns, a Schedule C walkthrough, chapters on self-employment taxes and quarterly payments, and a whole lot more.

Available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords and AllRomance/OmniLit and in print

 

EM Lynley is a former investment analyst and White House economist. For the past five years she has been much happier writing erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone”—only gayer. The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon & other book distributors.

 

Visit EM online Website Blog FacebookTwitter

 

5 Things Authors Miss on their Tax Returns #taxes #writer

 

taxtipscover200In my real life I’m a tax and finance professional and I’ve been sharing my knowledge with other writers for the past three years. I find many people have problems with the same issues year after year. Are you making these mistakes? If so, you’ll find more ways to solve these problems (and more) in my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014. (Available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords and AllRomance/OmniLit and in print)

 

1. Calling your hobby a business – or vice versa

The IRS has a pretty strict line between hobby and business, because businesses get to write their losses off against other income (W-2 or investment income) which lets them lower their taxes. To be considered a business you need to have profits in 3 out of the past 5 years. It you’re having more years of losses than profits, the IRS may want you to prove you’re a real business, which means show that you are trying to make money. They look at the ratio of expenses to earnings and the type of expenses you claim: advertising and other promo help you, but travel to conventions may hurt you if you’re not earning enough to justify the expense.

Businesses that claim to be a hobby are seen as avoiding self-employment tax, so if you have increasing hobby income, the IRS may force you to file Schedule C and pay SE tax. Make sure you classify your writing correctly.

2. Not filing quarterly estimated tax payments

This is one of the most confusing aspects of self-employment and for authors it’s even more complicated: earnings and expenses fluctuate wildly during the year. Some people just ignore it, then get both a big surprise balance due in April, plus a penalty for not paying quarterly. There are ways to avoid this, the easiest being to pay at least 110% of last year’s tax bill in quarterly installments. If you overpay, you’ll get a refund, but you’ll definitely avoid a penalty. I go over how to calculate the correct quarterly payments in my book, Tax Tips for Authors 2014.

3. Paying too much self-employment tax

How do you pay too much? By not taking all the deductions you can, and by not keeping a careful running balance of profit and loss during the year. You only pay SE tax when you have over $400 of profits, so if you can reduce profits (by increasing legitimate spending during the tax year) you can save some money. Make sure to do a tentative P and L calculation in early December. It may make sense to register for expensive conventions then rather than waiting till January. Buy a new computer or pre-pay for advertising. Shift only planned spending rather than simply spending down your profits carelessly, so you can build your business rather than just avoid taxes.

 

4. Missing out on deductions

Most authors I work with don’t keep good records of their spending. This includes mileage driven for “business.” Did you write down every time you drove to the library, book store, airport, etc.? Get in the habit of writing down your mileage and other expenses every day or two—before you forget—and you’ll see how much more you are able to claim. Keep receipts for books, index cars, notebooks, stock photos, domain names, lunch with your writing partner, swag, etc. This will also help you keep a running P and L for filing quarterly payments and making good year-end spending decisions. I have much more information on proper recordkeeping and deductions in the book.

5. Mixing business and personal expenses

Along with the hobby/business issue, this is one of the things IRS loves to investigate. The best way to keep everything separate—even for sole proprietors—is to have separate bank accounts and debit or credit cards. It’s easy to have a separate PayPal account just for your writing business, and you can get a PayPal debit card. An Ally bank account is free and requires no minimum deposit and they issue debit cards as well. Have all your payments made into the separate accounts, and spend only from the business PayPal/Ally debit card. If you need to use a credit card, ask for an additional card from your credit card company and use the new one only for business. At the end of the year you can get a separate statement of your business expenses, which makes recordkeeping and organizing deductions a snap.

 

Want even more information? Sign up for my Tax Tips Newsletter, or visit the Tax Tips for Authors website. Best of all, pick up a copy of my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014. It’s got new information for filing 2013 returns, a Schedule C walkthrough, chapters on self-employment taxes and quarterly payments and a whole lot more.

Available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords and AllRomance/OmniLit and in print

 

 

OutoftheGate_FBThumbEM Lynley is a former investment analyst and White House economist. Now she writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone”—only gayer. The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon & other book distributors.

Visit her online Website Blog FacebookTwitter

 

March Tax Workshop for Authors — still time to register #taxtip #writing

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-tax-image13319621

The March workshop is the last one before taxes are due on April 15.

As some of my readers know, in RL I’m a tax and finance professional, and I’ve been using that knowledge to teach my tax workshops.

Whether you like it or not, it’s time to stop procrastinating on your tax return. We have a lot of new authors here who may be filing Schedule C for the first time and probably have a ton of questions. New self-publishers may also be wondering how that will change your tax return. I know how many questions I had even after my first year of earning, which is why I became a licensed tax preparer four years ago.

Whether you are an old hand or a new author you will learn something new.

Three years ago I started offering online workshops for other authors. The final workshop begins March 15 and runs through March 30. I run the courses on a Yahoo Group. You will get an invitation to join the group after I receive your payment. You don’t have to be online when each lecture is posted. You can read at your leisure, then ask questions when you need to, or read other peoples’ questions.

I’ll cover everything you need to know about filing a tax return/Schedule C with special emphasis on the kinds of expenses and issues writers have. There’s a whole session just on self-publishing. (Don’t like online classes? Check out my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014 Buy the book.  Also available at Smashwords and coming soon to iBooks, B&N and Kobo)

Comments from previous participants:

“Loved the class! So much information was given–and on things I had no idea existed!”

“As a newly published author, I had no idea where to begin with taxes. This class explained everything in an easy to understand format. I feel ready to go!”

Tax Workshop for Authors ($30) —

Register Here

Consists of about 15 lectures to read at your own pace, open Q&A throughout the course and for at least an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group.

Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping.

As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.

Lecture topics include: Self-publishing Issues, Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors

Register Here

 

 

#Tax Workshop for Authors starts soon #writing #selfpublish @emlynley

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-tax-image13319621As some of my readers know, in RL I’m a tax and finance professional, and I’ve been using that knowledge to teach my tax workshops.

Whether you like it or not, it’s time to start thinking about your tax return. We have a lot of new authors here who may be filing Schedule C for the first time and probably have a ton of questions. New self-publishers may also be wondering how that will change your tax return. I know how many questions I had even after my first year of earning, which is why I became a licensed tax preparer four years ago.

Whether you are an old hand or a new author you will learn something new.

Three years ago I started offering online workshops for other authors. The next two start February 18 and March 15. I run the courses on a Yahoo Group. You will get an invitation to join the group after I receive your payment. You don’t have to be online when each lecture is posted. You can read at your leisure, then ask questions when you need to, or read other peoples’ questions.

I’ll cover everything you need to know about filing a tax return/Schedule C with special emphasis on the kinds of expenses and issues writers have. There’s a whole session just on self-publishing. (Don’t like online classes? Buy the book.)

Comments from previous participants:

“Loved the class! So much information was given–and on things I had no idea existed!”

“As a newly published author, I had no idea where to begin with taxes. This class explained everything in an easy to understand format. I feel ready to go!”

Tax Workshop for Authors ($25) —

Register Here

Consists of 15 lectures to read at your own pace, open Q&A throughout the course and for at least an additional week. You will have unlimited access to the course lectures, Q&A, plus the option of one private tax question answered off the group.

Writers, are you stymied by Schedule C and self-employment tax? Not sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve, or uncertain precisely what the IRS allows? You just want to know how to fill in your forms and what you can and can’t deduct. I will answer those questions, as well as provide additional useful and necessary information for tax planning and recordkeeping.

As both a writer and a tax preparer, I offer expert knowledge that usually costs hundreds of dollars in tax prep fees.

Lecture topics include: Self-publishing Issues, Hobby vs. Business, Legal Issues, What Expenses are Deductible?, Schedule C Walkthrough, Self-employment Tax, Quarterly Estimated Tax, Deductions for Unpublished Authors

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7 January Tax Tips for Writers #taxtip

taxes-creativecommonsJanuary means two things in the tax world: time to start thinking about the 2013 tax return, and a new year of records to begin keeping for 2014. If you self-publish, you have even more expenses and obligations, so start the year off on a good footing.

I’ll start off with the easy part first: new recordkeeping.

No one likes keeping track of everything, but the more information you write down each day or week, the less you’ll have to remember when it comes to filing your taxes. How many deductions do you think you might have missed because you forgot to write something down?

Good recordkeeping = less tax paid

If your writing brings in the majority of your income, you may also need to be sending in estimated tax payments throughout the year to avoid IRS penalties. You’ll need an accurate profit and loss snapshot each quarter to do this correctly. I’ll talk about this in a future posting.

Get a start on keeping better records of income and expenses in 2014.

Recordkeeping Tips for January

1. Get a special calendar (I like the 2-page per month type). Use it to write down business expenses each day or week. Don’t use it for appointments or try to scribble expenses in your regular calendar. You’ll appreciate having everything in one place later on.

NOTE: If you have another writing-related business like editing, cover art or formatting, get a separate expense log for that business. You may want to file a separate Schedule C for that business, so keeping separate records will make that easier for you.

2. Write down your car’s odometer reading in the calendar. For mileage deduction on Schedule C, you’ll need to know how many miles you drive per year for all purposes.

3. Do you pay someone else for editing, formatting, cover art or similar? If you pay anyone more than $600 in a year, you will need to send them a 1099-MISC and you should consider issuing one even if the amount is lower. In order to do so, each person you pay should fill in form W-9 for you. Have everyone do this at the beginning of the year, then it’s easy to deal with once you hit the $600 limit. If you don’t have a W-9, the IRS expects you to withhold 20% of the payments. (We talk about this in detail in the Tax Tips courses). Download Form W-9

If your cover artist or editor is in another country, they need to fill in Form W-8BEN and send it to you, to prove you don’t need to do the 20% withholding. Protect yourself with the correct forms, regardless of whether the editor or cover artist needs to file a US return. Download Form W-8BEN

4. Familiarize yourself with the categories of deductions on Schedule C. This way you know what you can and should be counting as expenses (and writing in your 2014 expense log calendar). Download a copy of the form at the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sc.pdf‎

5. Print out 2013 statements from all bank accounts, credit cards or PayPal that you used for business. If you already get paper statements, make a copy for your tax return. Some websites only have the last 12 months of statements available, so if you wait till March or April, you may have trouble getting Jan and Feb 2013

6. Consider joining one of my Tax Tips classes (First session Jan 10-20, Second Session Feb 18-28) for step-by-step help with everything on Schedule C, estimated taxes, self-employment taxes, and more. More information at taxtips.emlynley.com

7. Sign up for my Tax Tips for Authors Newsletter (twice monthly) to get even more useful tax information for authors, or get a copy of the ebook Tax Tips for Authors.

 

[author] [author_info]EM Lynley is a licensed tax preparer in the state of California. CTEC #A233919[/author_info] [/author]