Tax Tips for Authors
Get the answers you need
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 ye writing. I know exactly what you’re wondering, because I already asked the same questions and now I’ve got answers. Six years ago I took a 3-month long tax preparer class at H&R Block, to make sure I had the right answers to my own questions about writer-specific tax issues.
I started writing seriously in 2007 and in 2008 I had my first short story published in an anthology. I was thrilled! I loved writing and I was over the moon a publisher liked what I wrote enough to pay me for it! And the people started buying it.
And in January I got a little thing called a 1099 and I was clueless how to handle my new income when I did my taxes for 2008. I read books and websites, and frankly, I was still confused. I only had one story (plus another novel contracted) but what did the IRS expect of me. Did I need to do a Schedule C? What if I did it wrong?
That first year I guessed about a lot of things and held my breath when I submitted the return. Then I got serious and signed up for a tax preparer class. I checked out two different companies and settled on H&R Block. The course was over 90 hours, so I learned a lot. I still work for them every tax season and over the years I’ve increased my knowledge of exactly what authors–published and unpublished–need to know to file their taxes, and hopefully to get all of the deductions you deserve.
I teach online courses and I’ve put everything I know into a book, Tax Tips for Authors. You can buy it at Amazon, Smashwords, OmniLit, and other distributors.
I’ve now written and had fifteen novels published or contracted, along with over a dozen novellas, short stories, and I’ve edited four anthologies. That means I have even more experience with nearly every question or situation you face. I still prepare taxes every year for my clients, and take IRS-mandated continuing education to make sure my tax knowledge is up to date.
Feel free to ask a question using the contact form. Sign up for my tax tips newsletter, designed just for authors (mailings once or twice a month). The form is in the right sidebar.