On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Writing Expenses / Taxes

I got an extension and my taxes are due on the 15th, which means I need to get them to my accountant earlier. I have a page (somewhere) of all the expenses I can write off. So far, since I have the day job, even the good year of writing I didn't have to pay -- because I bought two computers and a printer.

Postage (a real biggie for me)
Long distance calls to NY/GA for discussions with editors/agent
All internet stuff (access, website, website updates)
Supplies (things over $75 like software must be itemized)
Utilities -- I have a small office, so I think it's 1/4 of my utilities
Health Insurance and doctor bills (I don't have this through my day job, though I believe it needs to be 20% of the income to be written off).
Promotion -- my wallet calendars, my website contest goodies (no, I haven't updated this month yet)
Contests I enter, Dues of the many chapters of RWA I belong to
Unfortunately, vet bills and cat food are not covered, even though I write about telepathic cats and am known for that. I have asked and asked and the answer is always "no." As is the answer for the fancy conference clothes I buy that live in a separate closet.

Of COURSE my receipts aren't organized, which means that I take a couple of days to go through them and put them in order. I DON'T put them on my computer. My computer is for writing and promotion, and anything that makes me avoid the computer (like listing expenses) is a Bad Thing. But I have these nifty calendars that are file pockets and I jam receipts into them. and I usually have my I-whatevers (that's a form I-9, 19, 8 or something) that publishers and now my agent sends me as well as my W2s and property stuff in a special place.

I have been known to panic.

Helpful thoughts welcomed.



Blogger moonhart said...

Here Robin,

Have a cup of virtual Jasmine tea and take a deep breath.



10:31 AM  
Blogger Shannon McKelden said...

Robin, just wanted to say how happy I was to meet you at the conference!! And congrats on your PRISM...that is just fantastic!


12:06 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks, folks. I'm concentrating on the copy edits now, then will visit the scary storage room for my 10 key calculator (I used to be an accounting clerk and am still pretty fast), and set up on the dining room table...

Love to all,

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm there. Took Monday off work to graph out my taxes. Luckily, I have three dependents, so the standard deduction is pretty good.

I think if you don't have employer-provided insurance, you can now deduct the cost of health insurance premiums without respect to any income/expense ratio. As I understand it, the health care costs are what have to be substantial before you can deduct them.

Congratulations on the PRISM. I missed it again this year.

5:48 PM  

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