Sisters In Crime: Tax Tips for Writers (part 1)

July 27th, 2011 → 7:03 pm @

The Sisters in Crime blog featured an interview with me on Tax Tips for Writers.

Dorothy Parker once said, “The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘check enclosed.’” The witty Mrs. Parker also published a book called Death and Taxes. I’ll let you connect the dots.

Then again, you may find that connecting those dots isn’t so easy. Let’s face it—we’re writers, not accountants. To that end, I took the opportunity to ask for a few tax tips from Carol Topp, a certified public accountant and a writer. Carol is the author of an upcoming book, Business Tips and Taxes for Writers (Media Angels), which will provide nuts-and-bolts advice on topics such as income tax, sales tax, self-employment tax, tax deductions, financial planning, bookkeeping and — last but not least — mistakes that authors and publishers make. Here’s the Q&A with the C.P.A.

Q: What’s the best business (or tax) tip that, in your experience, most writers don’t seem to know?

A: Only one? Here’s one tip: Calling your writing a hobby — when you have been paid — can be detrimental to your pocketbook. In other words, you may be paying too much in income tax because, unlike a business, many expenses for hobbyists are not tax-deductible.

It’s fairly easy to convert a hobby into a business. You simply have a profit motive and conduct your writing as a business — meaning you keep records, consult a professional when needed, and improve your knowledge in the area of writing, as a business owner would do.

Read it the entire interview here:

Carol Topp, CPA

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