Special Tax Breaks for Writers

February 27th, 2012 → 8:00 am @

Interested in tax breaks? What author isn’t!

The IRS tax code has some special provisions just for authors.

It is very common for an author to incur expenses while researching and writing a book. He or she may need to travel or buy reference books.

In the past, these expenses could not be deducted until the book sold, and then in proportion to the book sales, meaning a little at a time, over several years. In accounting jargon, we call that “amortizing an expense.”

For authors, this amortization requirement was unreasonable. How many years would a book sell, if it sold any? Authors had no idea of how to amortize their research expenses.

In 1986, sanity prevailed and now authors can deduct their research fees as business deductions in the year they are incurred.

Cyn Mason has written an excellent article on this issue. She states,

“If you are an ongoing sole proprietorship incurring ordinary and necessary expenses relating to doing business during your tax year, you may simply write off your expenses in the year incurred exactly like any other small business.” 

https://www.forwriters.com/taxes.html, “Taxes for Writers” by Cyn Mason, accessed 10/29/11

Good news!

Carol Topp, CPA











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