Monday, December 29, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--December 29, 2014--Tax Tips for Writers

A Step in the Write Direction

December 29, 2014

Update: Our pastor yesterday encouraged us to do a timeline of our lives—putting in highlights (good and bad) and rating them as to minus 5 or plus 5. Then he said to remember how God was there for all of them….Every month I go back and write down highlights for that month—illnesses (too many of them), trips, visitors, any local, state, or world news, etc. At the end of the year I type these up, three-hole punch them, and give them to our kids to put in their notebook. I’ve done this for years. Last year I put all these on the computer, and now we can find something at a moment’s notice. Brings back a lot of memories! Now we’re entering a new year and whether it’ll be a minus 5 or plus 5, let’s be thankful we know Who’ll be walking with us. A happy and blessed New Year to you all!

Thought for Today: For today’s thought, I’m sharing a New Year’s Prayer written by my good friend Kitty Chappell:

A New Year’s Prayer

Bless this year, O Lord, we pray,
Guide our steps both night and day.
Bless the weeks that come and go
Help us your sweet will to know.
Bless the months and may they bring
Sweet aromas to our King.
Bless us all and may we be
Daily walking, Lord, with Thee.

Let the failures of last year
And all hurts, Lord, disappear.
Let them stepping stones become
That we may be more wise and strong.
Grant us wisdom from above
To reflect your truth and love.
Grant us power that we may be
Filled with evidence of Thee.
Bless this year and when it’s through,
May we be, Lord, more like you.

Song for Today:
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind.
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinner to find!
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art!
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
            —“Oh, to Be Like Thee,” Thomas O. Chisholm

Laugh for Today: (true): A friend’s 13-year-old granddaughter, watching her grandmother set up an ironing board, asked, “Why did someone put legs on that surfboard?” (She had been surfing since she was 5 and had never seen an ironing board before.)

Writer’s Tips:                                   Tax Tips for Writers
(Using lines from a Schedule C—Self-Employment Form)

For the next several weeks I’ll pass on some tax tips for writers. Because tax laws change so rapidly, I won’t give a lot of technical advice; however, you need to know that as a freelance writer the Internal Revenue Service considers you a self-employed person, which means you have to file a Schedule C. This also means accurate record keeping and saving receipts.

The secret: Whenever you open your checkbook or get into your car, think taxes! It’s easy to remember purchases such as computers, printer, toner, envelopes, and paper. However, you may forget smaller items such as postage for manuscripts and query letters and requests for sample magazines (if you don’t do this via e-mail). Or you may remember the postage, but forget to count the mileage.

Following are instructions for the lines you will use most:

On line A you’ll put your name as the owner/proprietor of the business and your social security number. (If you are filing jointly with your spouse, use your social security here as you are the owner.)

Line B asks for your business code (for a writer it’s 812990).

Line C asks for your principal business. (I include three here: freelance writer, editor, proofreader.)

Line D is for an employer ID number (EIN). This is not only for employers. I use this as identification when preparing tax returns for others, and it can also be used to give to editors and publishers instead of your social security number. This EIN can be used for opening a bank account, applying for business licenses, and filing a tax return. See <ttp://,,id=102767,00html>

Line E is your business address—either your home or a rented office.

Line F is your accounting method—which will normally be cash (this means you count your income as your receive it).

Line G—yes, you did “materially participate” in the operation of this business.

Check Line H if this is the first year you’re filing a business return.

On lines 1, 3, 5, and 7, show your total income for the year. (Ask your accountant about returns and allowances if you keep an inventory.) This income will include checks from manuscripts you sell, book royalties, and money you earn speaking.

(This information is taken from Appendix J of A Step in the Write Direction.)

 Have a good week (and year!) spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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