Monday, January 5, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--January 5, 2015--More Tax Tips for Writers

A Step in the Write Direction

January 5, 2015

Update: I’ve been working on my Rhyme-Time Bible Stories coming out in February 2016. Originally it was 15 stories of 10-12 verses, 4 lines each. Publisher now wants them cut down to 6 verses of  4 lines each. It’s been more difficult than I thought to get the entire story across in only 6 verses, and in words preschoolers can understand. Have rewritten them twice and will take them to my faithful and honest critique group tomorrow…. Husband fell again last week in grocery store parking lot. Hurt his right hand, knee, and back, but don’t think anything is broken….Our pastor preached a good sermon yesterday on New Year’s resolutions. He asked if our resolutions were in tune with God’s Word.  “Everything that pops into your head isn’t from God,” he said. “They may be from a TV show, a magazine, a medication you’re on, or something you ate.” Interesting thought!

Thought for Today: “Your life can’t revolve around managing your stuff.…Given a choice, when Jesus returns, do I want Him to acknowledge me for a spotless house or a clean heart?” (Lisa Elliott, Come Ye Apart, 2/14/06).

Song for Today:
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

            “Be Thou My Vision,” Dallan Forgaill

Laugh for Today:
A captain told a sergeant to notify Private Smith that his grandmother had died.  "Hey, Smith, your grandma died!" the sergeant yelled into the barracks. 

"You need to learn tact," the captain said, so they sent him to Tact and Diplomacy School.  Later, the captain told him to inform Private Lopez that his grandmother had died, and he watched to see how the sergeant would handle it. 

The sergeant entered the barracks, paused at the doorway and called his men to attention.  When they were lined up, he stepped before them and ordered, "All those with living grandmothers step forward.  Not so fast, Lopez!"

Writer’s Tips:                       Tax Tips for Writers (continued)

Below is the beginning of a list of deductions allowed on the Schedule C, with a few hints on each one.

Line 8, Advertising. This includes such things as business cards, and ads placed in newspapers or magazines offering your services as a writer, to buy or sell business equipment, or to publicize a workshop. Also include on this line books given away for advertising purposes.

Line 9, Car and truck expenses. There are two ways you can deduct your car expenses, either by deducting your mileage or using actual expenses. If the former, keep track of mileage to the post office, the office supply store, to your writers’ club or workshop, attending a business luncheon or dinner, or other business-related activities. Keep a list of places you frequent often so you don’t have to keep track each time. (MapQuest is a great help on this.) Multiply the total miles by the per-mile amount allowed by IRS, and add to this any cash amounts you paid someone to drive you to a business event. (Note: The amount IRS allows changes every year, so you need to determine the current amount for your tax year.)

If you take actual expenses, first determine the percentage you used your car for business, and multiply this percentage by what you spent on gas, oil, repairs, tags, insurance, loan interest and so on. If you choose this method (and most people don’t unless they use their auto more than 50 percent for business), you must keep all receipts.

Line 10, Commissions and fees. The only time you might use this is if you pay a percentage of your royalties to an agent for helping you sell your book, or if you pay someone a commission for helping you with a conference.

Line 11, Contract labor. Did you pay someone to type your manuscript, to do research, to transcribe tapes? The amount goes on this line. Be careful, however. If this person works on your property, uses your equipment, and has assigned hours, he or she is considered an employee, subject to withholding, not an independent contractor.

To obtain a list of tax deductions for writers, send me an e-mail.

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers" (now on sale for half price-- $12.50, plus $3 s&h). This book has a whole chapter on income taxes for writers.

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