Tax season is upon us again, and I find myself wallowing through the annual glut of writing expense paperwork.
I keep a file running all year long, into which goes every piece of paperwork and every receipt I have which involves a monetary exchange related to writing. I also have a spreadsheet listing all my writing expenses, broken down by domain name, conference/contest fees, office supplies, postage, writing-related mileage, book purchases, dues, office space expenses, etc. And of course (when it starts coming in!), income related to writing. What a mess it can be!
I did find help in reading "The Writer's Tax Guide: Writing and Writing It Off" by Michael Arthur Jones, CPA. The book is out of print and thus a bit hard to find, but worth it to introduce a writer to all the pros and cons of writing and taxes. I also have a "tax guy" who helps make sure all my facts and figures are in order.
The big thing to remember is, keep ALL of your receipts and invoices related to writing together in one file. It will be much easier come tax time to sort it all out. Documentation is everything!
And don't forget to come up for air, lest you drown in all those numbers. Here's hoping you stay in the black this year!