Business of Writing
» Accounting & Income Tax
General Tips and Advice
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Managing your money and income tax can be a difficult process for anyone. It is always best to seek professional help from an accountant or income tax professional; however, with some basic accounting skills you can manage your income and expenses.
No matter whether you are a part-time writer or an author with multiple publications under your belt, it is always important to track your income and expenses with as much accuracy as possible.
The following are some basic suggestions and tips on how to make the income tax season more bearable:
- There are many expenses that a writer can claim, such as:
- Office supplies and computer supplies
- Computer equipment (according to capital assets regulations)
- Postal and courier expenses
- Books relevant to your writing
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
- Membership dues for writing organizations and guilds
- Payment to assistants you may have
- Photocopying charges
- Advertising and promotion
- Research materials
- Business phone line or percentage of home phone
- Internet ( a portion of home connection)
- Travel Expenses (transportation, accommodations, meals)
- Always check with Revenue Canada regarding expenses that can be claimed
- Track your expenses on a monthly basis, using an Excel spreadsheet
- Tracking your expenses and income will help you to prove to the Canadian Revenue Agency that you have a legitimate business
- Keep all receipts. A credit card statement will not be enough, keep all receipts and record what expenses they are for.
- Most income earned from writing should be claimed on your income tax forms, with the exception of prize money.
- Like expenses, income should be tracked and recorded using a program like Microsoft Excel
- At tax time, create a simple spreadsheet that shows your writing income and expenses for the year. The total at the bottom will be your income minus your expenses. Attach this table to your income tax forms, with a title that includes your name.
For detailed information, contact a local accountant or tax professional, they will be able to guide you through any specific problems you may have.
The Canadian Revenue Agency website has detailed information, regarding income taxes for writers and artists.