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November 30, 2015

Tax Deductions for Writers



Tax season is fast approaching. I hope you’ve been saving your receipts and keeping detailed records because I have a list of tax deductions for writers. 

NOTE: These are for the US. Check with your country and a tax pro to see if you can use these as well.

- Self-publishing costs

- Laptop/Computer

- Software

- Ink/Printer

- Postage to mail out queries, manuscripts, SWAG, etc.

- SWAG (any promo items)

- Business cards and postcards

- Ads (Any advertisements you pay for in print and online.)

- Cover artist expenses

- Branding and logo design costs

- Memberships

- Subscriptions to writing magazines

- Books

- URL registration and web hosting

- Newsletter hosting fees

- Conference fees

- Class and workshop fees

- Expenses for events. (Book signings and book launches.)

- Travel expenses (If you have to travel for research or to attend conferences or do a tour.)

- Business lunches (When you’re interviewing someone or with a client.)

- Research expenses (If you hire a researcher.)

- Editing expenses (If you hire an editor.)

- Publicist/press release group expenses

- Legal expenses (If you hire an attorney to look over contracts.)

- Tax preparation expenses

- Health insurance (Self-employed writers can deduct “100% of their health insurance premiums.”)

- Office Supplies (paper, pens, even office furniture)

- Phone, fax, and email expenses

- Home office space (within requirements)



*For more info on how to use home office space as a deduction (especially if it’s in your bedroom), read this article by Writer’s Digest.


NOTE x2: You may not qualify for all of these deductions. If you’re not sure about one, consult a professional.


SHARE: Tax deductions for writers you know about and I’ll add them.




58 comments:

Christine Rains said...

Wow. Thanks for this list. I didn't know you could use home office space as a deduction.

Sherry Ellis said...

This is really good information. I didn't know there were so many deductions.

Congratulations! You won a copy of my book, Ten Zany Birds. Please email me at sherry.a.ellis@gmail.com and let me know where you'd like me to mail it.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Christine! I did a lot of research to find out what I could use as dexuctions.

Chrys Fey said...

I didnt know at first either.

Really? Yay!!! I will email you soon. :D

Murees Dupè said...

I didn't know one could use the above as tax deductions. Thank you for sharing.

Carrie-Anne said...

I know I probably should've claimed things like art supplies, permission to use copyrighted song lyrics, and my one professional cover artist as tex deductions, though since I took such a huge loss with production costs vs. actual sales, I didn't think it would be worth it in the long run.

Chrys Fey said...

Indeed you can. I really looked into to see if you could. Talking to a tax pro is still a must, though.

Pat Hatt said...

A good list indeed. I'm kinda lazy and haven't used much as a tax deduction lol if i ever made a ton then I would. Knew about how I could use some of my rent, heating costs, etc. as tax deductions though. Accounting brain is still up there haha

Chrys Fey said...

That's, of course, up to you. Usually including deductions help you to lower your cost or gives you a bigger refund. I know I had the same problem last year with few sales.

M.J. Fifield said...

Last year was the first year I really had writing-related deductions, so I went to a professional so it was done correctly. She was asking about a lot of these things, and I was, like, "You can do that? Cool!"

nashvillecats2 said...

Thanks Chrys for the lists, am halfway through my fourth poetry book, as I shall be spending Christmas alone hope to complete it then.
Yvonne.

Chrys Fey said...

When you don't have as many sales, you may not need to claim so much but if you ever do, remember these. ;)

diedre Knight said...

Fantastic list! I already use a couple of them for my 'other' business but had no idea that a few on your list were actually deductible; like health insurance! You just made my day, bless your heart! :-)

Chrys Fey said...

It is pretty cool finding out what they can do.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

It is, it is! Health insurance is actually one that tax professionals say is often forgotten.

Carrie Butler said...

Great list, Chrys! Though, I must admit, when I read the word "tax," I almost curled up in a ball under my desk... LOL

Chrys Fey said...

I think we all want to curl up and hide when we see or hear the word "tax." LOL!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've not used most of that, but I do keep track of all expenses. Neatly, of course. I want my accountant to like me.

betty said...

Impressive list you shared here as possible deductions. I know my husband when he was self employed doing music looked for each and every deduction possible :)

betty

Yolanda Renée said...

Great list, but be careful, that home office thing has a catch to it. They've really become hard nosed about home offices. Especially if you use the same space for anything other than your writing. But as with all things IRS read the fine print. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys .. it's essential to use a tax accountant to make sure you're within the necessary limits etc ... and each country has different rules - again a necessity to check.

Well done for reminding us - we need to get organised and keep organised .. cheers Hilary

Patsy said...

Keep in mind that some might not be worthwhile - for example if you claim for office space in your home, you may have to pay higher insurance or taxes because it will be considered as partly a business space.

Tea and cake should be tax dedictable as they're essential for my writing, but I've not (so far) been able to convince anyone official on tis point.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, which is why I said to consult a tax professional to see if you qualify as everyone may not qualify for all.

Chrys Fey said...

That's right. It's always good to consider what is worth claiming and a tax pro can help with that.

Chrys Fey said...

It's always good to keep track and to have neat records.

Chrys Fey said...

It's always good to do that.

Chrys Fey said...

I personally wouldn't claim a home office but I know there are certain requirements for it.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I think you covered most of the ones I use. I used to be able to write off CDs and DVDs used for "inspiration," but that one seemed dicey so I stopped doing it.

Stock photos, photography, and gifts for editors, readers, people who've helped with our business, etc., are other possibilities.

Mary Kirkland said...

That's really great info. I'm sure a lot of people had no idea they could claim some of those things.

Anonymous said...

Oh Chrys, don't make me think about tax stuff. I'm no good at it and it confuses me. ><

Lisa Thomson said...

I had no idea we qualified for so many deductions. I hope this is true in Canada as well but I'll probably have to research that. Thanks for the reminder to keep receipts and deduct from income!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I was skimming that list thinking I knew them all but now I have to check with my husband and see if we're deducting my health insurance.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Chrys,

My human recalls the days when he had to check out for all the tax deductions he qualified for when he lived in Canada. Over here in the UK he doesn't have to worry about filling in tax forms of any description because it's the employers responsibility. However, if he actually wrote, your list would be of some help, even in the UK.

I'm rambling, which means, time to get the heck outta' here....

Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

Penny xx

Liz A. said...

I suppose I should get myself published, then. I don't think they take tax deductions for "hobby" expenses.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Very informative post Chrys. Thanks for sharing.

Chrys Fey said...

I'd be worried about claiming CDs and DVDs too. But gosh, inspiration is so important to the writing process.

Those are great things to add to the list!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sure. I hadn't. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! Sorry. :p

Chrys Fey said...

I'm not sure if it's the same in Canada. Sorry about that, but I like to think many of them would be.

Chrys Fey said...

It would be a good idea to check.

Chrys Fey said...

Indeed it would be different in the UK. And these only work for writers. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

All those years before I was published l wished I could claim these thing.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! You're welcome. :)

Yanting Gueh said...

I never considered these on your list when I filed for tax. I should! Thanks, Chrys!

sage said...

Great list. Always consult your accountant or tax advisor! Now if I could just make enough from my writing on the side to worry about tax liabilities.

Misha Gerrick said...

Sigh. So much I could have deducted, but alas, I live in the wrong country.

emaginette said...

Thanks for the tips. Every little bit counts. :-)

Anna from Elements of Writing

Chrys Fey said...

I know what you mean. Last year, I didnt make enough.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Claudine!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sorry. :(

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome!

Jeffrey Scott said...

Wow, I had no idea writers could get so many tax deductions.
Now if only I could become a self-employed writer full-time.

Romance Book Haven said...

Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great post, Chrys. I kept track of expenses for two or three years, but don't deduct them any more. I was told that after a certain length of time if you didn't show a profit (which I never have) your writing is considered a hobby and you can't deduct expenses. I pay state taxes on what I sell myself, otherwise I don't do anything. It was a lot of work keeping track. Which reminds me I must see how much state taxes I owe. They've sent me the form already. Thanks for the reminder.

Chrys Fey said...

I hope you can. Jeffrey! :)

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't make much either. I'm not sure how much I made this year yet and will probably only be able to claim a couple of these deductions.