The Taxing Process of Writing!


Today I am sharing space here with indie author and publisher Traci Sanders. Traci has written a fantastic new series that will help even the seasoned pro write it better. Here, in her own words, is Ms. Sanders…


Tip 358: What you can “write off” as an author

(tax deductions)

*This tip can be found in Living The Write Life: Tips on making the most of your writing skills, now available in digital and paperback format.
Are you an Indie author? If so, you are a contractor, whether you like it or not. Regardless which company you publish with, you will be required to answer a few basic questions to set up your tax account with them. When you sell any books, they need to know how and where to send your money.
Therefore, no matter how much (or how little) money you make on your books, you must claim it, because the publishing companies do.
The good news is, you also have tax deductions available.
Here is a list of deductions you can claim as an author:
         Office supplies
         Telephone/internet fees
         Cabs, subways, bus fares
         Book, magazines, reference material
         Agents’ commissions (if included in income)
         Film and processing – book trailer fees
         Copying – brochures, flyers for events
         Editorial fees – costs to hire professional editors
         Promotional fees – advertising materials
         Office rent – If you use a dedicated space for your writing – cannot claim for two businesses at once
         Utilities – a percentage for your writing (dedicated) space
         Memberships (professional organizations) – book club fees, writing organizations
         Messengers, private mail carriers, postage – shipping costs for giveaways, etc.
         Business insurance
         Tax preparation fees
         Travel costs – for out of town events – conferences, signings, etc.
         Business meals and entertainment
         Equipment – rentals of video/audio equipment for events
         Software – writing/editing/illustration software
         Legal and professional fees – patent lawyer, copyright lawyer
         I actually claim the books I buy and read because I consider them “study material” for my craft, especially those in my genre.
         As a public figure, for instance, when you do book signings and other events, you must have a professional appearance; therefore, you can write off your salon costs, new clothes, and even the food you serve at the event. Just be sure to keep the receipts and make notes on them.
         If you are at lunch and you pass out a business card or book to someone, write off that lunch by writing the person’s name and the book you talked about at what became your “business luncheon.”
         Treating your writing business like a professional entity will help you save money and avoid tax audits in the process, especially if you are like me and operate a separate business at the same time. The deductions must be kept separate.
Here are a couple add-ons to this tip, shared by Stephen Geez:
Research can be an important expense to track. That 250-word essay I’ll be writing about what it’s like to spend a month scuba diving in the Caymen Islands is definitely going to require some hands-on research…
Just thought of another point that used to be very useful: If you’re writing for a client, an assignment, an intended buy, or even if you eventually sell to a client, you might be surprised by how much the end-user will be willing to reimburse expenses that s/he can write off. Don’t leave that money unclaimed if a bit of assertiveness might compensate you. You could find that the combo of reimbursement and your own write-offs can cover 100% of the income.
Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. 

An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.


I’ve decided to give away two prizes during this tour:
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish – Volume I 
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book – Volume II 
To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to

Bonus: Video Tip!


15 thoughts on “The Taxing Process of Writing!

  1. Pingback: April tour schedule – Write It Right series – A Word With Traci

  2. Stephen Geez

    Great tips, Traci. I know a lot of newbies aren’t thinking about the money yet (much), but keeping the books tight early can pay off later when the numbers grow. Thanks for sharing, and thanks to Beem for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    I already knew about this but can always use a refresher course in how to handle your financial affairs as a writer. Good job Traci!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dr. Helen Borel

    This is very useful information, Traci. Reminds me of Self-Employment Schedule C that I used to fill out for the IRS when I did Private Duty Nursing. Also when I did freelance writing. Most self-employeds are unaware of the many different aspects of life (travel,meals out,etc.) and rent of a “home/office” space from which at least 1/4 to 1/3 can be deducted. As well as dedicated clothing/uniforms and other specifics that you use in your work.

    And, as Traci encourages, don’t be shy about reporting ALL your allowable deductions because: Let’s say you earned $3,000 from your published works in a specific year…and, say, all those deductions Traci listed amount to $5,000; You don’t pay any taxes on that $3,000. Which is even more important if you have a full-time regular salary being reported on your 1040 form. Because, there, you’ll be able to deduct that $2,000 loss recorded on your Schedule C form reducing your tax obligations from that salaried job.

    Thanks Traci for reminding us of our many deductibles. Now to the “taxing” work of writing. It can drain us of every drop of Self, but, in the long run we are replenished a thousandfold. Good luck with all your inspired writings, Traci. I look forward to reading more of your works.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jonah Gibson (@aimlessjonah)

    Good list. As a former CPA I can attest that it’s pretty thorough. It’s impossible to anticipate every deduction of course, because everyone’s writing is different as to process and subject matter. You need to go from the general to the particular to justify … and get receipts. My first novel, as a for instance, featured an exotic dancer as one of the main characters. I already knew rather too much about the profession as I used to live next door to a woman who danced, but I used to point out to whomever wanted to know why I would put strippers in my book that research is tax deductible. Technically true, but in that particular case it might be difficult to get an auditor to roll over.

    Liked by 1 person


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