Yesterday, I became an official author, evidenced by having to report my income, meager though it was, to the government. Problem is–and I don’t know whether to mark it up to stupidity or just being frazzled–I forgot to get all my deductibles listed before going to our tax folks.
We went to our appointment yesterday morning, an appointment I had made myself and knew was coming, without any list from me of what my expenses were–which means we have to go back to supply the missing information. The good news is, I learned what is and is not deductible, and what I did and did not need to fool with this time around. Some of it I already knew, but I gained quite a bit of knowledge. For 2012, I’ll know what to prepare for, but for the 2011 return, I had my work cut out for me.
When I asked how far back I can go to determine my expenses, our accountant said that any expense that went into creating Give the Lady a Ride could be deducted. That included membership dues, contest fees, conference expenses, equipment, supplies–on and on and on–from 2008 to 2011. Ride was the product of the 2007 NaNo contest, but my first actual expenses pertaining to it were for the 2008 conference, when it was a finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest. Fortunately, all the expenses from 2008 to 2010 could be lumped together into one sum, but for 2011, I had to itemize.
One of the things that I prided myself over was meticulously filing receipts. Well, that pride bit the dust. I have absolutely no record of 2009. None. I can’t prove membership fees, supply or equipment purchases, or anything else, unless canceled checks count. And since banks don’t send canceled checks anymore and they’re unattainable without paying a fee, I decided to just skip 2009.
Dividing 2011 expenses into their categories took me all afternoon. After spending the morning with our accountant and the afternoon with an adding machine, my day was shot as far as what I’d planned. By the time I was finished, I was too tuckered to care about anything but the newest episode of NCIS.
But I did get everything divided: advertising costs, office expenses, repairs and maintenance, supplies, travel/meals/entertainment, product purchase (books I bought from my publisher to resell), and “other” expenses. There are so many more categories, but these were the ones that pertained to me. I didn’t do a thing about the car expenses–way too complicated, especially since I got a new one last year and since we used the truck for some of the activities related to the book.
So, after blowing yesterday, my goal for today is to get three weeks of worth of work done. Think I’ll succeed?