Self-Employeds: Think you can deduct the time you donate? Think again.

Your time is not deductible. This is something I learned the hard way a few years back, and was reminded of again when I got my nifty newsletter from June Walker, who teaches self-employed folks how to do their own taxes.

(I hire the best accountant money can buy to do my taxes—I wouldn’t even consider doing my own—but I still bought her book and read her newsletters, because it makes it easier for me to know what I can deduct and can’t, and how to organize everything to make life easier for my accountant.)

Here’s the link to the current issue of her newsletter Tax Solutions for Indies, which explains how a whole lot of decent people end up in a whole world of hurt.

P.S. If you’re buying writing supplies and software, writing with intent to publish, sending out stories, and so on, even if you haven’t sold anything yet, there are circumstances in which your writing counts as a schedule C deductible activity. You need to start saving receipts and talk to an accountant about whether you can start deducting materials, software, books, computers, magazines, postage, and all those other writing supplies, essentials, and semi-essentials that constitute setting up and running a writing business.

SO if you’re writing, odds are decent that the information above applies to you.

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

7 comments… add one
  • tambo Sep 18, 2009 @ 19:26

    I never, ever claim any deduction for which I don’t have a receipt, but I always claim ALL income, even cash, just in case the IRS decides to visit me with a proctology scope in hand. So far so good. 🙂

  • Emily Sep 17, 2009 @ 22:23

    Sometimes, you just need to click on something in the menu simply because you have no idea what it does. That’s how I discovered Track Changes, Outlining, and Merge and Compare Documents. Invaluable tools.

  • June Walker Sep 17, 2009 @ 21:48

    Oh, goodness! Web 1.0. I think I’m Web -1.0. Actually, it’s all about time. I have a full-time accounting practice and I’m attempting to get as much easy-to-understand, accurate info out to indies as I possibly can. And, of course, there’s family.

    I welcome any Web 2.0 info you want to pass on to me that will help get the info out there. I have a hard time keeping up with my blog. Isn’t Twitter more daily emailing? Or do I have that wrong?

    Please note, importatnt: I do not think indies should do their own tax returns. But they do need to know how taxes, income, deductions, etc. wiork.

    If you like, go to my site to get your complimentary list of 100+ self-employed business deductions. Then pass it on to your indie colleagues. They all need tax help.

    Cheers, and thanks for the good vibes.
    June

  • PolarBear Sep 17, 2009 @ 17:16

    Cool. This is information I’m currently in the process of looking for! That article from last month on LLCs coincided directly with what I’ve been learning from the research I’ve been doing on the Texas State Business site.

  • Red_dot Sep 17, 2009 @ 14:09

    777 words today, 23K now and still on CH7. Writing now is getting exciting, the words are flowing, I think the book is getting better. My MC will be meeting the Space Shuttle for the first time. I have been able to write with higher word counts now, am I learning and building better scenes or am I just in a fun part of the book?

  • Holly Lisle Sep 17, 2009 @ 11:42

    I don’t think she has one. I think she’s still pretty Web 1.0.

    Me, I barely dragged my way through math without screwing up my GPA too badly, and the idea of a tax code that weighs as much as I do frightens me. Hence the superb accountant.

  • Leah Sep 17, 2009 @ 11:37

    I graduated with a degree in accounting and I do my own taxes but I always keep an eye out for resources like June’s. Thanks for sharing this with us, Holly.

    P.S. I wish June was on Twitter. That’s how I keep blogs and websites I like fresh in my mind. Am I missing her “follow” link?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.