Saturday, October 06, 2012

Adding it All Up

Being a self-employed writer has a lot of perks. It also has a lot of headaches, and keeping track of the accounting is one of them. I would advise any writer with a lot of work to find a good CPA. It can save you so much at tax time, and keep your head above water. It's not nearly as expensive as you might think. I would be lost without mine. Keeping track of the tax code even if it never changed would be a full time job, but it does change and that makes it nearly impossible to navigate unless you do it all the time. Many writers won't need someone like  until they have many sales and multiple projects. You may be able to get away with doing your own taxes in the beginning, but once you have a lot of expenses and many income streams, it's time to sit down with a pro and make sure you're not paying more than you have to. It's hard enough to make a living as a writer, and self-employment taxes can be quite shocking for new writers at first. Self-employment tax is far higher than the taxes you might be used to paying when working for someone else. That's where a good CPA will save you money, making sure you are taking all of the deductions you are entitled too--and maybe more importantly, not taking the ones you aren't supposed to. No one wants the dreaded "A" word (audit in case you aren't familiar with that nasty initial).