Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oh, Boy, Doing Income Tax Makes Me Wonder by Marilyn Meredith

I've always done my own income tax even back when I had to do it by hand on all the forms.

No I do it using Turbo Tax, much easier. I have to admit, I keep up with my income from writing and what I've spend at least montly, so it's not such a chore at the end of the year.

No matter what the ease may be now, when I'm all done it does make me wonder why on earth I'm spending so much time writing. My income for all my efforts certainly doesn't make up for how much I've spend on traveling and promotion.

So, you might ask, once you've had this proof why do you keep doing it?

As any writer will tell you, even the ones in similar shoes to mine, it's not possible to quit. Writing is a powerful addiction.

I write two mystery series and if I didn't keep writing, how would I find out what happened to my characters?

As any writer knows, traveling around to do promotion or going to conferences or conventions is not only fun, it's a time to visit with other writers and meet readers. Writers lead fairly solitary lives while working.

(Me at last year's PSWA Convention.)

Now, I have to share that I do have balance in my life because I have a big family, and there's always something going on. We have lots of weddings, and of course the babies follow.

 I'm blessed to live fairly close to most of my family members so I do get to spend time with many of them.
Our three daughters in the middle, me and hubby on either end.

 Wow, I do digress--back to the income tax situation--who cares if I'm not making lots of money, I am doing what I like and have a full life.

Anyone else have any of these feelings?



  1. Good blog, Marilyn. Keep enjoying your life, keeps you young.

  2. Oh yeah. I keep records all year for the IRS, both for my writing expenses and those of my husband's gunsmith business. But we just take them to our accountant, rather than do that ourselves. Don't have your endless punk. And I agree, if we wrote for the money, we'd be in this for the wrong reasons.

  3. This year Turbo Tax insisted I must file Schedule C because I got two 1099-MISC forms from Amazon and from On-Demand Publishing. So I gathered up all my receipts from my travel to Left Coast Crime and the publicity materials I had used last year (postcards, bookmarks, promo posters, T-shirts, tote bags, pens, all from Vistaprint, which I recommend wholeheartedly for the good quality of the loot!) and even the paper and toner cartridges. I added this all up.

    But then TT said I had lost $1,950 dollars (negative!) and could not take a deduction because I had not made a profit. Sheesh! I knew that!

    Then I had to go delete that Schedule C and file a different one, on which I did not try to mark ANY costs at all, but only put in the 1099-MISC forms as income. I had to tweak the files a few times to make it understand that I don't want to be audited. (LOL)

    We don't have any tax shelters or ANYTHING but our mortgage interest and IRAs (pitiful though they are). We really need something like that. I should use that in my next Ari French mystery--she is broke like me. It could feed into the mystery if someone is cheating on his taxes and someone else is about to call that IRS fraud number to expose his scheme. Hmm. . ..


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