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CheekyWench
04-22-2010, 05:34 PM
I thought I might find something on new authors and taxes but apparently I'm blind or haven't had enough coffee.

I don't have an agent and I have two contracts. Um... So. HALP!?

I'm in the US. I've got this W-9 in front of me and I'm not sure how to fill it out other than name and address. Should I be incorporated before I do this? Will I file taxes every quarter? Every time I get a check?

Jess Haines
04-22-2010, 11:51 PM
Filling in the W-9 should be pretty easy. Have you incorporated? No? Then fill in your usual info as you would on a W-4 (name, address, SS#).

At beginning of next year, you'll get a form from your publisher which has all of the information on how much you've been paid for the year. That's what you report when you file your regular income taxes to the IRS and to the state you live in at the end of the year.

It's best to consult a professional when you do your taxes next time because they can tell you what items (if any) you can write off, or what percentage you can write off, that has to do with your writing carreer. For example, postage for mailing manuscripts and queries, office supplies, a new computer to write your work on, business trips related to your writing, a percentage of your rent and/or utilities, etc.

FYI, I'd suggest squirrelling away a good percentage (20-30%) of any advance or royalty checks you receive so you make sure you have enough put away to pay your taxes when the time comes. Then, anything left over -- use to party! :D

CheekyWench
04-22-2010, 11:57 PM
Bless you! <3


I figured the W-9 was just easy to fill out but my brain makes taxes horrifying. I don't know why. LOL
My release date isn't until next year anyway, so I guess I have time to figure it all out, now that I think about it. I just wanted a heads up.


Thanks so much!

Chris P
04-23-2010, 12:05 AM
I conduct copy editing on contract for a Canadian company, and they pay me via PayPal and of course don't withhold or report to the IRS. I am not incorporated. I keep track of my income myself, and when I do my regular taxes each year I fill out (or TurboTax does) the 1040 SE (self employment tax) and the Schedule E (I think) "Income or loss from business." PM me if you need more details. It's not very hard, but between state and federal, the taxman gets a shocking amount.

ETA: As Jess said, I do my own withholdings in case I need to pay in.

jana13k
04-23-2010, 12:42 AM
Schedule C is for Business Income. There is almost no advantage to incorporating unless you're making over $100k a year. I've been preparing taxes for over 20 years - trust me, if there's a way to avoid taxes, I find it. :)

CheekyWench
04-23-2010, 12:49 AM
mind = boggled.

Thanks y'all. I appreciate the info!

shaldna
04-23-2010, 11:11 AM
Don't look at me, I can barely balance my chequebook.

This is why I have an accountant.

Jess Haines
04-23-2010, 11:53 PM
Bless you! <3


I figured the W-9 was just easy to fill out but my brain makes taxes horrifying. I don't know why. LOL
My release date isn't until next year anyway, so I guess I have time to figure it all out, now that I think about it. I just wanted a heads up.


Thanks so much!

You're very welcome! :)