That’s me. Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing. Maybe my parents pounded into me that honesty and integrity are important virtues. And maybe it’s just that I’m afraid of getting caught and spending any amount of time in jail, or being fined a large amount of money which would be better spent on my family. Regardless of the reason, I try to do the right thing and pay my taxes.
But what is my fair share? My interpretation of “my fair share” is the least amount I must legally pay in federal, state, and local taxes. Since I began my working life back when I was thirteen years old in Zellwood, Florida, I’ve been paying taxes for a long time. But, as they say, death and taxes are inevitable.
So what does this have to do with writing? Everything. Writing is a business. Whether you write as a hobby, for fun, to impress your family and friends, or to make a living, writing should be treated as a business. If you make more money than you spend, your business is making a profit. If your writing and your efforts to market your writing cost more than you make from your efforts, you are losing money. Whether you make money or lose money, make it a habit to track your cash flow. I would recommend starting a company for your writing. If you happen to write that breakout New York Times Bestseller, then you’ll be ahead of the game. There’s no doubt that you’ll pay your share of taxes. But even if your writing is a losing venture, monetarily, you can lower your tax liability.
Now, it is time for a disclaimer. If you do not have the skills and training to set up your business, keep track of your income and expenses, and do your annual income taxes, then you need to talk with professionals in those fields. It doesn’t have to be an expensive venture, but in the long run, it may be a great way to limit your tax liability until you write that New York Times Bestseller. Good luck and God bless.
Consider These Writing Habits is a monthly blog by Loconeal Mystery-Suspense author P. J. Grondin. Visit www.pjgrondin.com for a list of P. J. Grondin book signings and events.