DO you know what writers are entitled to claim as expenses? It’s THAT time of year again – #accounts, #TaxReturns

Having conquered my internet problems (unbelievable amount of time wasted, convincing my service provider their supplied router was dead, but they finally sent a new one), I am now up to my armpits in accounts, it being TAX RETURN month.

I thought I’d take a quick brain break and check in with you all, to see how you are doing with your books (financial, that is).

Last year IΒ stole appropriated our box room, and turned it into an accounts office.

Doesn’t take up too much room, and no distractions. Notice the essential piece of equipment – the kettle…

Also useful for keeping stock:

I do love a hard copy πŸ˜€

I’m not finished organising yet, I want to get to the stage where I do my books each month, so I don’t have a mad panic in January. I’m not there yet, but I DO have an efficient filing system, that involves putting each invoice in an appropriately labelled folder as soon as it arrives/gets printed.

This way they are all ready and in order, all I have to do is plug the figures into the ledger πŸ˜€

I don’t know what the differences are between UK tax and US tax, but in case you are starting out and not yet clear on how to manage your expenses, here is a list of items we writers are allowed in the UK to legitimately claim:

  • cost of covers/editing
  • marketing costs
  • cost of stock (physical books)
  • paper/stationery
  • writing software
  • computer support
  • hardware (estimate a percentage used by the business if you also use it personally, and only charge the business portion)
  • ongoing education – have you bought any online writing/marketing courses, or educational books?
  • networking/educational events (conventions/conferences) plus travel to get there, hotel costs, and reasonable food expenses
  • travel costs to anything like book signings, talks etc.
  • charge yourself a small rental fee for use of space in the home
  • phone/internet (again, a percentage of total to reflect the business/personal portions)

Make sure you have receipts for EVERYTHING. You don’t need to send them in with your return (I do mine online, anyway) but you DO need to keep them in case the IR asks to see them. I’ve been investigated twice in the past ten years, just picked at random.

Can you add to my list? Are there any differences in your country? I am in the UK, in case you’re at all confused.

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9 comments

  1. Looks like a serious headache to me. Good job you had a room setup especially.

    1. I’ve run my own businesses for over 20 years, and always done my own books. Until a couple years ago I had to clear the decks (main office desk and floor) to make space for it all. This has made things so much easier, although sadly the main office (where I write) no longer gets that enforced annual clear out, so perhaps its not such a good thing???

  2. Well isn’t this perfect timing.

    1. πŸ˜€ Not a subject we want to think about too often, but unfortunately essential once a year.

  3. davidjrogersftw · · Reply

    I just love this nitty-gritty post. Thank you.

    1. I gained so much from other writers sharing this sort of thing when I was starting out, I like to pass it on. Thanks for commenting πŸ˜€

  4. Deb, our lists and folder system is almost identical! Why am I not surprised? πŸ™‚ ❀

    1. Ha ha ha! This is becoming spooky…

      1. For some reason, I’m not really surprised! πŸ˜‰

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