Filing and Tracking Submittals for Magazines – Important for Taxes
Keeping track of your article submittals is important for several reasons, 1) if an editor calls and they want to discuss your article in more detail you should be able to readily access this information, 2) you should have your articles filed and sorted for future submittals in case you may want to attach an article as an example, 3) you should have a spreadsheet or a database to track the submittals that you have sent out for follow up with an editor; include dates of articles and query letters and to whom they were sent, and 4) this information is needed for taxes.
In addition to tracking your submittals for effective retrieval, it is just as important to track all your expenses. Once you are a “true” writer and it is a true business rather than just a hobby, you can begin writing off many expenses. Check with your CPA for actual write offs; however, in most cases you should be able to write off some home expenses if your home is used as a place of business.
These expenses can include writing off a portion of these items; radio, TV, VCR, record player, CD, tape recorder and music. In addition, you can also write off office type things such as desk, chair, file cabinets, computer, printer, copy machine, shredder and other things that are needed to do business. Then there are office supplies such as books, magazines, newspapers, postage stamps, just about everything you read, telephone, all office supplies, and possibly half of all entertainment which is used to gather information for your articles along with travel costs, etc. You can also write off writing club memberships or other type of memberships that pertain to your writing career. The list is exhaustive but check with your CPA to ensure it’s applicable.
Remember that writing is a business and you should treat it as such. Just as you would maintain an appropriate filing system in any line of business the same applies here. It is the same for taxes. Make sure that you keep all your receipts for purchases that have to do with your writing. Don’t be caught off guard during tax time.