Back to Top

  • First Slide


  • Second Slide


  • Third Slide

Tag Archives: EM Lynley

RLF Gem 
Last month, Romance Lives Forever had 31 posts in a 31 day month.
There was a tie for fourth place, and if we had six spots, there would have
three names listed. I’ve noted them as an honorable mention.

Top Five Bloggers for the Month

(judged by page views). Congratulations to each author!
1. Vicki Batman
2. EM Lynley
3. Keira Andrews
4. Carly Carson
4. MQ Barber
5. Jessica E Subject
Honorable mention: Mary Marvella, Katheryn Lane, and I tied for what would
be sixth place.
Romance Lives Forever features authors and new books. It has a
blogger’s FAQ page with a downloadable guide and optional interviews. Readers
can follow via Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, Bloglovin’, Linky
Followers, email, an RSS feed, and there’s a blog button readers and authors
can grab. RLF takes up to three images per article, so authors can share
previous books. The blog uses author or publisher names as SEO tags on posts,
and author Twitter handles in the titles. The site is broadcast over Triberr
with a potential reach of over a million readers via its Twitter-linked
network. Twitter mentions are also gathered in several Paper.li ezines, giving
the author additional opportunities for promotion. The Romance Lives Forever
Paper.li ezine
features guest authors on its front page every day.

Share your book cover on Romance Lives Forever

Limited spots to share book covers are available. Cost is $3
per month, with discounts for covers posted for one quarter and up to one year.
Covers can be changed monthly.

Sign Up for a Future Post

Guest calendar http://is.gd/rlfdates
My thanks to all who took part this month. You made Romance Lives
Forever a great place to discover new books and authors.
Other participants this month in alphabetical order by first
name are:
Angela Smith, Beth Barany, Elysa Hendricks, JJ DiBenedetto, JoAnne
Myers, Kathy Kulig, Lauren Linwood, Lisa Carlisle, Liza O’Connor, Naomi Bellina,
Nicky Penttila, Rachel Firasek, Romy Gemmell, Susan Mac Nicol, Tina Donahue, Ute
Carbone, Virginia Kelly, VS Nelson
Tax Tips for Authors 
In my real life I’m a tax and finance professional and I’ve been
sharing my knowledge with other writers for the past three years. I find many people
have problems with the same issues year after year. Are you making these mistakes?
If so, you’ll find more ways to solve these problems (and more) in my book Tax Tips for Authors 2014. (Available from
Amazon, Barnes
and Noble
, iTunes, Smashwords ARe/OmniLit
and in print)
1. Calling your hobby
a business – or vice versa
The IRS has a pretty strict line between hobby and business,
because businesses get to write their losses off against other income (W-2 or investment
income) which lets them lower their taxes. To be considered a business you need
to have profits in 3 out of the past 5 years. It you’re having more years of losses
than profits, the IRS may want you to prove you’re a real business, which means
show that you are trying to make money. They look at the ratio of expenses to earnings
and the type of expenses you claim: advertising and other promo help you, but travel
to conventions may hurt you if you’re not earning enough to justify the expense.
Businesses that claim to be a hobby are seen as avoiding self-employment
tax, so if you have increasing hobby income, the IRS may force you to file Schedule
C and pay SE tax. Make sure you classify your writing correctly.
2. Not filing quarterly
estimated tax payments
This is one of the most confusing aspects of self-employment
and for authors it’s even more complicated: earnings and expenses fluctuate wildly
during the year. Some people just ignore it, then get both a big surprise balance
due in April, plus a penalty for not paying quarterly. There are ways to avoid this,
the easiest being to pay at least 110% of last year’s tax bill in quarterly installments.
If you overpay, you’ll get a refund, but you’ll definitely avoid a penalty. I go
over how to calculate the correct quarterly payments in my book, Tax Tips for Authors
2014.
3. Paying too much self-employment
tax
How do you pay too much? By not taking all the deductions you
can, and by not keeping a careful running balance of profit and loss during the
year. You only pay SE tax when you have over $400 of profits, so if you can reduce
profits (by increasing legitimate spending during the tax year) you can save some
money. Make sure to do a tentative P and L calculation in early December. It may
make sense to register for expensive conventions then rather than waiting till January.
Buy a new computer or pre-pay for advertising. Shift only planned spending rather
than simply spending down your profits carelessly, so you can build your business
rather than just avoid taxes.
4. Missing out on deductions
Most authors I work with don’t keep good records of their spending.
This includes mileage driven for “business.” Did you write down every
time you drove to the library, book store, airport, etc.? Get in the habit of writing
down your mileage and other expenses every day or two—before you forget—and you’ll
see how much more you are able to claim. Keep receipts for books, index cars, notebooks,
stock photos, domain names, lunch with your writing partner, swag, etc. This will
also help you keep a running P and L for filing quarterly payments and making good
year-end spending decisions. I have much more information on proper recordkeeping
and deductions in the book.
5. Mixing business and
personal expenses
Along with the hobby/business issue, this is one of the things
IRS loves to investigate. The best way to keep everything separate—even for sole
proprietors—is to have separate bank accounts and debit or credit cards. It’s easy
to have a separate PayPal account just for your writing business, and you can get
a PayPal debit card. An Ally bank account is free and requires no minimum deposit
and they issue debit cards as well. Have all your payments made into the separate
accounts, and spend only from the business PayPal/Ally debit card. If you need to
use a credit card, ask for an additional card from your credit card company and
use the new one only for business. At the end of the year you can get a separate
statement of your business expenses, which makes recordkeeping and organizing deductions
a snap.
Want even more information? Sign up for my Tax Tips Newsletter, or visit
the Tax Tips for Authors website. Best of all, pick up a copy of my book Tax Tips
for Authors 2014
. It’s got new information for filing 2013 returns, a Schedule
C walkthrough, chapters on self-employment taxes and quarterly payments and a whole
lot more.

Contest

Out of the Gate

Ask a tax question and be entered to win a free registration
to an author-oriented Tax Workshop held by EM Lynley.

About the Author

EM Lynley is a former investment analyst and White House economist.
Now she writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and
the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as
“Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone”—only gayer. The Delectable series
is Gay Romance with Taste. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon
& other book distributors.

Author Social Media

RLF Top Blogger Award 
Last month, Romance Lives Forever had 28 posts in a 28 day month.
A new interview was introduced: 5 Easy Questions. It consists of 10 questions,
of which, an author can pick five, making it one of the fastest to do. This is
great for the busy author with a new release. You can download a copy here:
5 Easy Questions – pick 5 fun things from a list http://is.gd/rlf_5easyQs

Top Five Bloggers for the Month

The top five posts, judged by page views are listed below. Congratulations to each author!
1. Daisy Banks
2. Vicki Batman
3. Marilyn Baron
4. EM Lynley
5. GA Hauser
Honorable mention: Kryssie Fortune and I tied for sixth place.
Romance Lives Forever features authors and new books. It has a
blogger’s FAQ page with a downloadable guide and optional interviews. Readers
can follow via Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, Bloglovin’, Linky
Followers, email, an RSS feed, and there’s a blog button readers and authors
can grab. RLF takes up to three images per article, so authors can share
previous books. The blog uses author or publisher names as SEO tags on posts,
and author Twitter handles in the titles. The site is broadcast over Triberr
with a potential reach of over a million readers via its Twitter-linked
network. Twitter mentions are also gathered in several Paper.li ezines, giving
the author additional opportunities for promotion.
The Romance Lives Forever
Paper.li ezine
features guest authors on its front page every day. The Yahoo Group Romance Lives Forever has
nearly 1200 members, and is Kayelle’s private group. It is open once a month to
authors who have been guests on the blog. Guests get one day to post info,
share news, book releases, offer contests, and so on. For that day, the group
is open and members are allowed to reply and take active part. It’s like an
old-fashioned chat, where you can share and answer questions. Only authors who
have reserved the day are allowed to post, so it’s exclusive. There is no
charge. You can read more about it here: http://is.gd/rlfauthorday

Share your book cover on Romance Lives Forever

Limited spots to share book covers are available. Cost is $3
per month, with discounts for covers posted for one quarter and up to one year.
Covers can be changed monthly.

Sign Up for a Future Post

Guest calendar http://is.gd/rlfdates
My thanks to all who took part this month. You made Romance Lives
Forever a great place to discover new books and authors.
Other participants this month in alphabetical order by first
name are:

AJ Nuest, Alanna
Lucas, Berengaria Brown, Celia Breslin, Denysé Bridger, Diane Burton, Gwen
Knight, HK Sterling, Kathy L Wheeler, Lady Blade, Lauren Linwood, Leta Blake, Liza
O’Connor, Nancy Corrigan, Samara King, Samara King, Susan D Taylor, Suz deMello, Zanna Mackenzie
Tax Tips for Authors 
Bigger, longer, and more of what you really need.
EM Lynley is back sharing 2014 tax tips for authors.
“If you make money from writing, you need this book!”
– Neil Plakcy
Stymied by Schedule C? Not sure if you should take the new home-office
deduction? Wondering just how many books you can deduct, how much of that trip to
RT, or even whether your writing is a business or a hobby according to IRS rules?
The end of January means the 1099s are flying fast and furious
from publishers and distributors. Whether this is your first year filing a tax return
with writing income, or you’ve been doing it for years, chances are there’s something
you’re just not sure about and don’t know who to ask. You either guess and cross
your fingers, or decide not to deduct it, just in case.
A few years ago I was in exactly the same boat. My first novel
was published five years, almost to the day (Feb 1, 2009) and I chewed a few fingernails
those first two years of filing my own returns. I didn’t want to pay anyone to do
it for me, so I actually enrolled in 90-hour Basic Tax Course at H&R Block so
I would have all the answers to do it myself.
Now, from January to April I’m a tax preparer, and the rest of
the year I write (fiction and financial articles). I decided to meld my two halves
and write a book to help other writers get the answers you need to file your own
taxes, or at least keep better records to make the task easier for your accountant
or tax pro.
Despite the name, Tax Tips for Authors packs much more than tips
to help you keep accurate records and your tax return. I have a full walkthrough
on Schedule C, show you how to calculate estimated quarterly payments, let you know
if you need to send 1099s to anyone else, and how to prove to the IRS you are running
a business rather than a hobby.
If you self-publish, you have even more issues to think about.
If you haven’t gotten published yet, you may still have deductions coming to you.
The book is filled with examples of every type of deduction and
various scenarios,
The 3d edition (January 2014) is only available from Amazon or my website. (Smashwords and ARE and not yet the most
up-to-date version).
A print edition is coming in mid-February. Here are the topics I cover:
  • General Legal Issues
  • Hobby vs. Business
  • Recordkeeping Basics
  • Tackling the Schedule C
  • Deducting Expenses on Schedule C
  • Line-by-Line Walkthrough of Schedule C
  • Home-office Deduction
  • Self-employment Tax
  • Quarterly Estimated Tax
  • Self-published Authors
  • Unpublished Authors
  • FAQ

Contest

Ask a tax question and be entered to win a copy of Tax Tips for
Authors. (Please do not mention any personal financial information).

DISCOUNT OFFER

Everyone here wins with a 10% off coupon for a future Tax Tips
class. We’ll cover everything in the book with extensive Q&A. Use coupon cone
RLF10FEB to register at my website: http://bit.ly/eml-taxclass.
Stop by and like the Tax Tips for Authors page over on Facebook
for more tips and information. https://facebook.com/taxtipsforauthors

Author Social Media

RLF Gems 

In April, Romance Lives Forever had 26 posts in a 30 day
month. Here are the top posts (judging by page views).
1. EM Lynley
2. Linda McLaughlin
3. Nicole Hurley-Moore
4. Selena Illyria
5. Karen Lopp
Authors who guest with us are promoted on Facebook, via
Triberr to over 549k potential readers, are featured front page in the daily Romance Lives Forever Paper.li ezine,
and the blog has its own hashtag (#rlfblog) on Twitter. This year, we also
created the Booklover’s Guide to Romance
Lives Forever
with links to guest authors’ books and social media. It is
110 pages crammed full of who to follow and what to read. The FAQ page provides
updated downloads of optional interview questions, and a guide to the blog. You
can also grab our button to promote your visit.
My thanks to all who took part this month. You made Romance
Lives Forever a great place to discover new books and authors.
Other participants this month in alphabetical order by first
name are:
Brita Addams, Charlotte
Davila, Chris Karlsen, Cynthia Arsuaga, DJ Swykert, Donna Cummings, Gwenna
Sebastian, Heather Brooks, Katya Armock, Kay Dee Royal, Margie Church, Mickie
Sherwood, Neil Plakcy, Nicole Morgan , Rachel Kall, RE Mullins, Rose Anderson, Sara
Ellwood, Taylor
Brooks
Tax Tips for Authors.

Romance Lives
Forever welcomes author EM Lynley back to the blog. As a tax preparer, she has
a good insight into what authors need this time of year. Here are her top five
tips to us.

As both a
romance writer, and a tax preparer, I know exactly the worries and frustrations
my fellow authors go through every year. If 
you use tax prep software, you’re never sure what’s allowed or where on
Schedule C to put the cost of your website and cover art–or you pay through
the nose for an accountant to do your return. Kayelle asked me to offer a few
tips to help you feel a little more confident about your taxes, whether this
year as you rush to finish by April 15, or pick up some advice to help you out
when you file next year.

1. You can
write off that whip you bought while researching your BDSM story! There’s quite
a bit of latitude for authors to deduct research expenses. Just ask yourself:
“Would I buy this if I weren’t writing a story about X?” If not, then it’s a
legit research expense. I write off reference books, library fines on research
books, and trips to visit a location. I even wrote off some wine I bought while
writing a novel about a winemaker. You can also deduct some of the fiction you
buy, if you call it market research. Just don’t abuse that one. If you make
$500 on writing and spend $1000 on books for “research” you’ll find it
difficult to defend if the IRS asks any questions.

2. Document,
document, document. This is the magic word for the IRS. Keep records of
everything you buy or spend related to your writing business. You can do a
spreadsheet or write notes in a desk calendar. If the IRS happens to audit your
return, they’ll require this level of documentation, even if you don’t have
original receipts. You can even show them the scribbles in your calendar.

3. Other
deductions you might have missed: swag for conventions, fees for online
classes, contest entry fees, airfare and hotel for conventions, mileage for
trips to the library, bookstore, stock photos for cover art, your domain name,
RWA meetings (and the fees!), membership fees for any and all author
organizations. If you bought it for promotion, report it as
“advertising” expense. Anything that doesn’t fit into a standard category
on Schedule C goes as “Other.” Just document how the item was used
for business purposes: “RWA dues and meeting expenses” or “Books for research.”

4. Even
unpublished authors can take these deductions. If you had expenses in 2012, but
your book won’t be released until 2013, you can and should file Schedule C to
get the deductions for 2012. Don’t worry about a loss on your business return,
as long as 3 out of 5 years show a profit, the IRS won’t question the
occasional loss. And you can’t take the deductions in a later year, only the
year you actually spent the money.

5. Missed some
of these deductions? If you’ve already filed, but didn’t take as many
deductions as you’re legitimately entitled to, it’s not too late. You can file
an amended return. It’s  a correction to
the original, and if you are owed an additional refund, or have a smaller
balance due than on your original return, the IRS will send you the difference.

6. Bonus tip:
Like most of you, I get paid from many publishers through PayPal. I signed up
for a PayPal debit card, which I use for as many of my expenses as possible, so
I can keep personal and business expenses separate. Only use this card for
business expenses, and pay for personal items only from your personal bank
account or credit card. This will help with recordkeeping. Then, at the end of
the year, print out the statement and make a note what each item was for. Save
that with your return in case two years from now the IRS asks you to
substantiate a particular item. You won’t necessarily remember later on.

I teach an
online course each spring, covering these topics and a lot more. I do a
line-by-line Schedule C walkthrough and home office deductions, and explain
self-employment taxes as well as the dreaded estimated quarterly tax payments. The
course content is also available in a book, Tax Tips for Authors,
from Amazon
and Smashwords.
(Use coupon code DU56V to save $1.00 at Smashwords).

By night EM
Lynley writes gay erotic romance, but by day she’s a financial writer, editor,
and tax professional. She holds an MS degree in Financial Economics from the
London School of Economics and is a former staff economist at the White House
Council of Economic Advisers. 

Tax tips can also be found here: taxtipsforauthors.wordpress.com

QUESTIONS?

Have a question? Ask it here and leave your email. EM will answer your questions (if time allows).

Find Me Here

%d bloggers like this: