#131–Tax time AARRGGHH! . . .


I didn’t deliver books or make any book-related calls or sell any books at all this week. Yet, I couldn’t get away from them––at least not from the business point of view.

On Monday, I did the annual report for Crossings, which is also the name of my editing/writing business. Since I have a joint venture arrangement with my publisher on the portion of the business dealing with the two bridge books, I send him monthly financial reports, quarterly expense statements, and for the first time an annual report. My annual report was no book-size tome; it fit onto one easy-to-figure-out page.

Both bridge books: Crossings and The Crossings Guide.

Both bridge books: Crossings and The Crossings Guide.

I found it fascinating to see a whole year reduced to one page. I could easily see that my two bridge books brought in a little over $12,000 in sales. From that, I reimbursed myself nearly $6,000 for postage, gas, “important but necessary” expenses like a bridge chart and motel rooms for trips to Gold Beach and Astoria, and the really big one––the printing costs for 1,000 copies of The Crossings Guide.

Having the quarterly expense reports already done, made doing the freelance business portion of my yearly taxes so much easier. In these reports, I noted each trip and its mileage and every postage expense regarding bridge book business as well as the other expenses and reimbursements. I just began these reports this past year. Prior to that, I spent days at tax time going through my dayplanner and wall calendar noting each trip/expense. Now I circle them each day as I enter them in the dayplanner and input them each quarter––much easier all the way around.

Since I see my tax accountant on March 4, this week was devoted to taxes whenever I could squeeze in time. I got started Wednesday evening by sorting receipts and getting everything organized.

Sir Groucho guards my tax stuff now that it is sorted.

Sir Groucho guards my tax stuff now that it is sorted.

Thursday I put together the rental part of my taxes. This was the only day I had nothing to do with books. I rent my downstairs, which makes me a landlord. This year, with one tenant moving out and another moving in, I made some improvements during September when nobody was there. That means that I have some good-size expenses. I kept telling myself, “It’s good taxwise!”

On Friday, it was back to tax prep for the books––in particular Around Florence. I did all the tedious circling in my dayplanner and then inputting of every single trip for the mileage and other items for the expense column.  That covered June through early December––only half a year. But it still took most of the day.

Now that I have that done, I can input the numbers in my ledger this evening. I’m glad I keep track; these expenses really add up. In doing the book for Arcadia Press, there was no advance. None of my expenses were reimbursed, and I even hired someone to help with scanning and formatting the 183 photos. These expenses will help offset the income from the bridge books. Once again, I consoled myself, “It’s good taxwise!”

The rest of the tax prep will be easy. I think I have all the receipts ready, and the year-end forms are all in. So I should be able to finish it up tomorrow for the Tuesday morning appointment.

I’m looking forward to that feel-good feeling when I’m finally done with tax prep once again––when  “AARRGGHH!” turns into a fist-pumping “ Yes!!”

Note: I’ve talked to folks at the Siuslaw Public Library and it looks like I’ll be doing a presentation and book signing for Around Florence on Saturday, July 19, as part of the “launch” of the new book. Time will probably be 2 p.m., but it’s not set in stone yet.


About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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