2017-01-15

Tax Thoughts

Update
While waiting for Peacekeeper Pathogen to be reviewed by Lee Dilkie (reader turned content editor), I've been catching up on my reading and television shows. The writing itch however, got the best of me yesterday and I pulled out a short story I'd started a very long time ago but never finished. Yesterday, I finished it. It's not very long and it's not really science fiction. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it now that it's done. I also began work on my next novel -- a sequel to Off Course which I haven't named yet. I only added a few hundred words, but I can officially say it's been started.

Yesterday, we were supposed to have our monthly writer's meeting at Barnes and Noble. My wife dropped me off and took off shopping for sewing material. I didn't see anyone from the group but it was still a bit early. When the meeting time arrived, nobody was there. I haven't been to a meeting since October either because I was at an event selling books or the weather was too bad. But yesterday it was nice out and everyone should have been there. I emailed and texted everyone I had contact information for. Only one person responded and she had no idea what was going on. She was actually at another meeting. I hope to hear back from someone soon. In the meantime, I asked to be put back on the mailing list for another group I've been to before.

On the way into work last Friday, I had a deer run out of the woods and slam into my car. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw it get up and run away. The impact did a little bit of damage to the edge of the cowling just forward of the front tire. When you live around here, being hit by or hitting a deer is to be expected at least once in your driving career.

Tax Thoughts
Tax time is approaching and it's time for writers who treat their writing as a business to begin thinking about gathering up everything they will need. I have a reminder in my Google calendar to record the mileage on my cars on January 1st of every year. The reminder triggers two days, one day, and then 12 hours from the start of the year. That way, I have the mileage recorded for tax time. I also have a checklist of things that I will need prior to sitting down in front of the computer to begin working on my taxes. This list will be printed out soon and hanging next to my computer. As paperwork comes in or each item on the checklist is completed, it all goes into a file folder or an electronic folder on the computer so everything is together.

Running a business requires a lot of documentation and a well-organized method of keeping this documentation for at least 7 years. If you don't have a system now, you should give some serious thought about setting one up. Tax time might only come once a year, but the documentation needed to file your taxes will arrive at unscheduled times all year round. Being organized will make tax time easy and it can also make surviving an audit much easier. I normally put out a short series of tax-related posts just before it's time to begin filing your taxes. I plan on doing the same again this year.