April 15th

In preparation for filing my tax return (an event anticipated with such ecstasy and fervor that its only rival is my bi-annual dental exam), I dutifully gathered all of my receipts, stubs, confirmations, etc. and painstakingly put together a list of possible expenses to be discussed with my accountant. I thought I’d share the list, in case it’s helpful or jogs anyone’s memory. Heaven knows, none of us wants to spend any more time on this sort of thing than we have to!

Obviously, I’m not an accountant. And this general list shouldn’t be construed as tax advice. Individual situations will vary. That having been said, the list is below. Now go forth and file! 🙂

1. Writing Group Membership Fees

  • SFWA
  • RWA
  • Local Chapters

2. Online Workshops (also any recorded conference events you missed & downloaded later)

3. Contest Entry Fees (don’t forget to include mailing & copying expenses)

4. Trade Publications and Magazine Subscriptions

  • Publishers Marketplace
  • Writer’s Digest
  • RT Book Reviews

5. Conference Expenses

  • Conference Fees
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Meals
  • Airfare/Train fare
  • Parking & tolls
  • Cab rides

6. Website and Social Media Expenses

  • Web address
  • Private registration
  • Web forwarding (if your website is through WordPress or another blogging site)
  • “No Ads” for WordPress website
  • E-mail account
  • Anti-Virus software

7. Home Office Supplies

  • New Printer and Accessories
  • Printer Ink
  • Printer Paper

8. Professional Services

  • Agent fees
  • Legal fees
  • Accounting fees

9. Networking Expenses

  • Lunch with other writers to discuss possible joint promotion opportunities
  • Lunch with interview subjects
  • Business cards

10. Holiday Gifts for Key Team Professionals

11. Utility expenses (if you have a separate office in your home for writing, you may be able to deduct a portion of these expenses); and

12. Expenses I didn’t have in 2011, but you might have had…

  • Photographer’s fee for professional headshot
  • Independent editing services
  • Advertising expenses
  • Other promotional expenses

Related Articles on Tax Deductions

Writers, readers, how about you? Do you dread tax day the way a dental patient dreads a root canal? Accountants, your thoughts? Anything missing from my list? Have any specific advice for writers (other than, don’t wait until 4/14/12 to call you? ;-))