Tax returns for writers

Writers and accounts

Isn't it the job of the writer, like a magician to make ordinary every day things seem extraordinary; describing old things using new language? Perhaps this is why the pen is mightier than the sword, right? And well, the calculator the abacus or excel. Often people are either numbers people or words people. Being an accountant, I count myself as a numbers person and I'll leave you to decide about the writing!

Taxes for Writers

Well, that said, at Bambridge Accountants we offer accountancy services for writers, actors, musicians and other creatives. Essentially, from experience, I know many writer friends who accidentally fell into businesses. They started off helping a few friends out with writing jobs, got some recommendations and then suddenly realised they had enough work to go freelance.

Save expenses

Consequently, many writers I knew in the past had not been saving their expense receipts and knew little about what they were entitled to claim back as part of their tax return. Aside from this, keeping actual accounts, rather than just hoping your bank statements will do is a common problem I used to see. These days most of us are more tax savvy and aware of the importance of filing tax returns in a timely fashion.

As always, our advice is KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS and store them somewhere in monthly order. This will make it easier once the time comes. Follow the same rules regarding purchase orders and invoices. Here we've put together a quick list of items you can track expenses for as a writer:

  • books related to writing, such as manuals
  • any freelance editing or other writing/publishing related consulting you pay for. This includes independent business advisors, designers, SEO experts and specialists
  • any website hosting fees, website building fees or maintenance fees
  • laptop or PC and writing relevant software
  • graphic design and printing costs for your promotional materials
  • office supplies used for your writing
  • ink cartridges for your printer
  • writing courses or events
  • any books or prizes that you buy yourself to give away for promos at events
  • if you do any travel that is research for a specific project then that can also be a tax deductible expense, as well as travelling to and from client meetings
  • a portion of your rent/mortgage/household expenses if your office is in your home
  • subscriptions to any guilds or networks specifically for your writing and subscriptions to press services or databases

There are a whole host of other things writers need every day as well as fees paid to register for certain freelancer websites. Keep a track of all of this and you will be able to claim back the VAT fees when you send off your self assessment tax return.

For professional and friendly expert advice on accounting for writers, please speak to us today. +44 (0)20 3757 9290