Tax Deductions for Writers

This week I submitted my tax return.

Each year I always check what expenses I can or cannot claim against my writing income in case there have been changes. The following summary only applies to those based in Australia. If you live elsewhere check with your own tax authority or authorised tax agent.

To claim an expense it must have been paid by you,  related to your work and not been reimbursed. You must also have a record such as a receipt. The ATO provides an ap that allows you to record deductions on your mobile device. I haven’t downloaded this yet but it looks like a useful tool.

If you work from home, which most writers do, you can claim some occupancy and running expenses. Should you be fortunate enough to write full-time with a designated office at home then you might also be able to include a percentage of rent, mortgage interest, rates or insurance.

For equipment you can generally claim up to $1000 and depreciation on capital items that cost more than $1000. Don’t forget subscription fees to magazines or online publications that you use only for writing, membership of any relevant organisation, and the costs of maintaining a website. Travel costs are standard, remembering the rule about reimbursement. If someone pays your expenses to attend an event then you can’t double dip.

If in doubt consult a tax agent, remembering that their fees are usually deductible too.

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