Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh

I remember reading a few years ago something a big name author once said. She'd started to get quite a following and knew she'd hit it big because she finally had to hire someone to do her taxes. Success + Uncle Sam = problems in the wallet, despite great royalties. Or maybe because of them.

Well, today I spent my Saturday using Turbo Tax to the fullest. I love the program, but I sure didn't like what the heck it was telling me. My husband works, allowing me the freedom to write, which I also consider work. I do it full time, and I'm now making full time pay... according the IRS.

I owed last year, but I didn't estimate my taxes because, come on, who knows what will hit? A book I write that I think is great might get a so-so following. But one I think is just okay will sell like gangbusters. Seriously, the difference between my earnings from 2008 and 2009 were more than several hundred dollars off. Try several thousand. (Note: several does not imply a billion, but two or more. I'm not crying poverty, but I'm no Rockefeller either.)

Well, my 1099s told me I made quite a bit more than I made last year. And now I have to chop off several limbs to sell body parts, my dogs, my fish, and my son's Bakugan collection to make the government happy. Okay, not really, but man, I never like owing anyone anything. And we're talking more than three digits before the decimal point. NOT GOOD.

Now I'm on the hunt for a CPA to look at my crap and help me out. It's nerve-wracking, mostly because I can't stand the thought of paying someone who might tell me I should have stuck with Turbo Tax and just estimated the year before. But I'm going to bite the bullet on this one and hope I can find someone who's decent, and who knows how to work with authors.

They say success comes with a price... Who knew it meant money?

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