Hi Again!

Well, it has been a long gap in my postings. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve had my head deep in the world of Sunborn, but the truth is, it’s because tax return time is upon us and I’d fallen a year behind in my bookkeeping. So I’ve been living in receipts and Quicken, and am about to dive into Turbotax. (For those of you not from the U.S., we have this national ritual in the weeks and months leading up to April 15 every year, when everyone has to file their income tax return with the national government. It’s no fun for anyone, but for self-employed people like writers, artists, and small business owners, it’s an exercise in accounting torture.) However, I’m starting to glimpse a few stray photons, which I hope are the first promises of the light at the end of the tunnel. And praying it’s not a freight train coming the other way.

I-Con was great fun, by the way—for me, but maybe even moreso for my family. We saw a number of friends, made a couple of new ones, and indeed got to say hello to George Takei (Star Trek’s Sulu) and Ron Glass (Firefly). I had a brief but pleasant chat with Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica). The con was far more media-oriented than most I go to, and it seemed as if there were hardly any actual books being sold in the dealer’s room—and yet I sold more copies of my own books at the autograph table than I have in most recent cons that were more book oriented. And, I got my first look at the middle and outer end of Long Island, very pretty.

I have a whole bunch of links to quirky things stored up to mention here, but that’ll have to be for next time. Right now, I really do need to get to work on the book!

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  1. tsmacro
    | Reply

    Ya know everytime I do my taxes i’m more and more convinced that we’d all be so much better off if we just did away with the whole system and just implemented a national sales tax. Well most of us would be better off anyway, tax accountants wouldn’t be too happy I would imagine. Anyway, I realize the whole concept is way too simplistic to actually work, after all ask any government bureaucrat things can’t possibly work unless they’re so complicated they require a flow-chart, everything signed in at least triplicate and a lawyer to interpret it all.

  2. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    You may be onto something there. Periodically there’s talk of simplifying the tax code–but the truth is, that wouldn’t do much to help self-employed business owners, who will always have to do laborious calculations to figure out what the actual taxable profit is from their business. Nor would it do away with the other complication I deal with (we have a two-family house, so there are rental expenses and income to account for). Oh well, it’s still better than not having income. 🙂

  3. substandardTim
    | Reply

    why not hire an accountant? for my wife and i for our taxes this year it cost us $82. That’s with the normal w2’s along with a couple various investments.

  4. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Big difference between that and self-employment, which is essentially a small business. It would probably cost me about $500, maybe more. I used to pay someone, but discovered that a huge part of the work was getting everything into a form in which the tax preparer could use it. Once I’m to that point, I might as well just finish the job with Turbotax.

    Some years I think about going back to paying someone. The problem is that there are lots of depreciation-type things that the software keeps track of in the background. If I skipped a year, I couldn’t go back without having to reconstruct a lot of stuff I only marginally understand.

  5. tsmacro
    | Reply

    I have some idea of all the craziness involved with taxes and being self-emplyed. Many years ago for about a year I ran a specialty music order business. Which mostly consisted of getting hard to get musical recordings for individuals. So I did some of those “record conventions” where i’d set up a table and sell stuff, plus of course make contacts with others to find recordings for people that came to me to try to find for them. My best customers were an odd combo, Club DJ’s who were always looking for the latest mixes of the latest songs being played in the “hippest clubs” in places like NYC, London & LA and on the other hand I had the classical music fans who had no real place to find a good selection where we lived (Binghamton, NY). You have to remember this was way before such things as the internet and Amazon.com. It was something that started out as a hobby and then became a business for a little while and then faded back into a hobby after I realized how much work making into a business was and it was taking the fun out of it for me. Part of that work was the taxes, I had to fill them out quarterly for the state of NY and of course my annual taxes for that year were quite a mess as well! *L* On top of that just a few years ago I spent time employed as an insurance salesman where I was actually considered an independent contractor providing a service for the company I sold for. So yeah there was all sorts of things that needed keeping track of there too, thank goodness for Turbotax! At the moment i’m happy just to be an employee again, making things a lot simpler this time of year! I filed in February and got a small refund. =;)

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