Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tax Write Offs

by Judith Evans Thomas

I am taking a break from sorting through my 2005 tax material in preparation for a meeting with our accountant who is frothing at the mouth because we STILL haven't filed for '05.
It's not that odd, however because we do it every year. As I learned from Dr. Tory's post last week, I'm a professional procrastinator. I'm never the first to arrive at a luncheon appointment, or for that matter any appointment. I leave packing for a trip till the very last minute and then jam whatever I've laid out (always too much) into the bag and dash to the airport, where I'm usually too late for curbside checkin. Only because I have a priority status do I even make it through the security line and onto the plane. I guess I like the adrenalin rush.
But I digress from the topic which is what can a writer deduct without triggering an IRS audit. If I am anywhere near average, my writeoffs will always exceed my income...I'm waiting for the day that they don't.
There are the obvious...home office, phone, paper, stamps (all those SASEs), Kinko services (endless reproductions of those first fifty pages, and if you are lucky, entire manuscripts). The not so obvious but still good are capital expenses like a computer, printer, and camera.
I'm thinking, however, of creating a new category of expenses called MAD "Mental Aid Decuctions."
Under this category I would include:
* Chocolate Chip Cookies
* Massages
* Airfare to Bora Bora
* Jewelry... especially the real kind
* Starbucks
* Gasoline for trips to Starbucks.
* All Chocolate Moose products
* All Godiva products
* Manolo Blahnick shoes
* Jimmy Choo shoes
* Anything Chanel
* Plastic surgery
* Spa trips.. especially to Miraval
* Babysitters or Nanny's
* Fine Wine
* A wine cellar to house the fine wine
* Apple-tinis
* My own personal chef.

I'm going to try this out on my accountant tomorrow and let you know how it goes. What would be your MAD items? Let's start a movement!!!! I want MAD

Post here or on my blog at glamgal.typepad.com


Annette said...

Starbucks. Definitely Starbucks. The gasoline to get there, too, is a good idea. Let me add Lindor Truffles to the list. Actually, all things chocolate should be tax deductible as a life necessity.

nancy said...

My fantasy is to have a driver. I enjoy driving, but what a waste of time! I envision myself sitting in the back seat doing all kinds of useful stuff while James takes me around on my errands.

Cathy said...

Cat treats and cat toys, which keep them entertained so I can type with one hand. Boxes of kleenex for handling those rejection letters (maybe I should just cry directly into the letters to save that expense). This seems pretty prosaic compared to your list--think I need to get out more.

Meryl Neiman said...

I REALLY want a personal chef. I assume that this chef will also do grocery shopping, otherwise I want a grocery shopper too. Chocolate of course. And I must admit I'm in a girly drink period so I'd like a case of fuzzy navel wine coolers. Goes great with child care.

Kristine said...

Starbucks and chocolate are at the top of my list, but someone to also clean my house, cook, and do laundry would be wonderful. Oh yeah, and a weekly massage.

I can dream...

Judith said...

Hi All: You'll be happy to learn that my accountant agreed that all of these things SHOULD be deductible! However, the only extra he would allow was airfare ...if I could prove it was for an article or book. I say research rules. That means if you mention a beach in Antigua in your book, you can presumably argue that your trip was research. I'm calling my travel agent NOW.

mike said...

How about the wear and tear on one's butt from sitting in a chair for hours on end? I'm sure it's no surprise to this group, but mine's practically gone! Any way the IRS can help me get it back is fine with me.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Actually, child care CAN be deducted, but only under certain conditions. (both spouses having an income would be the one that's gotten in my way since I've been a parent)

As for what to deduct, why a manicure, of course! Typing all day is hard on those fingers and when your nails get too long... you've GOT to keep them the perfect length for typing.

Not to mention the gossip and other creative gems that the manicurist inspires you with.

Sounds like research to me!

Gina said...

I'd be happy to claim all of my characters as dependants.