Sunday, June 17, 2007

A taxing time...

I haven’t had a file a tax return for a number of years. Why ? Because the New Zealand government did away with the need for everyone to file each year, requiring only those who had multiple incomes, claims, and deductions to file. So I never needed to file.

Until this year. Having earned some money (translation = very little money) from freelance writing here in New Zealand and overseas, I am now required to file a return. So I’ve been scrambling over the last week or so to collect all the relevant information for my accountant.

Turns out I’ve been pretty good at keeping track of my query submissions but not so good at the financial records. I had information stashed away all over the place which took time to find. But I’ve pulled it all together and sent it off to the accountant. Now all I have to do is sign the return and wait for a refund (I hope!!!)

Lessons learned:

- Keep the paperwork in one place and update the spreadsheet weekly to make life easier next year.
- Know what’s deductible and keep receipts.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing some reading about keeping track of my financial records and I’ve found a few useful resources worth checking out.

Kristen at Inkthinker has put together a great questionnaire to help you establish ’What is your financial picture?’

Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Will Write for Chocolate has put together a great collection of articles about freelance writing and taxes

New Zealand writers should check out ‘Taxing times’ in the February 2007 edition of Freelance Writer.

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