Business Tip: Claiming Travel Expenses

Business TipOver the weekend, I bumped into a gentleman I had met a few months earlier at a market. Like me, he makes and sells his own soap. We talked about business, and the tax man soon came up.

Obviously no one likes the tax man whether you’re making lots of money, no money, claiming everything and being honest or hiding things and being a crook. That’s just the way things go. For most of us, taxes mean piles of paperwork that is not always comprehensible.

Still, we plough on and learn what it takes to please the tax man.

Continue reading

Snow Day from Business Program

Well, this was unexpected. A snow day. My plans were to complete a three-day business program today, but I received word before 7:00 am that due to hazardous road conditions, it was postponed until next Saturday.

Today we were going to delve into marketing. I was looking forward to it more than the ‘business side’ of business. The business side of business is often the side many like to forget about, ignore and put off until they absolutely have to deal with it.

You know what I mean: bookkeeping, accounting and taxes.

I’ve learned a lot in the past two days about all three of these items. I am still far from being an expert, but I have a better grasp of keeping track of my financial responsibilities. This will not only help me in my new soap-making adventure, but with my writing, publishing and personal finances.

I would recommend anyone going into self-publishing to take one of these programs. Sometimes they are offered for free through your employment centre. Other times you can find them listed in night course programs (We call them continuing education in Nova Scotia). Local business organisations may offer them. I was told local commerce groups hosts similar workshops periodically. In fact I’m signing up for a marketing workshop hosted by our local group.

Although you might find one for free, more than likely you’ll need to pay a small fee to attend. Sixty bucks, however, is a great investment in your self-publishing company if it’s going to save you money and headaches, and get more sales.

Continue reading

Update on Canada Tax Information with the United States

Shadows in the Stone FREE eBook
Download for FREE

Something amazing happened during my seven-month hiatus away from writing: the tax worries and hassles that plagued writing entrepreneurs in Canada had eased. In fact, it’s so darn easy now that no one—absolutely no one—has an excuse for not completing the tax form to prevent the IRS from claiming 30% of your royalties from your books.

More than a month ago, CreateSpace sent a message to update my tax information. I meant to take care of it, but like many things since March, it got lost in the chaos of life. The deadline came and went, but fortunately CreateSpace—who really wants my business—extended the deadline.

If I didn’t update my tax information, I would no longer be able to sell through CreateSpace. They certainly didn’t want that to happen, so a grace period of thirty days was awarded. This time I took advantage of the notice and stayed up late one night to see what the fuss was all about.

The questions were straight forward and easy to answer: Was I a US citizen? Did I have a business in the US? Etc.

Continue reading

Government Shut Down Causes EIN Woes

New FlashGetting your Employer Identification Number (EIN) may be a little difficult at the moment. Two individuals who have tried and failed to get through using the telephone number have contacted me to share this information. Lines are tied up; they can’t get through; they are told by a recording to try again.

What is an EIN you ask? It’s an identification number that gives Canadians the ability to claim 100% of their royalties when a company in the United States distributes an eBook or printed book by a Canadian company. For example, if you are a self-published author and you sell your books through Smashwords, Kindle or CreateSpace, you need an EIN or you lose 30% of your earnings to the American tax man.

You can read more about this in my post Canadians, Stop Paying 30% to the IRS.

The phone number in my post is correct. The problem is with the government shut down that happened earlier this week. People knew this was coming, so the lines got tied up before the actual shut down occurred. Now that all non-essential employees to the US government are temporarily laid off, there’s little chance this grid lock is going to come undone any time soon.

It may be best to wait until the US government sorts out this mess before attempted to get an EIN.

NS Life Near Water Stack