Tax Time Again

I hate doing tax for many reasons. No doubt, there are many better tax systems around the world, but in Australia, our tax system stinks.

Firstly, I do not like part of the money I earned during the past year going to a wasteful government, but I have no control over how they spend the tax they collect from me and all the other citizens.

Secondly, I hate the way the government punishes those who save and invest money, and rewards the people who choose to spend their weekly earnings and have no savings or investments.

If I could live my life over again, I would spend every cent I earned and accept the handouts from the government after I paid the minimum tax possible, but, having lived through the ‘50s and ‘60s where most Australians lived just above the poverty line, I am afraid I believe in nest eggs for rainy days. Therefore, I have to accept that I pay tax on the earnings from my nest egg, whether I like it or not.

So, I chose to sacrifice world travel, and many other things, to save every cent I could and invest it. No good complaining now.

Instead, I travelled the world and beyond the solar system in the books I read. I loved every moment I was lost in the worlds other authors created.

I hungered for more stories, but the publishers owning the rights to publish in Australia (British publishers) deemed it necessary to shut the gate on the good stories from the rest of the world, and only allowed certain authors the right to publish their stories.

And, as you have probably noticed, it didn’t work out so well, now everyone can see the shrinking bookshelves, the closing book stores and the increased price of books.

The lack of choice of genre is why I decided to write my own stories, and when Smashwords opened, I decided to share my stories with readers around the world, if they wanted to read them.

You might ask what that has to do with tax.

Well, doing my tax this time, I included the earnings from my ebooks for the 2010/2011 year.

I worked through all the receipts I spent on printing  paper, courses, and anything else remotely related to writing in 2010/2011 period, because I had earnings to show that the expense of learning how to write fiction was worth it.

Of course, I also included the tax America kept before I received my payments and have no idea how that will be treated by my accountant, but I don’t care. I can honestly say I am a published writer because I now receive an income from my writing.

How cool is that?

Even though there is not a level playing field for ebooks yet, it is getting close.

I do care that Amazon will only reward sales with 70% if the sale is in their listed countries, and for all the rest, only 35%, and until I figure how to get around that, I am hesitating to put my books on Amazon.

But I don’t care what the percentage of sales is paid to the authors for each sale in all other distribution sites, because it is a level playing field. The sales can be in pounds, dollars, yen, or other currencies, but Australian dollars are deposited in my bank account.

The readers now decide if they want to read the sample, and the readers decide to pay for the rest of each story if they like the sample. The price range dictates the percentage paid, and the author gets paid.

How wonderful is that? How wonderful it is to write these days.

I even have the incentive to record my expenses each month for the next 12 months, so I will be ready to complete my tax by tax time next year.

What about you? Are you excited to write and publish ebooks? Are you excited to see the small amount of money slowly grow over the months, while you hurry to get more stories onto the sites? Can you see the potential as you write and improve and make more stories available to a growing reader base as ebooks grow?

Exiting, isn’t it?

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4 comments so far

  1. Angela/Curiocat on

    Tax time is just around the corner for us in the U.S., too. It seems there are things that do not change from country to country. There are those who work their rump off for not only themselves but for others who sit back to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor.

    I did not know Amazon has a different pay out policy for authors outside of the U.S. Do they give a reason for that? It doesn’t seem fair for that to be the case.

    I am taking a class starting next week about Adobe Photoshop. I hope this will help me with learning how to create my own covers for ebooks. Can’t wait to begin and learn something new, lol.

    • D J Mills on

      Yes, we all pay taxes, but, I am very happy to pay taxes on ebooks. It means they are selling. Yes!

      Yes, it is well documented on Amazon about royalty calculations on ebook sales outside USA, and other nominated countries. Smashwords treats the world equally, so good to have ebooks on Smashwords for all the readers outside USA.

      Good luck with the Photoshop class. I purchase a magazine each month called Photoshop Projects, and work through some of the steps shown, to get a feel for the software. I repeat on GIMP (different menu items but same outcome), until I understand the steps.

  2. ekcarmel on

    Tax time is dismal here in the states as well, and for the exact same reasons. But I think it’s wonderful you’re able to see those e-book sales adding up! Too bad it’s not a level playing field. I’ve got to say I’m surprised by Amazon. I didn’t think they were like that.

    • D J Mills on

      Amazon obviously has reasons for the rules they put in place, but they are still opening the market for indie authors and that is a GOOD thing.
      Now, back to writing the next scene in my current WIP. 🙂


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