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DO IT YOURSELF WEEK: Day Six – Taxes and Royalties


Welcome to the second annual DIY week at QSF. We’ve got a great line-up of topics for the week, some of which are moderated – but in general, we’ll just share information about how to start and manage a small press:

Sunday: Dawn Chapman – Taxes and Royalties

You’ve completed your grand opus. You’ve decided to self publish. You’ve got your first book edited, formatted, and ready to go. You’ve sent the files out to the world, and you’e done some promotion. You’ve made your mistakes. What’s left? Dawn Chapman takes a look at taxes and royalties for our final installment of the week:

Today we’re going to talk about Royalties, and Income Tax for Self-Published Authors.

I’m coming in from a United Kingdom perspective, but I know there are many successful self-published authors in our group from all over the world, so I’m sure that they’ll be able to chip in with their own experiences in the group chat.

We all know what a big adventure it is to finally push publish on your own novel(s). And, when sales start to come in, you get so excited for each one that sometimes you can forget that even the smallest of incomes can be classed as just that – income.

I am no expert, but I do know that, as a UK author and publisher, I have to declare all my earnings no matter how small. And that means keeping records for every income and expenditure, and then I had to file for self-assesment, which is a whole minefield of online forms submissions and filings. I was, and for the most part still am, totally lost amongst it all.

Saying that, I managed to fill in my online self assesment this year, and do it right. Of course, I had no income tax to pay on my earnings. Job done. At least, I hope so.

As the business owner of TSK Productions, LTD, I also have to do company taxes. That’s a slightly different level of complicated, and I’m in the process of doing that for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), as my business year runs from July to July. I think I might well need an accountant to help me with this side of things, though, even if I’ve not earned anyway near enough. I’m still in the mindframe of being safe, rather than sorry, when it comes to things I know little about.

I totally admit that it is very daunting as a new author, or even a narrator. I know I’ve had questions from my friends who just started out in the narration business. Do you need to declare your income? The answer will always be “yes”. And better to be safe than sorry.

All information on UK taxes can be found at –

And to register for self-assessment –

I would highly recommend that all authors research for the country in which they reside.

There are a couple of other really good blogs that I found while researching –

I’m hoping that some of the members here from the United States might chip in and let us in on how it works for them.

Happy writing, and always, always keep records.

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