Each year at this time, when I suddenly seem to have more work and less time than ever, I sit down and spend a ridiculous amount of time doing my own taxes, and then checking each figure, crossing every t, etc. etc.
Sure, you're asking yourself, "Hey, why does Mr. Bigshot Cartoonist do his own taxes?". Well, Smartypants, I'll tell you. Doing my own taxes keeps me on top of my business, and frankly helps me to run that business more successfuly. This year alone, I've learned a lot of ways to run my business better, and I have been forced to look at how I have been running it, and what I could be doing better.
"We want examples!", you say. Well, for one, the very definition of Small Business is vital, and very important. Small Businesses get decent tax deductions, while hobbies do not. To be taken seriously as a Small Business, you have to prove that you're doing what you do for profit, not just for the fun of it. So... even though I absolutely love my job, I do my best to profit from it. Heck, I can't afford to do my job if I'm not bringing in money to pay the bills.
One way the IRS determines Small Biz vs Hobby is this; advertising expenses. See? Advertising expenses are deductible, and by doing my own taxes, I can see what I am missing by not advertising. Also, by paying for advertising, you are demonstrating a desire to reach a bigger audience, and therefore increase profits. Now, let's be honest. When YOU are your business, it's nice to put the money you make into your pocket. It's NOT nice to see how much it actually costs to advertise, and so you may put it off, but let's face it; the greatest book, or cartoon, or whatever is only going to collect dust unless people actually know it exists, so a business really cannot thrive unless the miracle of word-of-mouth advertising is enough to get the word out there. And even that takes advertising.
So there... that's just one example of how a biz owner can benefit by doing his own taxes, and learning how to run that biz better.
However, the title of today's blog is "Timing is Everything?", so why am I blabbing about taxes and advertising? Well, for one, my new book 3 Knights in India is now available for sale! But how many of my readers are aware of that fact? I need to get a Press Release put together (which is the best form of advertising) and I need to get books printed, and sent to reviewers, and find ways to advertise and get the word out. Oh yeah, I should also be doing some Cartooning, too, huh?
Timing, though. I gotta get those taxes done! I happen to excel in multitasking, so I am actually writing the Press Release as
So what's a boy to do? I always seem to be in this position each April.
And what's worse?
It's still only March!
Ay yay yay.... JOHN :0)