Here’s the thing about having a kitchen-gadget, skin-care, craft–or book—home business. It’s not just about the product.
Few things delight me more than moving around words on a blank page, signing every book that I am honored (and more than a little amazed) that someone wants to buy, or the adrenaline rush of when an unexpected email arrives issuing an invite to a women’s group. And for the record, I don’t care if there will be a handful or a hundred there. When two or more or gathered …
I don’t even mind ordering “product” and recording the “book work” in my little one-dollar composition book.
But what I don’t like, what befuddles and sometimes overwhelms me, is figuring out all the tax stuff involved.
I don’t want to launch you into a coma, in which state you would likely remain until I finish this post, so I will refrain from specific details of user fees, the difference between Indiana sales and Indiana state income and federal income taxes, what makes a deduction (a coworker suggested a press trip to California—somehow I don’t think that would be a legit tax reduction but thanks, Travis). Oh there is more, much more. (Oops, you are fading on me …)
At about this time last year, actually a little later because I didn’t realize that all Indiana sales tax must be paid for the previous year’s sales by Jan. 31, I was in a bit of a funk about getting it all straight. I thought I had learned enough to avoid a similar funk this year but no, it returned with the calendar and descended, hanging like a storm cloud over my writing chair. Only in January, it is my tax and accounting chair.
There are moments during tax season when I wonder if this business is worth it. But then, like childbirth, once I’m through it, the pain subsides and guess what? I’m ready to do it all again.
And I tell myself: Don’t forget this about user fees or that about the retail merchants’ certificate.
Last year I muddled through the Indiana sales tax on my own. But this year, after figuring, refiguring and questioning not only the figures but my sanity, I got some help.
Today we went to see the tax lady. She knew how to help. And now, I can turn the page. The 2015 Indiana sales tax is in the books, thank you. And another lesson is learned: Next year, I’m taking the paperwork to her first and saving myself the stress.
There is a lot to be said for DIY projects. But for this one, there is a lot to be said for knowing a professional and realizing when hiring one is worth it on a variety of levels—sanity being chief among them.
To our new tax pro, Karen: thank you. Thank you very much. Next month, we’ll see you again. We still have the family state and federal returns to go.
What about you? Have you started working on taxing issues yet? Do you do your own or have a Karen of your own?