Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writers and DBAs

Another post about taxes. It’s that time of year! You probably haven’t finished them yet if you get any income from Amazon, since they say they sent out erroneous 1099s and have only recently sent out corrected ones. If you have income from several countries, good luck figuring out which new 1099 is the correction for which old 1099. Here’s a bit of help. Look at the EIN. I don’t recall who posted this on what list, but I copied it:

83-0417755 = Amazon US, CA, and IN
46-2971461 = Amazon Australia
46-2796183 = Amazon Mexico
98-0429507 = Amazon Services Europe - UK sales
98-0480990 = Amazon Media EU Sarl - DE, FR, ES, IT sales

This is incomplete, as that person doesn’t get income from all possible countries, but maybe this can help you figure it out. This seems to be secret information as I can’t find anywhere that Amazon discloses their EINs.

Now, to my actual topic. If you aren’t incorporated and don’t want to go to the expense and trouble of creating an LLC, you would probably benefit from setting up a DBA. It stands for Doing Business As. If you use a pen name, you would obviously want to do business as That Name. If you’re using your own name, you can use Your Name Writing, or something more creative. Maybe—Your Name Books, Your Name Literature.

Why do you need a DBA? If you want a separate bank account for your writing, you need one to set up a DBA bank account. From there, it’s convenient to create a PayPal account for your pen name or DBA and connect it to the bank account. I find it helpful to be able to take payments to my pen name. Also to pay for conferences with my PayPal account in my pen name. In the past, things have gotten confused when an account for Real Name pays and Pen Name shows up and people say Pen Name isn’t registered. Too complicated!

What you need to know about this is that the rules are very different depending on what state you live in. For instance, when we lived in Texas, I needed to file, for $15 at my county clerk’s office. When we moved to Tennessee, all I had to do was go to the credit union and tell them I wanted an account for my DBA. (I recommend credit unions over banks. It’s much easier to get a small business account with no fees from them.)

This may help you find out what your state requires:
Here’s another one, but with limited state information:

Good luck with your taxes this year!


Librarian D.O.A. said...

So much for the glamorous writer's life. Eye popping that you need to do all of this.

Kaye George said...

AND we have to write! said...

This is great. I need all the business help I can get. Thanks.

(I bookmarked the page but accidentally put it in my Humor folder, which shows just how much help I need. So I'll print it out as backup. And maybe give the printout to my husband, who will know where it is when I need it.)

Kaye George said...

Here's something I just found through Grace Topping about home office deductions (which I've always been afraid to take). New law in 2013 makes it simple, no extra forms, and no worries about a red flag.