Jump to content

Calling all Accountants! I have a question about earning money from an overseas source


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 me_n_my_kidz

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

Hopefully this will get found here - I have started to earn a decent amount of revenue for books that I am selling via kindle/kobo/nook stores.

I understand that I have to fill out the forms to activate the tax treaty between Australia and the US but what I'm wondering is - should I set up an ABN under my author name so that I can claim all of the business expenses that come with publishing an ebook?

I pay for cover design, editing, print proofs, blog tours as well as prizes for giveaways to promote my books.

Does anyone have any insight for me? I'm not quite earning enough to pay an accountant to do all of this for me but if someone could point me in the right direction - that would be fantastic!

TIA!!!

#2 Feral Nicety

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

Yes you can apply for an ABN without involving an accountant.  The BAS for an author is fairly simple, it really does not need you to pay for an accountant.

#3 me_n_my_kidz

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

Even though my money comes from an overseas source?

#4 PrincessPeach

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:27 PM

Getting an ABN is different to registering for GST.

When you apply for your ABN do not register for GST unless your income is going to be greater than $75,000. It will mean a little less paperwork each year.

Link to apply for an ABN:

https://abr.gov.au/ABRWeb/Apply/Abn/Importa...pid=71&js=1

Make sure you have your TFN handy!

Also, even though your income is sourced from O/S, you still have to include this in your Australian Income (I assume you are an Australian citizen & currently reside in Australia).

Edited by PrincessPeach, 12 February 2013 - 03:31 PM.


#5 Feral Nicety

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:49 PM

Not registering for GST also means not claiming the GST though.  As authors we are registered for GST and the amount of paperwork is negligible compared to the money we get back.  Probably not worth it if you are paying for an accountant to prepare it though.

#6 Sassy Dingo

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:17 PM

I think you need some specialist advise OP.

Authors, actors, sportspeople and the like have special provisions in the taxation legislation as 'special professionals'. Due to the nature of their work (earn a heap one year and nothing for the next few years) they can access nifty things like income averaging.

If you do go to a tax agent, give them a ring first and ask if they have experience with this - most accountants will very rarely come across it.

Here is some ATO information on special professionals including how to do income averaging:

http://www.ato.gov.au/content/00313590.htm

#7 Feral Nicety

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

It's in the tax forms so, no, you don't need a specialist accountant to access the provisions.  They are really only useful for an author when you have a windfall year where your novel is optioned for film.

As we are still waiting for this, we don't do the averaging.  We were told by our accountant that if it looks like a windfall is coming, talk to them then.

Overseas income, we just put it in when etax asks us to.

I'm not arguing against paying for an accountant if you are earning serious serious money.  It's just not necessary if you are not turning over a lot of money--we were no better off using an accountant.

There's probably excellent info available from the ASA.  If you are not already a member, you probably should be.

#8 me_n_my_kidz

Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:42 PM

Thank you all for your info!


So I'm gathering that I set up an ABN and then any money that's left over after my costs come out is income that I declare on my personal tax return?

Balzac - I looked but I can't find any info on the ASA website relating to this.

#9 Feral Nicety

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

You need to go and talk to an accountant wink.gif, it is more complicated than that.

GST is done separately to your personal income tax.

#10 me_n_my_kidz

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

lol ok, I'll have to do that

#11 PrincessPeach

Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:50 PM

Sort of.

All of the income is declared on your tax return & all of your expenses.

But find an accountant who does know the special rules, it is a very specialised field & I'd hesitate to say you might need to look for a bigger firm rather than a smaller one. Also a good accountant will tell you if they don't know that legislation - we don't all know everything.

#12 Feral Nicety

Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

I'm going to say it again wink.gif.  If you are not in the big leagues, it's really not worth paying the big money for the specialised accountants.  If you are turning over the kind of money most Australian authors turn over, you're not going to need the tax spreading options and the expenses and rebates can be done by your average accountant using etax.  Writing in the genre you are writing in, you are not going to be up for writing grants, you're a self publisher so royalties and advances are not an issue.

It's no different to any other small business.  There's no magic that a very expensive specialised accountant can offer.

#13 blackcat20

Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

QUOTE (me_n_my_kidz @ 12/02/2013, 06:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you all for your info!


So I'm gathering that I set up an ABN and then any money that's left over after my costs come out is income that I declare on my personal tax return?


Nope. There is a section of etax that you fill in. Income, expenses etc. it works out your income for you. It isn't too complicated once you get into it.

#14 me_n_my_kidz

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

Ok, thanks!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee ? the Bee3 ? offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don?t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

WIN two Sea-Bands plus $1000

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band Prize Pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos Gift Card!

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.