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 Acidulous Osprey

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 Acidulous Osprey

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 Acidulous Osprey

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 Acidulous Osprey

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 Acidulous Osprey

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!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Why we tend to hold our babies on our left side

On which side of your body do you carry or cradle your baby? If you answered "left" then you're not alone.

Taking fish oil in pregnancy may prevent childhood asthma

Women who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements (fish oil supplements) in pregnancy reduced the risk of their children developing asthma by almost one third.

Mum, dad and son all share a birthday

Luke and Hillary Gardner never have a problem remembering each other's birthday.

Mum shares the bittersweet truth about pregnancy after miscarriage

A mother's candid and heartfelt reflections about pregnancy after miscarriage are providing comfort to other women.

16 simple ways to make your baby smarter

What's the best way to mentally stimulate your baby? It doesn't take a genius - just a loving, involved parent.

Your blood pressure could predict baby's sex even before conception

The average blood pressure of mother could suggest a baby's sex before it even exists, a study has found.

The breastfeeding photo that says it all

Ashley Rockill was lucky enough to have her birth photographer on hand to capture a precious moment.

13 pregnancy superstitions from across the globe

In honour of Black Friday, let's explore 13 of the strangest pregnancy superstitions from across the globe.

I'm a stay-at-home mum, and I'm sending my son to daycare

When you become a mum you give birth to a beautiful baby, but you also give birth to guilt.

Mum gives birth to 'Incredible Hulk' 6.4kg baby

An American mother was shocked when she gave to a 6.4kg (14lb 1oz) baby last month.

Mum demands $530 for daughter's shoes after playdate

A mum has made a pretty bold move by demanding $532 for a pair of her daughter's shoes that were damaged at another family's house. 

A toddler's guide to helping around the house

If a toddler was to write a guide to 'help' you with the household chores, it would go something like this.

The breast pump you can use on the go

The game-changing breast pump promises to make life easier all round.

'Mum, don't be mad but I've just had a baby'

A teen mum has shared her birth story – and her shock at not knowing she was pregnant until her baby's head emerged.

No, Senator, childcare workers don't just wipe noses and stop fights

The only thing childcare workers spend their time doing is "wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other"? Not quite.

'I wanted to be the birth mum so much'

When people say "aren't you lucky that there are two of you, that you can switch?" I give them a tight smile.

6 myths about breastfeeding toddlers

Although breastfeeding a toddler isn't for everybody, if you choose to nurse beyond babyhood you can expect some strong reactions.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

From our network

Your child's fine motor skills: what you should know

There is less of a focus on fine motor skills, but they're just as important as others. (SPONSORED)

5 ways music helps your toddler's development

There are at least five other compelling reasons to get musical around your toddler. (SPONSORED)

 

Baby Names

Unusual Celeb Baby Names

Click through the gallery to read the details and see some of the most memorable monikers in show biz families.

 
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.