One of the great things about being a professional freelance comic book artist is that I get to use the comic books that I buy as tax write-offs every year. Comics are just one of the great many things that qualify as deductions for a freelance artist. Things like medical costs, computer equipment and supplies, art supplies, business phone calls, shipping costs…. the list is pretty long. And I appreciate every allowable deduction– because I really hate sending out those quarterly tax payments every three months. I always get a sinking feeling when I drop those checks to the Federal and State governments in the mail box each time. I think about how much faster I’d be able to pay off my house if I didn’t have to turn over so much of my income. I always have to keep in mind when those feelings arise how chaotic things would be WITHOUT the things that paying taxes brings– like good roads, law enforcement that keeps us relatively safe…. and other things that escape me at the moment (I think that at least for the past decade or so, I’ve paid in more taxes than I get benefits BACK from those taxes…. but I’m sure as I get older, that dynamic will shift). The end result is that the taxes we pay is what keeps our society running smoothly (most of the time).

The downside of having plenty of allowable deductions, however, is actually sitting down and tallying up those very write-offs. I’m always stunned at how much sheer paperwork accumulates during the course of a year. So many receipts, credit card statements, bank statements, phone records and copies of bills from all the various services and businesses I interact with in relation to my work. It’s almost overwhelming. And it always takes so much longer to sift through that mountain of paper each year in preparation for meeting with my accountant. I always seem to forget each year just how long it takes. And so I spent almost all of yesterday going through every possible deduction– every scrap of paper I saved during the year. It took much longer than I anticipated– I guess I tend to blank out each previous year’s experience, I dunno. I shouldn’t have been surprised. But at least that massive chore is done, and I meet this week with my accountant to turn everything over to her and wait to find out if I get any money back…. or if I owe even more to the government.

Unfortunately, more often than not, I end up owing more.

The only sure things…. death– and taxes.

This is Entry 206.


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