Because I write books and receive royalties, I have to complete a self assessment tax form each year.
Now before you think I am getting rich on the sales of my books, let’s just clarify the situation. I receive around £300 per year from my books. My writing is about keeping my mind active and perhaps passing on information that someone, one day in the future, might look at and say, “Oh so that was what it was like”!
And yes, I do get some money from the hobby as well.
Anyway, back to the tax form. I complete the assessment online and it is not a five minute job. There are numerous sections that I have to fill in to describe my working status, what income comes in from various pensions, saving’s interest, and share dividends, as well as the book royalties.
Then there is the bits where I attempt to show expenses associated with my writing. That is really repairs or updates to my laptop, so not really very much.
After several hours of plodding through the electronic form with most bits marked as ‘not applicable’, I eventually get to the end and it lets me know what tax I have to pay.
Well, actually there is no tax to pay on my book royalties because you can earn £1000 tax free in my situation and I don’t have to contribute National Insurance payments because I am a pensioner. So I wonder why on earth I have to keep doing this each year until I see a little note that says I am due a tax rebate.
The assessment is about my situation for the previous financial year so the tax I paid last year, was based on what I declared 12 months ago. Last year I also offset some of my income against Deb’s tax allowance.
So because some of the assumptions from the tax office for last year were incorrect, I have received a tax rebate.
The rebate was actually for two years because I was also due a refund last year as well, and gave the tax office the wrong account number.
To summarise, I received two lumps of money within three days of completing the form, and it is just about as much as I earn from the book sales.
I call that a result, and I have been honest throughout, so I assume it is not a mistake.
Tine to write some more books I think