California Sales Tax

Sorry, been away traveling, but before we discuss sales tax for your writing business, let’s do the clichés.

Last Blog’s clichés:
let it all hang out-
To be completely candid; don’t conceal anything. This American slang began in the 1960s. It regards the uninhibited expression of feelings, opinions, and ideas.

sign of the times- Typical of a certain period, usually the present. This term shows up in the Bible. The Pharisees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven, he replied, “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3). Centuries later, in The World and the West (1953), Arnold J. Toynbee used it.

road to hell is paved with good intentions- To mean well is not the same as to do well and may even make matters worse. Supposedly this term was first used by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c 1150) but was not attributed to him until early in 17th century. By 1678 it was part of John Ray’s proverb collection, and Dickens used it in Our Mutual Friend (1865).

pick your brain- Gather information or ideas from someone who is more of an expert or imaginative. It’s an analogy to picking clean a bone or carcass and dates from the mid-19th century. Clergyman Benjamin Jowett (1817-93) used it.

So, how many did you find?

From reading my blog, you know that I used CreateSpace for my book, Night Terror. I sell through Amazon as a POD or an ebook. However, I want a piece of the action myself, so I order from CreateSpace my author copies.  When I do this, they charge me sales tax. Then I turn around and sell my books and have to charge sales tax. Is this not double taxation?

My husband has been after me about this, so I looked at CreateSpace where I signed up and didn’t find a place to put my resale number.  Let’s cut to the chase. I sent them an email and they replied that in Sept., 2012 they had to start charging California sales tax. However, if I resold, then I could fill out a form and send it to them and they will reimburse me for my sales tax.  How many of you knew this? Anyway, to get my money back I will send in the form.  Wouldn’t it be easier if they had a place for the resale number to start with to avoid this?

Since I was on a roll, I checked with my accountant regarding sales tax. She said that they should reimburse me and if they didn’t I simply wrote it off to the business as an expense. I also discussed further when I sell my book in different cities, I have to charge the Ca. sales tax for that particular region. So what I do is I have a flat fee for my book which includes the sales tax. So my book may sell a bit less in one city than another because I add in the sales tax, which then gives me the same price for my book for everyone. You have to play the game and so that’s what I do. Also, if you sell your books out of state, like in Oregon or Arizona, Nevada, you do not have to figure the sales tax.

Writing a book is not only fun, but it is a business and you need to know the ins and outs of that business.  I will report my sales tax to California at the end of the year. Accountant says there will be a form to show the different areas I sold in, etc.  Will let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, Keep Writing,

Julie