Well, in 7 days it will be the end of the 216/2017 financial year. Time to start getting your financial affairs in order if you live in Australia.
I thought it timely to do a quick rundown of the kinds of things we, as professional authors, should start thinking about.
Before I go any further, please note I am not an accountant and I would STRONGLY recommend you seek appropriately qualified assistance for the completion of returns etc.
During the year many of you will have become newly published authors! Congratulations. I'm hopeful that at this time you set up a folder to print out details of your contracts, any advances and royalties made.
Your files don't need to be alphabetised in triplicate. A set of simple manila folders named contracts, advances, expenses & royalties should be sufficient.
Expenses: Conferences, Flights, Parking, Transportation, Accomodation & meals at these attendances, computers, printers, computer paper, internet & telephones as well as note pads, postage & pens are all acceptable expenses as are the various promotional items (business cards, banners etc) can be claimed, however you need to Make money before you can Claim it. :D You should also include office furniture you use, covers, editing and formatting costs as well as the printing of your novels. So much to consider!
Royalties: You should be tracking them, I personally keep an idea on my income through my PayPal account as that is where the majority of my funds are sourced from. I've kept print outs showing the amount into my separate working bank account in $AUD to make it easier for my accountant to track. You could also place details of advances in this folder if that's easier for you.
Contracts: Depending on your choice to self publish, big five or small press, the details of your royalty rates might be requested by your accountant. If you've got them printed and in a folder it does make life simpler.
Something to remember, you may be able to classify yourself as a special professional allowing for you to "average" your income over a couple of years allowing for good years & bad years. "An artist classed as a ‘special professional’ (an artist, composer, writer—including a computer programmer—inventor, performer, production associate) may be able to average income over a number of years" See here for more information.