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Prepare for a writer's audit: Editor's Notes #258
April 04, 2018
Hello,

“Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them.” 
—Margaret Mitchell


In this issue:

1. Prepare for a writer’s audit
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1. Prepare for an audit
A writer’s audit can come at any time, but thinking about an audit at tax time may be the inspiration to keep excellent records. Governments audit taxpayers at random to determine compliance.

In general, you will be audited for one of three reasons. Governments routinely check a variety of groups. If you are part of such a group, you may be audited. Governments follow leads when deciding which taxpayers to audit. These leads come from reports from the public or from other tax files that link to yours in some way. If your records are entwined with those of someone else who is being audited, you are likely to be audited as well.

Generally, auditors contact you to set up an appointment and come to your place of business, in the case of most writers, that would be your home.

They need to see all records related to the taxes you owe and have paid for a specific period. That means bills and records of how they were paid and records of your income. You will have to justify the bills as being legitimately for your business. (I usually write on mine exactly what they are for, so I won’t be left stammering years later when I’m asked.)

How long you need to keep records vary from country to country, so contact your tax office to find out how long you need to keep yours. Then store them by year in a safe place, but not that safe place you will forget about.

During the writer’s audit, stay professional and polite. Cooperate to the best of your ability. You can appeal a decision, and it is usually better to save your energy for that battle instead of arguing with the auditor in your home. The means of appealing varies from country to country, so again, check with your tax authority to find out how to appeal if necessary.

In the mean time, keep honest, clear records in a place you can access easily, and rest easily.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

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3. Interesting Web site
Here is a great online resource when you have a technical writing question.
https://www.grammarbook.com/

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4. Writing prompt
The word season is both a noun and a verb with multiple definitions. Use the word season in at least two different ways in one piece. I’d love to see your results.

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