Writers clued in on tax savings; risks of identity theft

Federation of BC Writers Director and Past President George Opacic talked taxes and identity security in a presentation to members of the Victoria Writers Society March 5.

Are you taking advantage of all the tax options available for writers?

For instance, the Canada Revenue Agency recognizes that writers may go for years without actual income from their craft.  Nevertheless, if – as a writer – you have ‘an expectation of profit’, you may declare yourself to be a ‘professional writer’.  You can make that claim, and qualify for a range of business expense deductions, by filling out CRA form T2125 along with your personal income tax form.

Examples like that had writers at George’s presentation asking detailed questions.

He also cautioned writers about the risk of identity theft on the Internet. Is your ID secure?

With many writers getting ‘out there’ on social media and personal blogs identity theft has become a real issue. George offered tips and cautions that can help you avoid costly mistakes when using phones, email, social media and browsers.

The prevalence of the problem was brought home in a very real way on the day of the presentation: one of the attendee’s spouses fell for a phone scam before the writer had returned from the meeting.

The Federation of BC writers offers these and other presentations province-wide.  If your local writers group would like to arrange for a speaker on any topic, contact Craig Spence at ExecutiveDirector@bcwriters.ca.

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