How much money needs to be made from book sales before paying taxes?

by Anthony R. Deutsch, CPA | Jul 09, 2018

I'm a new author, and my book will be published most likely before the end of this year. My concern is the amount of money I would need to reserve to pay taxes. How much money does an author need to make before he pays taxes, or does he pay regardless? 

For 2018 there is a $24,000 standard deduction for married filing joint ($12,000 for single). So, if your total income (including the net income from your book sales), less your standard deduction (or your itemized deductions if they are more than the standard deduction), is greater than zero, you will owe tax. The individual tax rates schedules for 2018 can be found on the IRS website. But this only concerns federal taxes. Don’t forget the state taxes.

A CPA can help you do a tax projection for 2018 to plan for any taxes that may be due, and also discuss what could be done to reduce your taxes.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

Answered by: Anthony R. Deutsch, CPA, is a shareholder with Concannon, Miller & Co. PC in Bethlehem, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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