Monday, February 23, 2015

Self-Employed Tax Help 101

by Pam Hillman

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. The following are just suggestions and observations from the trenches. Please consult your tax professional before making any decisions regarding your tax preparation.

It’s been four years since I blogged about taxes, but the explosion of hybrid and self-published authors has allowed me to be party to discussions related to taxes in several groups recently. These discussions brought up some thoughts that I didn’t address the first time around. In 2011, I mostly discussed basic office expenses because that seemed to be the “bulk” of the discussion for authors at the time.

But I’m finding that a lot of people also might need some Self-Employed 101 Tax advice as well. I’ll try to keep to the basics, but forgive me if I stray a bit.

And why now when many have already filed their taxes for 2014? Even if you’ve filed already, now is a good time to start keeping accurate records for 2015. But if you haven’t filed for 2014 yet, let’s get ‘er done so we can concentrate on Speedbo!

Let’s say you’ve never been self-employed (also referred to as contract labor or independent contractor). You’ve never had to deal with 1099s, a Schedule C, Depreciation Schedules, Section 179, or anything of that nature.

You received a W2 from your employer, filed your 1040 or 1040EZ form, and you were done. Or, in some rare cases, you were able to itemize your deductions and filed a Sch A. If you had income (ie interest) other than from your W2, then you would have filed a Sch B. But that’s about it.

Okay, that’s the simple explanation for the majority of American taxpayers who are employed by “corporate America”. Self-employed folks operate a little differently. Enough that the tax return gets a lot bigger.

Self-Employed Income

First, let’s talk about a self-employed person’s income. Again, if you work for corporate America, your employer puts you on their payroll and withholds social security, federal, and state taxes out of your check every pay period. Pay periods are usually weekly or biweekly. Your employer mails you a W2 in January every year and that’s what you use to report your income to the IRS. Depending on the elections you chose (ie married with 3 dependents, etc) when you were hired and the number of dependents in your household during the filing year, you may or may not get a refund back.

A self-employed contract laborer might work for multiple businesses or individuals over the course of a year. You, as an author, are a self-employed independent contractor when you sign a contract with a traditional publisher, Amazon, Createspace, etc.

The main difference in working for Corporate America and being self-employed, is that a self-employed person receives the full amount (or gross, if you will) for their work. There are no taxes withheld. And instead of a W2, you should (but not always) receive a 1099 from every company you work for.

Example: In 2015, you uploaded 3 books to Amazon had deposited into your account $2000; you signed a contract with one publishing house and received a $1500 advance. Another publishing house sent you $1200 royalties for a previous year’s book, and for the sake of making sure you don’t starve, lets also say you signed a contract at a traditional publishing house and received an advance of $3000. You should receive a 1099 from each of those businesses and will use those to report your income on Schedule C.

If you receive $600 or less in a calendar year from any individual person or business, that business isn’t required to send you a 1099. However, you are still required to report that income on you tax return. You don’t get a pass just because you didn’t get a 1099. Sorry.

If you don’t receive a 1099, no need to panic. It is very important to keep track of your income from various clients so that you can make sure the 1099 matches the total amount the business paid you throughout the year. If it doesn’t, you need to contact that business immediately.

If you find yourself doing contract labor as well as selling goods or receiving reimbursement for anything other than actual labor, make sure non-labor related reimbursements are documented as such so that amount isn’t included in your 1099. For example, say you are invited to speak at a writer’s conference and the agreed upon speaker’s fee is $700, and the agreed upon travel expense is $500. The 1099 you receive from that organization would only be for the speaker’s fee, not for the reimbursed travel expense since that isn’t labor. Just use common sense and separate labor from goods and other services.

And, just for the record, smaller venues like speaking gigs probably won’t send you a 1099. Just keep good records, report your earnings, and you’ll be fine.

Also, I need to mention the fact that if you are incorporated, those who hire you for a contracted job aren’t required to send you a 1099. But you are still required to file it on your taxes.

Self-Employment Tax

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for… or not. The single most important difference (leaving health insurance completely off the table) in working for corporate America and being self-employed is that when you work for corporate, your employer pays half of your SE tax. 7.65% comes out of your check and your employer pays the other 7.65%. Self-employed folks pay the entire 15.3%. Ouch.

The good news is that you only pay that 15.3% on your Net Profit (Income minus expenses) on your Sch C.

Self-Employed Expenses

In 2011, I discussed some of the more common expenses that self-employed authors might be able to use on their Schedule C. You can review that post here.

But, if you’ve jumped into the independent publishing pool recently, there are some expenses that weren’t mentioned in the previous blog post. Things like cover artists, freelance editors, and web designers. So, these people might…or might not be… self-employed. Should you issue 1099s to them?

It depends.

Do you plan to pay any of these people $600 or more in a calendar year? If the answer is maybe, then it’s a good idea to have these independent contractors fill out a W9 before you pay them their first payment. A W9 lists their legal name and address and either their social security number or their EIN. Their signature attests that the information is correct. A scanned copy in your files is sufficient documentation.

If you’re unsure if you need to have a W9 on file for contract laborers that you hire, ask your tax preparer. The truth is that they are supposed to report that income. So, if someone balks at supplying a W9, then my question would be why? But having it on file so that you can do due diligence in mailing the 1099 at the end of the year is a good policy.

Even if you have a W9 on file for people you contract to work for you, you don’t have to send them a 1099 at the end of the year unless you paid them over $600 total.

Income, Expenses, and a Little Bit of Everything

I’ll mention a couple of other things that I’ve noticed in discussions the last few weeks. There are so many different scenarios that there’s no way to discuss them all. You have to work income and expenses out in your head and make sure that you explain it to your tax preparer. If your preparer doesn’t understand you or vice-versa, keep talking until you both understand your finances.

Let’s briefly talk about group projects such as ebook collections or any other business endeavor. If you are involved in a group project with other authors, most likely one person on the team will be the project manager (PM). Amazon, Createspace, etc. will pay the PM all royalties and issue the PM a 1099 each year. The PM will then pay the other authors in the collection/project and the PM will issue 1099s to the other team members at the end of the year.

If you are the PM, it’s best to remit to the other people in the group in the same year that you received the funds. It’s just cleaner that way and will be less hassle from year to year.

PayPal, credit card payments, etc.

If you accept payment for services rendered or for products sold online through PayPal, Square, or other credit card merchants, don’t forget to expense out the fees that those services withhold.

If you never receive those fees, then just report the income you actually receive. If you use an invoicing system and are like me and want to balance with your invoices, then you might prefer to report the total amount of paid invoices as income, and the fees as an expense. Either way is okay as long as you have clear records to document. Just don’t forget about those fees because they are a qualified expense….as long as you don’t accidentally double dip!

TIP: Run everything through one bank account, always pay your bills with a check, debit/credit card, Paypal, etc. Always deposit business related income into your bank account. Don’t just cash a check and spend it. Deposit it first, and then write yourself a “personal draft” if you need to.

Also, just for the record, PayPal and other third party providers are required to issue 1099-Ks to anyone who does more than $20,000 and has more than 200 transactions. If you fall in this category and receive a 1099-K, double check to see if the fees are included. If they are, then IMO, the smart thing to do is to report the entire amount from the 1099-K as income on your Sch C, but report the fees (that you never received) as an expense on your Sch C. Your deposits plus the fees that you didn’t receive should match the amount on the 1099-K. Clear as mud?

Free books from your publisher

What do you do if you receive free books from your publisher? You give them away like candy. You didn’t pay for them, nor did you sell them. So no money changed hands. But you can claim the expense of the postage and mailers you bought to send those books out to reviewers.

Purchased books from your publisher

Should you decide to purchase your own books for resale, then you can expense the actual cost of those books (including shipping) on your Schedule C. You will then keep up with books you sell and report that amount as income. You’ll also need to apply for and collect sales tax in your state.

Estimated Taxes

Finally, estimated taxes. As your self-employed business grows and your self-employed income increases, you’ll be required to pay estimated taxes. Estimated taxes are due four times a year and are based on your previous year’s tax return. Your tax preparer will be able to help you determine how much your estimated taxes are. If you expect your Net Income to change drastically mid-year, or you receive a much larger royalty statement than expected, talk it over with your tax preparer ASAP. He or she might suggest an adjustment in your estimated taxes.

Addendum: Someone just sent me this article on Digital Bootstrapper, and it's CHOCK full of good tax tips and advice. Tax Sheltering for Self-Employed Entreprenuers

Hope this helps some shed some light on some of the snares that self-employed authors deal with. Common sense approach always works. But when in doubt, your tax preparer can help you make the best decision.


Melissa Jagears said...

Pam, the tax sheltering link at the end of the post didn't work.

And I'm STILL working on getting my church's books/end of year stuff set up because we changed systems, I don't want to even think about my taxes......which is NOT organized this year because of 4 letters, they be B.A.B.Y

I shall get back to my organized self this year.....I hope.

Jessica Nelson said...

Wonderful...Thank you!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, my head hurts.

Melissa, when you get back to your organized self, please get me back to mine too. Thank you.

Jackie said...

Great post.

Melissa, good luck getting back to organized with a baby around. 'Nuf said.

I'm super blessed because my husband loves to keep up with all the money issues. He loves it so much, he's even finance chair at church. So I get to smile and let him handle it. I'll be sure to show him this post.

Have a great day!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, foreign companies aren't required to issue 1099's to us, so Harlequin authors need to keep track of their income via records, checks, direct deposits, etc. And the new direct deposit is a huge bonus because that keeps everything in one place. Piecemeal payments on proposals, final approvals, royalties, contracts, etc. can be confusing and with no 1099 it could be easy to make a mistake...

Excellent tips, Pam!

kaybee said...

Pam, yeah, my husband does mine. Smile and happy dance. Frown and sad dance, I have to learn because I'll probably out live him.
ON THE PLUS SIDE, I read several selections in "Homestead Brides" this weekend. Nice work. On the minus side I was going to save it for my getaway in March, but it's been so cold and snowy here that I Needed Something. Oh well, there will be other books.
Kathy Bailey

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I have finally streamlined my accounting methods which were generally a shoe box and a file box with everything that didn't fit in the shoebox thrown into the file box.

I have one professional credit card that I use for all business expenses, farm/writing/day job.

And Paypal only holds THREE MONTHS of records, so make sure you print things off each month.

I do that with my Amazon orders, too and my business checking account. That way if anything is down or irretrievable next January, I have the paper copy of the transaction in my file.


This is both a blessing and a relief! My first year in decades to not do taxes!!!!

No matter what he costs, I'm tickled pink to not have to do it. Last year the online program I used got bought out and was horrible and this year Turbo Tax is knee deep in difficulties so my move was to a good, independent local accountant to give me advice and do my taxes.

No matter what happens, this just gained me two weeks of writing time, so WELL WORTH IT!!!!

Happy dancing.

Marianne Barkman said...

Great post. Thank you!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey Pam, great info. I've been claiming writing expenses for years. Even been audited. No problem. Just keep those records and it will be fine. The auditors even helped show me all the ways to do it. smile

I finished my taxes yesterday. YAY. Today I take them to the accountant and then just wait for the return. Yay.

Have a great day.

Pam Hillman said...

Good morning all! Hope everyone is staying warm wherever you are.

Melissa, I tried the link again and it worked for me. But just in case, here it is again...

Oh, yes, B.A.B.Y. would definitely throw a kink in things. I'm amazed at how much young parents, especially working mothers, accomplish while taking care of a baby. Moms rock!

Mary Hicks said...

Pam, I'm glad there are people like you . . . I'm not one of them.
I love my tax man. He's taken care of my taxes forever and he earns his money!

Pam Hillman said...

Jessica, hope there was something you can use.

Tina, this must be the year (the decade?) of being unorganized. Maybe Melissa can give us both pointers because I need a booster shot of organization. Throw in one of time while you're at it.

Pam Hillman said...

Jackie, isn't it great when at least one spouse loves keeping the books. I like working with numbers. I like to balance things.

But I don't like the time crunch that April 15th puts on me. Blech!

We have a farm and this year I'm determined to report the inventory on a quarterly basis to my tax preparer instead of waiting until December/January. That way, we have the time-consuming work done ahead of time.

So, not only do I have to file a Sch C, I have to file a Sch F with all the trimmings.

Pam Hillman said...

Ruth, thanks for sharing that. I haven't worked with a foreign company so haven't had to deal with not receiving a 1099. The thought kinda makes me twitchy. lol

But, yes, friends, heed Ruthy's advice. Your bank statement is key to keeping up with this stuff. Some of you might download it to Quickbooks or Quicken, but even if you don't, you can download an Excel file to your computer and plug in memos by each transaction. Much easier and faster than manually keying everything in.

But a good old fashioned ledger works just as well if that's your bent. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Kathy, you'll grasp the financial side of things with no problem should you ever need to. I have faith in you!

Yay on reading Homestead Brides! That cover just screams PICK ME UP, doesn't it? :)

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy, like you, I did ours for years as well, then finally decided I needed an outside professional to come alongside me. It's well worth it if you have a business.

Hmmm, PayPal.... Actually, you can download ALL your history on PayPal back to whenever you started your account. You can only download up to 2 years at once though. Search for the History tab, then use the Download History feature. Works great. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Sandra! You get a gold star! :) I'm to the point of making the appointment with my preparer. I just need to actually make the CALL to him. lol

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, isn't it great to know that there is someone out there who can guide you and help you make the right financial decisions?

Rhonda Starnes said...

Pam, I read your post around midnight, but it gave me a headache so I had to wait until morning to comment. ;)

Thanks for all of the excellent advice! I'll admit doing taxes after I'm published is one of the things I'm dreading most. Not having earned any writing income means I can't count my expenses off my taxes, which is why I've not attended a writing conference. I couldn't justify the expense when I couldn't count it off my taxes. However, I'm signed up for a conference in August, and I'm keeping track of every expense just in case I sell a book and receive a check before Dec. 31st.

Kav said...

Oy -- my head is all swimmy now. And since I'm Canadian all those tax numbers are a foreign language. Luckily I don't have to use them. Though -- strange but true -- I got a notice from Amazon about some tax thing. It was just a few dollars and related to a book I sent as a giveaway but I'm apparently supposed to pay that amount on my taxes??????? Strange.

Missy Tippens said...

Great post, Pam. Very helpful!

We had to get our taxes done early because of a March 1 deadline for financial aid. So I'm DONE! However, I still need to finish the FAFSA. Then I'll truly be done!

Missy Tippens said...

I should add that when I say I got my taxes done, I mean sent off to the accountant and have received them back. :)

Yes, Ruthy, I agree. So worth it to hire someone!!

Missy Tippens said...

Kav, yeah. If they don't charge you sales tax, then they remind you you're supposed to pay it anyway. (I think it varies by state here in the US)

Janet Dean said...

Pam, you are amazing. I hate this kind of stuff. Thankfully my dh does not.


Pam Hillman said...

Rhonda, hope your headache is better! And really the taxes aren't that bad. It's just part of being in business for yourself. If you're uncomfortable with it, or don't have time, then talk to your tax professional and he/she will guide you through it. It will be fine! :)

Regarding filing a Sch C and claiming your expenses before you sell a book-length novel. There are two schools of thought on this. Some err on the side of caution and don't want to risk it. But others who are actively submitting to agents and editors and entering contests do file a Sch C.

Granted, like you, I was always careful about incurring expenses, but I did attend one or two conferences a year and entered contests. And I claimed those expenses on my taxes. It's the cost of doing business.

I have had years that I had a substantial loss, but I was actively pursuing publication and had the documents to prove it. I also usually had some small amount of income from short stories, or other business related activities.

As a matter of fact, I do believe the first time I ever filed a Sch C was for royalties received 25-30 years ago for writing a computer program for the MS State Tax Commission. We're talking a very SMALL amount of royalties. Probably $60. lol

Then I ran my own cottage graphics design business for awhile, so still had a business. That business overlapped with my writing expenses, so I'm not sure if I've ever NOT filed a Sch C for the last 25-30 years.

Pam Hillman said...

Okay, Kav, that is strange. I got nothing on that.

In my little pea-brain world, if I gifted someone with a book through Amazon, that means I PAID for the book. I would claim that expense on my schedule C.

But if I had no other income or expenses and didn't plan to file a Sch C, I wouldn't worry about it.

The IRS doesn't care if I claim all expenses that I'm eligible for. As a matter of fact, they would be more than happy if I DIDN'T. :)

Helen Gray said...

Got returns done for both my sons last week. Plan to tackle ours later this week, when I finished editing a book.

Thanks for the tips, Pam.

There's fresh coffee.

Pam Hillman said...

FAFSA. Ugh. More to do.

Ah, Kav's notice was related to sales tax, then? Sales tax is a different animal altogether.

Pam Hillman said...

Thanks Helen! We need coffee and a big virtual pot of vegetable soup.

Is there ANYBODY in a warm climate today???

Myra Johnson said...

Way to brighten our day, Pam!!! Taxes--oh joy!!!

Well, the good news is . . . OURS ARE DONE! At least the hard part, compiling all the records to send to our CPA. Thank heavens for Quicken reports!!!

Seriously, lots of important tips and info here, Pam! Thanks for such a detailed post!

Meghan Carver said...

Is there chocolate available?! Maybe those little Hershey treasure things with the chocolate on the outside and the gooey caramel on the inside? :-) I'm having flashbacks to my tax law final exam. Six hours, multiple choice. Ugh.

Seriously, VERY helpful information here, Pam. Comments included. (Thank you, Ruthy!) I'm going to print this off and create some kind of a checklist. Thank you!

Wilani Wahl said...

I will try again. I was in the middle of commenting using my phone when a call came and everything disappeared.

I don't have to file taxes since I am on disability. But all that will change when I get published. So thank you.

Just downloaded the latest version of Libre office. Gearing up for speedbo.

Pam Hillman said...

Myra, have a chocolate, courtesy of Meghan! :)

MEGHAN.... TAX LAW EXAM????? We need to talk!!!

The next time the urge strikes me to wax eloquent about taxes, I am going to ask YOU to be my wing-man.

Wait. No.

I'll invite you to guest, and I'll be YOUR wing-man. :)

December, k?

Jennifer Smith said...

My husband and I have always had very easy filing until this year. I actually made money from writing in 2014! Woo hoo! But the tax stuff has stressed me out a little. I've always done our taxes myself online, but next year I'm definitely not attempting it myself. Too scared of doing something wrong!

Pam Hillman said...

Congrats on making some money with your writing, Jennifer! :)

If you're doing your taxes online, just follow the prompts one question at a time. You know more about your finances than anyone else. And the online programs are really good. They prompt you for every little thing and usually find the best options for you.

MY DIL watched me do their taxes last year while I explained what I was doing, then she wanted to "DRIVE" this year. She did everything herself, then I went over it with her. She did a great job. She's a quick study!

Then, she was confident enough to help her her mother with her taxes.

Knowledge is power.

When your business gets to the point that it's too big or overwhelming to do it yourself, you'll know. My jump to a professional happened when my children were hitting that 18 yo mark, were in college and all the stuff that comes with that, plus our farm had lots of depreciation and I needed someone with the latest tax software and the training to handle depreciation. My tax "mentor" friend who's always advised me if I got stuck was retiring and I didn't want to bug her anymore. It took me about 3 years from talking about hiring someone to actually doing it.

Without going into detail, I was very unhappy with the first preparer I chose. But I stuck with him for five frustrating years. Finally jumped ship and I'm very happy with the one I have now. He gets me. lol

Rhonda Starnes said...

Thanks for the info, Pam. I'll definitely talk to my tax professional next year about filing a Sch C. We've already filed our taxes for this year, as I'm trying to clear my calendar for Speedbo.

Missy Tippens said...

Pam, it's actually 52 degrees here right now! But it's dropping tonight and may bring snow.

Jan Drexler said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one whose head feels like mush!

But I actually have a love/hate relationship with taxes. I love getting them done, filing them, and forgetting about them until next year :), but hate actually doing them.

Ours are done for this year, and the timing of this post was perfect - just in time for the final go-over before sending them in.

Thanks, Pam!

Debby Giusti said...

Great info, Pam, on a very difficult subject.

Ruthy mentioned the lack of 1099s from foreign companies, such as Harelquin.

Ruthy's right, of course, but my agent sends me a yearly 1099, which is a nice benefit.

I keep records on everything. And we have a wonderful tax accountant who does a great job. He's worth his weight in gold. Well, maybe not gold! LOL!

Debby Giusti said...

Pam, is it still three years that folks can deduct outlay of income for writing without having made money?

And you don't have to make much money to establish that you are serious about your writing.

Just an FYI, if the three years time limit is still in effect.

Do I have that right, Pam?

CatMom said...

Pam, you are brilliant!
Thank you for all of this important tax-related info. today - - even though I confess I must echo Tina's statement of: Oh, my head hurts. (LOL)
This is definitely going into my Keeper File for when I'm pubbed.
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Carla Olson Gade said...

Thank you, Pam! very helpful info for us all!

Pam Hillman said...

It's 33 here right now, but was in the 20s earlier this week. Brrr

Jan, I know the feeling. It's a lot like writing, isn't it? lol

Debby brought up an excellent point that I didn't address. If an author's money flows through their agent, then the agent would be the one to prepare the 1099 for the author because the agent paid the author.

If the publisher pays the agent, then the publisher would send the agent a 1099, even though as some have mentioned, there are exceptions... if the publisher is foreign, they don't have to issue 1099s to agents/authors in the states, and as stated earlier, if the agent or author is incorporated, even publishers in the states aren't required to send a 1099.

Who, how, and why you get or send a 1099 can be complicated, but reporting your income shouldn't be. You report it. That part's pretty straight forward.

Pam Hillman said...

Debby asked, is it still three years that folks can deduct outlay of income for writing without having made money?

I need to put my disclaimer hat on again. I am not a tax professional, so check with your tax preparer before making any decisions regarding your tax return. Got that?

The common assumption is if you have a loss on your Sch C for more than three consecutive years, the IRS may consider your business as a hobby. The key word here is MAY.

What does MAY mean? It can only mean one thing in regards to your tax return, I guess. Your tax return could be flagged for an audit. Not that it will be, but that it could be. Big difference. I can't find anything in the Sch C instructions that bears this out. No mention of "consecutive" "three years" or "audit".

Copied from the Sch C instructions: "Use Schedule C (Form 1040) to report income or loss from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor. An activity qualifies as a business if your primary purpose for engaging in the activity is for income or profit and you are involved in the activity with continuity and regularity. For example, a sporadic activity or a hobby does not qualify as a business."

From the time I started writing, submitting to agents and editors, and entering contests, my primary purpose was for "income and profit" and I was and am involved "with continuity and regularity."

It is possible to have a loss on your Sch C for more than three consecutive years. I have read articles, but can't put my hands on any at the moment, that discuss how there is some leeway on the arts.

It is also possible to be audited. It can happen. It has happened. It will happen again. But I seriously doubt that authors who are showing a $200 loss from entering a half-dozen contests (and you don't even have to buy a lot of PAPER or POSTAGE these days! :) or a $800 loss are the main target of audits in this case. Now, losses in the thousands for several years running would throw up a red flag even for me.

The 2014 Sch C Instructions pdf can be found here:

Julie Lessman said...

GOSH, PAM, thanks SO much for sharing this info. Although my eyes gloss over whenever I even think of taxes, this is very important info for each of us to know, especially indies or hybrids.

I sent one of the links to Keith too -- good stuff, Maynard!!


Jill Weatherholt said...

This is a great post, Pam. You certainly know your stuff! :)

DebH said...

echoing the "my head hurts" after reading the information here. since I got married, we've had our taxes done by a professional who gives us a discount because hubby and he are dive buddies. he does a good job of it. since I haven't really gotten going as an author, I haven't talked with him yet - but I may need to schedule a talk with him later this summer if I begin to make progress.
As headache producing this post may be - it's still a great post to have access to.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, you can do that with Paypal for real?

I must have missed that and I even GOOGLE SEARCHED IT!

Must go back and check!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, I see that they used to do that before they merged with ebay, but I don't see a history tab on Paypal for any of my choices in categories or subcategories.

Mine is a regular account, not a business one. Is yours business?

Because I'd love to be able to find the last year's transactions. I know I used to be able to do it, but I was thwarted by the 3 month rule this year.

Let me know what you see in your account, pretty please.

Pam Hillman said...

Had to run to the post office and the grocery store. Glad to be back home. Brrrr!

Julie, Jill and Deb, glad there might be something that will help with tax prep.

Hmmm, from the sounds of things today, I should have brought Tylenol and Ibuprofin!

We can chase that with the build-your-own taco salads we're having tonight!

Pam Hillman said...

I already checked before I posted the comment, Ruthy. I can definitely download whatever I need to. It just can be over a 24 month period during one download.

If I have a business account, it's purely by accident.

Can you see the Activity tab on your PayPal account?

Pam Hillman said...

I just looked and mine is not a business account.

Missy Tippens said...

Ruthy, I was just able to look at a whole year's worth of transactions on Paypal on a regular account.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'll go back and check.... It is okay to talk me through these things!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Okay, I'm on the activity site... and I've got a double calendar that goes back three months.

And it won't let me go back farther.

I've searched the tabs but don't see anything with "history".

I am so sorry to be totally messed up on this, and we can take this off your wonderful blog, Pam! Can you send me a screen shot of what you see? I'll send you one of mine.

Pam Hillman said...

I don't think it will let you VIEW it on the screen, but enter your dates or use the < > to enter the dates you want, then select STATEMENTS on the far right side of the screen, and choose ACTIVITY EXPORT.

It should export an excel file for you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam is a genius... I would have never understood the directions, or that the calendar could be overwritten!!!

Pam, I owe you a hug!!!!!

Pam Hillman said...

So glad you found it! :) But I understand your frustration. A couple of years ago, one of my accounts started limiting downloads to 6 months, I think, and I didn't find out until I started to do my taxes.

Needless to say, I was pretty livid, and told them exactly what I thought of the policy. :(

Mary Connealy said...

This is a very scary blog, Pammy.

I'm frowning while I type.

My husband takes care of all of this.

If he dies before me I'll probably bungle things so bad I'll end up in jail. :(

So I'm encouraging him to eat healthy!

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, I'm sure he'll be happy to know he's so appreciated.

I'm thinking that I would have been better off if I'd let my husband take over all the financials years ago.

Nah, I think I'm too much of a control freak for that. Sigh.

Chill N said...

Terrific information, Pam. Thank you!

Nancy C

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'll visit Mary in jail. I'm feeling altruistic now.

Walt Mussell said...

I need to get started on my taxes. Hopefully this weekend will be the time.

Thank you for the wonderful tips. With my recent fan fiction providing some need for this, I appreciate the reminder of what I need to do going forward.

Pam Hillman said...

Wonderful, Walt! So glad the fan fiction is fanning...uh...panning out! :)

Audra Harders said...

Oh Pam, I wish I had read this the beginning of January! Our taxes are done and refunds deposited in the bank already.

BUT, now I'm ready for next year!

Thanks, kiddo!

Pam Hillman said...

Hey, Audra, that's the good thing...or not so good, actually! .... about tax returns. They come around EVERY YEAR!