Death and Taxes

“‘Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes.”

Christopher Bullock, The Cobbler of Preston (1716)

So where am I in the whole self-publishing process? Well, it’s going to sound weird, but as an author (and especially as an expat) – it’s important:


More the question: where am I going to pay them. Say what now?

You see – aside from Eritrea, the US is the only other country that requires its citizens to not only declare their international income but potentially double pay. This is to deter the rich big wigs from hiding their money offshore. Which they still do and these laws only cause a monumental headache to middle class folks like me.

I had the idea of creating a publishing house in the States, keep the money in the States, and simply pay American taxes. I talked to my US accountant and he wasn’t sure about me opening an LLC in the States because I don’t live there. Fair enough, I don’t want to get into trouble. He did say it’s something we can look into further down the line once I’ve established myself with simply self-publishing under my name.

I thought about opening one in Germany. But my current visa doesn’t allow me to open a business – although I already qualify for permanent residency so that’s not much of a roadblock. However, Germany does require you to go to your first job and ask permission to work a second one.

It sounds ridiculous but here are some reasons why:

  1. You’re not overworked. They don’t want the second job to affect you first one.
  2. Avoiding potential conflict of interest

I wanted to avoid this because it sounded stupid for a writer. But creating your own publishing house does count as a second business and would put me in another tax bracket. It could mean that I can’t make any money off of it without potentially paying even high taxes. Blargh.

Even Abner thinks about taxes….

I mean, I don’t mind paying taxes – but why does it have to be so complicated?! I just want my book out into the world!

So for now – a publishing house is not in the stars. I think everyone wants to see how my book sells before I add the extra headache of dealing with a company.

So that leaves publishing under my name. But where to send the money (the tax question again)?

In the end, I’ve decided to publish it under my name and have the money come to Germany (i.e. pay German taxes). I like sending my accountant a simply paper that says how much I made and how much I paid for him to forward to Uncle Sam. It’s very easy for all parties involved.

If I had decided to pay US taxes (cause they are considerably lower than German), the money I would have saved would probably go to fees from my accountant for giving him this headache of now filing both.

So for now, I’m just going to keep it simple and just publish my book and see where this party takes us, right? There are plenty of indie authors who published under their own names only to re-release them later once they’d established their own house. So there’s no need to rush or push myself to where I’m not ready.

Aw fuck! That meant that I had to talk to my job about permission. Gah! So I bit the bullet and talked to HR. Their response? No problem, here’s a quick form to fill out and have your boss sign in acknowledgement and we wish you the lots of luck with your book! Sweet.

Anyway, one step at a time. My next one? Find an editor. How do I do that? Well, tune in, folks!

In the meantime, if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you probably already know this. My novel is a space opera called The God Queen. It’s currently with its editor – but in the months leading up to its release, I plan on giving you guys little peaks…

cover reveal

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