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Scholarly Resources and Services

An introduction to scholarly communication and various resources for researchers at UWG.

Business Considerations

Yes.  If you receive a book royalty, income generated by holding a patent, an honorarium for a speaking engagement, or have billed someone for advice you have provided (consulting), you owe taxes on that money.  It is on you, as the earner, to keep a record of the income earned, any expenses, and any forms generated.  

What appears below is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as tax or legal advice.  Please consult a tax lawyer, tax advisor, or accountant.  

Forms you may need or may encounter  

W-9. Request for Tax Payer ID -- Those paying honoraria, royalties, or sub-contracting you as an consultant may request that you fill out a W-9 so they can report the amount paid to you to the government.  

1099-MISC. Some organizations will provide you with these forms at the end of a fiscal year.  The form will  indicate how much money the organization or publisher paid you. Typically one will receive these by the end of January of the next year so that you have them when you file your taxes. One still owes taxes on amounts paid to you even if an organization does not provide you with a 1099-Misc.  Individual organizations are not required to file a 1099-MISC for nominal amounts (as of this writing, less than $10 in royalties or $600  in annual earnings from a consulting contract or honorarium).  

1040-ES.  Estimated Tax Payment Stub -- This form is one way (see below) to pay taxes owed this type of supplemental income earned by those in the academy.  

1040-SE.   Schedule for Self-Employment is one of the schedules that is  sometimes filed with one's annual 1040.  If you frequently consult, write books regularly, etc your accountant may advise you to submit this schedule with your taxes.  

1040-E.  Schedule E (Royalties).  Rather than schedule SE, particularly in cases of income generated by patents, Schedule E may be more appropriate.  Consult your tax professional for the best form to file for your situation.  

Withholding and Estimated Taxes

It is unlikely the individual or organization or publisher paying you these types of income will withhold a portion of the income and send it to the IRS on your behalf.  Instead, you may be required to file estimated taxes.  

Estimated Taxes must be filed regularly throughout the year (there are quarterly deadlines).  With estimated taxes, you are roughly calculating the amount of taxes you will owe and sending it into the IRS yourself.  Furthermore, the IRS doesn't want to have to wait for its money and wants the funds it is owed regularly, hence the quarterly deadlines (consider this a payment plan).  As a result, there are penalties if one underestimates the payment and/or the payment isn't in by the quarterly due date.  

There are basically three strategies to consider for paying estimated taxes.  Please consult a tax professional for advice on the best/correct strategy to avoid penalties.

Sending in estimated payments using Form 1040-ES.  

Form 1040-ES may be used to submit payments directly to the IRS.  The form is due each quarter.  To avoid missing deadlines, you might wish to set calendar reminders. There are multiple ways to pay these funds to the IRS including sending a check, paying by phone, setting up an account with the IRS and other methods (there might even be an app).    

Increasing withholding from your regular employer.  

Rather than sending quarterly amounts to the IRS, It you have regular income from another source such as an employer who withholds money from your paycheck (ie, you are serving as a faculty or administrator at a university),  your accountant may advise you to increase your withholding with that employer beyond what you would normally withhold to help cover your estimated taxes.  

Applying prior year refunds.

If you anticipate significant self-employment income in the coming year and you anticipate a refund in the current year, you may consider  rolling over all or at least part of that tax refund as pre-payment for at least some of your anticipated taxes.   If the refund isn't sufficient to cover all that will be owed, one may end up paying estimated taxes too--particularly in the later part of the year since pre-payment will go toward the first quarter first, then the second, and so forth until the pre-payment funds are exhausted.