The Intimidating Nature of Tax Research

I just spent an hour reading about self-employment tax law, and now I’m terrified.

I realize the level of my fear is irrational.  I do.  But in researching the self-publishing biz, I’m being bombarded with so much unfamiliar information that my brain sometimes goes into fight-or-flight mode.

I’ve been handling my own (completely standard and boring) taxes for my entire working life without any trouble, except for the one year I worked in three different states, two of which had reciprocal tax agreements, but not the third–that was hell, but I soldiered through the stress and figured it out.

Actually making a profit on my own small business–when I get to that stage–is outside of my experience, and it’s intimidating.

Half of the advice I’ve read about adjusting to the new tax burden is “Hire a CPA!” while the other half is “You’ll be fine, just use the TurboTax Small Business Edition!”  Which are wildly divergent approaches.

I hate the feeling of not knowing what to do, and taxes are not something I want to get wrong.

And I hate even more that it feels like a looming specter of disaster that makes me question following my dream.

That should not be happening.  I should not be so cowed by the complexity of the tax code that I’m afraid to do what I love.  Or, more accurately, to do what I love for a living.

I didn’t mean this to turn into a quasi-political statement about simplifying the tax code, though that sure would be nice.  I just needed to vent my frustrations.  Since this is my ship I’m steering, I’ve got control of when everything happens…so I’ve got time to figure this out.  And I will figure it out, it’s just one more thing piled on top of everything else I don’t know yet.

If anyone has words of wisdom about how they handle this situation, I would love to hear them.  Anything to make this sound less scary than it does right now.

And I’ll be back tomorrow with something more positive.  Even if I just take a day to post pictures of baby animals.  That actually sounds like fun…


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