Author Interrupted


They say, ” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. After these past few months, I’m thinking I should be made of kryptonite by now.


This has certainly been one summer that has passed me by. I’m not sure if it’s the planets colliding, or that ‘Murphy’ hasn’t hopped on my shoulder, but certainly some bad entity has entered my orbit.

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It’s been an ongoing love affair since June with me and the good old government. In early June I was randomly selected for an audit. I’d never been audited in my life, and oddly enough, since I only began submitting expenses for my book writing two years ago, my number came up—for a two year audit.

I have an accountant that looks after mine and my husband’s affairs and he is very efficient and a stickler for staying within guidelines. To help curb costs, I do a lot of the legwork involved in preparing for him to do taxes, and so naturally, that meant me digging through, photocopying, and matching receipts in what feels like a mountain of paperwork.


After all was prepared and sent, I received notification that my ‘author business’ wasn’t a business. Really? So I’ve worked day and night for almost the last three years building a platform, reaching out to readers and writing books and apparently that isn’t work in the eyes of the government. I was mortified at their reply and charge back. After speaking with a helpful agent on the phone about my dismay, I was instructed to write a letter and resend for another check. This resubmission is now once again in their hands.

It seems our tax department has a theme of businesses to check on, which changes every few years. Apparently, these past two years have been the theme of ‘authors and bloggers’. Me, being the one in a million girl for things to happen to (for everything except winning lotteries), was one of the chosen.


Within two days of hearing about my submission declined, my husband got notification that he was now being assessed for three years. Was this a coincidence? I think not. If I thought I’d already been to hell and back, I’ve been knee-deep in the process once again; this time a lot more difficult as his income entails a lot more detail than mine. After spending a week in search mode for all his paperwork, I’m buried in putting together everything requested to prepare for the accountant.

These last two weeks have been unbearable; sucking every ounce of life and joy out of me. My newest book was supposed to be published already, and in between this mess I’ve left my graphic artist midway in my cover design and my editor in long delays between responses to edit. Who the heck can concentrate?

I’ve tried to keep up with reading blogs at night, and social media, but the truth is I can’t concentrate on anything until I get this task finished. My nerves are shattered, my intestines are knotted, and I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night.

So, with this all being said, I’m sure you can appreciate that my gravatar has been a little sparse lately on many of your blogs. I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t disappeared completely off the map, and when I get through these next few weeks, I’ll be back with a vengeance. Until such time, just know that your comments don’t go unnoticed, and when I get a spare moment where I get some ‘me’ time, I’ll be circulating around the blogosphere.

Miss you guys!


41 thoughts on “Author Interrupted

  1. Debby, reading your post makes me angry because of the billions of tax dollars our government misses out on by large companies who avoid paying taxes because of offshore tax havens.

    In the meantime,the government is going after the small guy, like you and me,
    “For the first time in Canadian history, more than half of the federal government’s revenue in 2014 will come from personal income taxes — a vivid sign that Canada’s tax burden is slowly shifting away from corporations and onto consumers.”

    Good luck in getting all of this settled so that you can get back to your writing business.


    1. Wow Carol. Thanks so much for sharing your insights; it’s all very true. I have learned a lot through this journey about the government, from my accountant. And you are so right about corporations getting away with taxes. Is it any wonder the middle class is slowly disappearing? Thank you for the links my friend. I plan on reading them this evening, as I just dropped by here for a few moments. Deadlines abound! ❤


  2. Oh Debby – you might not have been as active but you have not been far from our hearts. We had a similar session last year with trying to prove my non-residency for tax purposes and D’s residency here in Spain.. I had been out of the country for a number of years looking after my mother and paying tax in the UK.. It is like driving with a police car in your trunk… you feel guilty however innocent you are! Lots of love and hope all is cleared up soon and sounds like you have a good accountant in your corner.. hugs XXS


    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement Sally, and for sharing your own obstacles. I’m just checking in here after a few days to check up on my site. It’s lovely to hear from friends. 🙂 And yes, it’s so much more frustrating when we’ve done nothing wrong and a storm comes crashing down to prove so. That’s life, and I’m dealing the best I can. ❤


  3. Gosh! I can sense your frustration, Debbie. I do hope you get finished with your audits soon and come up trumps! Look forward to seeing you back with us again soon. 🙂


  4. Wow Debby, I’m sure your blood ran cold when you opened that letter. I’m sure you and your husband are as meticulous as my we are when filing.

    Carol’s right, the government wastes so much of our hard earned money and then goes after those who are probably the most honest about submitting their taxes. My heart goes out to you and all I can encourage you with is that when my sweet mom was audited the IRS found that she had paid too much and was actually owed a refund. How I pray they’ll find a similar case with you. Until then you have our continuous prayers! Blessings for peace,


    1. Thank you so much Ellie for your kind words and prayers. And you are correct, we follow everything to the letter; good law abiding citizens and yet we’re under the microscope. It’s just all so time consuming and frightening to be scrutinized like this. And I really want to get back to my happy real life soon. ❤


  5. So sorry to hear about this, Debby. It’ so not fair when there are huge tax avoiders out there whom the government should concentrate their efforts on, and they decide to come after law abiding people instead. It makes my blood boil to hear your story when the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple get away without paying huge amounts of tax because they’ve found tax loop-holes in the law. The governments should work on closing those loop-holes instead of terrorising law abiding people.

    I hope it gets sorted out for both you and your husband soon.


    1. Thanks Hugh for offering your two cents. You and so many other bloggers have basically said the same thing in different words. But it is true, the ‘small guy’ gets picked on, and the rich get richer, and away with so much. It’s just frustrating putting my life on hold while I gather proof and backup to substantiate our valid claims. It costs me time and money, on top of grief. And I have to say that doing 5 years of audits within a two and a half months span is astronomically aggravating. 🙂


  6. Hi Debby, that just sounds a real headache. If it’s not a real business, then they shouldn’t be looking for any money from something that doesn’t exist! I am sure they’ll reconsider such a silly decision. There’s not much to read on my blog at the moment, anyway.


  7. Not the only one in a million. Here, on the south side of the border, New York State Taxation Department wants to call my writing life a hobby because I don’t make enough money at it. I’m trying. I’m trying, but I had expenses before I made anything at all–and that’s the way it is for writers. My accountant is sure it will work out, but many hoops to jump through for over a year now. It’s in their hands at the moment.

    I’m so sorry you’re in a physical/psychological knot about this. I know this must be hard on your health. I mostly get grumpy, but we’ll see what happens with another round. Everything will wait. I’m sure it will. It always does. Please take a long walk and do some deep breathing.


    1. Thank you dear Elaine for your wise words. That is exactly what our government said, ‘writing isn’t a business’. Of course we have expenses to put out a book – editors, artists, etc., don’t work for free. Promotion doesn’t come free either. My accountant tells me I’m absolutely within the law to claim expenses, as I did. I spoke with an agent after round 1, pleading my case and reiterating that most businesses show a loss in early years before it gets off the ground. She agreed, made notes, and suggested I resubmit. So that’s where my audit is currently, while preparing for my husband’s.
      PS I just popped in here, and off to take a break and read your book. 🙂


  8. I am sorry to hear about all this headache and of course there is a lot of work in what you’ve been doing all these last years. I hope everything turn out to be alright, so you can breath and relax after such a stressed situation. 🙂 Hugs and be strong


  9. Hi Debby.
    I have missed you. I am so sorry you are having stress. You take this time and do what you need to do for yourself. We will still be here when you are ready.
    Holding good thoughts for you and your husband.


    1. Thank you Janice. I really appreciate your kind words. I’m aiming to have everything sewed up by week’s end, and back to publishing and the blogosphere. I really miss keeping abreast on so many wonderful blogs I follow. I shall return soon, and hopefully victorious!!! 🙂


  10. It doesn’t seem appropriate to click LIKE but I wanted you to know I was here supporting you! Prayers!! And I know you will take this experience and write a book about it and it will be a best seller! Those tax people picked on the wrong author!


    1. Oh Di, thanks for making me LOL! You’re fabulous my friend!!! And don’t think I haven’t wanted to write a book on politics, governments, and the real puppeteers of all of them. I keep my mouth shut to avoid legal implications. Perhaps one day when life settles down and I can do the appropriate research, I may reconsider! xo 🙂


  11. Wow, that’s grim – poor you.
    I’ve been audited twice, and had one telephone interview about my record keeping, so I know where you are at. As I do my own books I’ve learned to keep all my paperwork organised to make it faster when I do my annual accounts. It does take me most of January, as while I keep intending to stay up to date on a regular basis, it never happens.
    Come January, my room looks somewhat like yours, with piles on the floor too.
    But I do know where everything is – and woe betide the dog if he scatters my filing system!!!
    Anyway, it will be nice to ‘see’ you around again soon, and I look forward to the finished version of your latest


    1. Thanks Deb. And lol, your January is my March! And you better believe I have now devised a system that will have me very busy come March, but will leave everything neatly packaged, in the event those mongrels come knocking again. 🙂 I’ll be wrapping up by the weekend, and hopefully get back to preparing for publication in September. 🙂


  12. My condolences, Debby. Breathe and know that we’re pulling for you! 🙂 ❤

    My advice: delete all old posts in your inbox and keep deleting them until you are ready to get back to blogging. Just start fresh and don't worry about catching up. We will be happy to see you comment on a recent post and not worry that you didn't respond to something from ages ago. Trust me on this!


  13. They say, ” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. After these past few months, I’m thinking I should be made of kryptonite by now.
    Haha!… Those words were witty…
    I hope things will settle down soon my friend… Oh and I didn’t know that you are releasing a new book… Fav a few of my tweets so that way I check out your profile and shout it out when it is out there.. Many hugs! … And remember we are strong, even stronger than we might think…
    Hugs, Aquileana 😀


  14. Sorry Debby… (Sigh…) It seems like 2015 is turning out to be a difficult year for most of us, in multiple ways. We’re “hanging in there” but we’re “hanging by a thread” too. 🙂 Just know that you aren’t alone. Huge hugs.


    1. Thanks for your encouragement Tea. I’ve been hearing this from so many :(. Definitely a collision of the planets! We’ll all get through somehow! xo 🙂


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