I know that published authors can declare all of their expenses (mailings, phone calls,
editing, copies of manuscripts, etc), but, can an unpublished author do the same? What I mean is, I have written a manuscript, unpublished, but can I still declare all of my expenses in my taxes?
Truly, I'm stumped. Part of me wants to say, of course, because there are a million waiters/aspiring actors out there who have yet to land a part, but who, I'm sure deduct their headshots, but part of me also thinks that this is a slippery-slope. I mean, what if I wanted to become a professional hang-glider? Can I deduct the purchase of said hang-glider? I doubt it.
So, really, I don't know. I went here: http://www.irs.gov/faqs/index.html#12, but couldn't find any clear answers.
Thus, I'm putting this up on the board in case someone has a wise answer. My wisest advice? Speak with your accountant. Because God knows, you don't want the IRS chasing you down over the cost of a stapler when you should have just forked over the money in the first place.