2nd Edition

The Definitive Guide to Taxes for Indie Game Developers

By Rachel Presser Copyright 2023
    320 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    320 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Indie developers and other people who work on games for a living face all kinds of interesting income tax and small business formation issues that more traditional businesses simply don’t: not being geographically bound, relying on alternative funding, long periods of time with no income, and having multiple options for tax treatment of game development costs. The Definitive Guide to Taxes for Indie Game Developers addresses the income tax issues that the average indie game developer is most likely to encounter, in the context of the American Internal Revenue Code and types of taxes.

    Written by a former tax law practitioner turned game developer and industry consultant with a decade of tax and accounting experience, this newly revised Second Edition includes key provisions of the 2018 tax reform, such as the new qualified business income deduction, R&D credit expansion, and permanent reduction to corporate income taxes. In-depth explanations and examples are provided along with references to Tax Court and Supreme Court cases relevant to each tax benefit.

    Key Features:

    • Includes authoritative sources with relevant IRS publications, Revenue Rulings, and Tax Court cases
    • Features easy to read, accessible, and humorous language: No legalese!
    • Approaches how business decisions as an indie developer affect personal finances

    Readers will gain a thorough understanding of taxation’s role in managing a game studio of any size and going indie with any lifestyle. The accompanying companion website is a valuable resource that is annually updated to keep current on any tax reforms.

    Acknowledgments. Author. Level 0 Introduction and Why Game Developers Need Their Own Tax Guide. Level 1 Types of Taxes. Level 2 Chaotic Neutral Married: Filing Statuses. Level 3 Deductions, Credits, and Exclusions. Level 4 Solid Recordkeeping as an Important Framework. Level 5 Tax Impacts of How Your Game Gets Funded. Level 6 Is Game Development Your Livelihood or Just a Hobby? Level 7 Business Entities: Formalities and Setting Up. Level 8 The Load Screen: Startup and Organizational Costs. Level 9 The Main Event: Business Expenses. Level 10 The Lost Levels: Nondeductible Items and Net Operating Losses. Level 11 The Bonus Round of Travel, Meals, and Entertainment Expenses. Level 12 Turn-Based Strategy: Depreciation of Big- Ticket Items. Level 13 Gone Home: The Deal with Home Office Deductions. Level 14 Late Game Content: Minding Your QBI. Level 15 Why Your Fiscal Year Is Like Dinosaurs Living with Humans. Level 16 How You Treat Development Costs and All the Gamasutra Content That Filled You with False Hope about the R&D Credit. Level 17 Rubber Chickens with Pulleys in the Middle (Inventory). Level 18 Sales Tax: Torment. Level 19 Classification Quest: Do I Issue a W-2 or 1099? Level 20 Where in the World Are Your International Dev Team Members? Level 21 How to Choose and Work with a Tax Professional. INDEX OF CITATIONS. INDEX.


    Rachel Presser is a former Enrolled Agent who retired from the tax profession just to use her years of taxation and business advisory experience to help other creatives go their own way with Sonic Toad Consulting. After co-running Himalaya Studios as CFO and Executive Producer for several years, Ms. Presser shifted her focus to Sonic Toad’s business and creative projects. She has taught courses and spoken at various gaming industry events about business development and tax law issues for indie developers. She lives in Los Angeles with her monitor lizard, Liora.