The Definitive Guide to Taxes for Indie Game Developers  book cover
2nd Edition

The Definitive Guide to Taxes for Indie Game Developers

  • Available for pre-order on February 20, 2023. Item will ship after March 13, 2023
ISBN 9781032371801
March 13, 2023 Forthcoming by CRC Press
320 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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 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, the 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.

Table of Contents

Level 0: 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: Keeping Records Like Developer Diaries Level 5: Tax Impacts of Funding a Game Level 6: Is Game Development Your Livelihood or Just a Hobby? Level 7: Business Entities, Formalities, and Setting Up Level 8: It’s Not No Man’s Sky, I Swear: Understanding the 2018 Tax Reform Level 9: The Load Screen, Start-Up & Organizational Costs Level 10: The Main Event, Business Expenses Level 11: Lost Levels, Non-Deductible Items Level 12: Turning Travel and Meals Into a Bonus Round Level 13: Turn-Based Strategy: Depreciation of Big-Ticket Items Level 14: Home Offices Are the Turtles That Can’t Swim Level 15: Why Your Fiscal Year is Like Dinosaurs Living With Humans Level 16: Endless Runners, or Ways to Treat Your Development Costs Level 17: Rubber Chickens with Pulleys in the Middle: Reporting Inventories 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 Acknowledgements

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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.