Monday, January 16, 2012

Money Monday: Taxes for the Artist, Part 1

Question from a reader!
When filing taxes, do you use an entertainment accountant? Also, any tips on taxes or saving money would be great. Love the blog, discovered it recently. – From an actor/ professional drink slinger
Thanks for your question, actor/drink slinger! I don’t use an entertainment accountant, though I know many actors in Los Angeles who swear by Chuck Sloan & Associates. I prepare my tax information meticulously in advance, so I feel comfortable going to H&R Block or any walk-in tax prep shop to do the actual filing.

As for tax tips, my biggest one is save those receipts! I deduct everything I can that’s related to my acting and writing career and I organize my receipts like an extreme couponer. Keeping track of my deductions throughout the year helps me maximize my refund.

I itemize my deductions using Form 1040 - Schedule C - Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship). Because yes, my expenses add up to more than the standard deduction, which for 2012 is $5,950 for single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing separately, $11,900 for married taxpayers filing jointly, and $8,700 for taxpayers filing as head of household.

If you’ve never done a Schedule C, don’t assume you don’t have enough expenses that add up to more than the standard deduction. Keep track of your receipts for a year and see for yourself!

Tune in next Money Monday, when I'll explain my absolutely no-cost receipt tracking system. And keep those Money Monday questions coming!

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