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WATS Happenin'? Money Strategies for Artists

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel with other financial professionals to discuss “Money Strategies for Artists.” I read off a list of deductions that are fully deductible for artists in their particular industry. I thought I would share that list with you all as well. If you are an Actor, Dancer, Photographer, etc. you do not want to overlook these deductions:

  1. Coaching & Lessons

  2. Audition Travel

  3. Dance Training

  4. Business Meetings

  5. Continuing Education

  6. Downloads, CDs, & Recordings

  7. Training

  8. Out-Of-Town Business Trips

  9. Rents - Rehearsal Hall

  10. Job Supplies

  11. Tickets

  12. Professional Society Meetings

  13. Parking Fees & Tolls

  14. Audition Tapes, Videos & DVDs Airfare

  15. Business Cards

  16. Car Rental

  17. Film & Processing

  18. Resume’ and Portfolio

  19. Website Development & Hosting

  20. Meals

  21. Communications & Wi-Fi access

  22. Costumes - Wardrobe (special)

Keep in mind that any expenses that is ordinary or necessary in your line of work is deductible. In addition to the list above, here are a few tips to keep your expenses low while building a career using your craft.

  1. Barter and trade – You have a talent that can potentially be a resource for someone else.

  2. Work virtually – Cut cost by sharing office space with other artist that compliment your service.

  3. Buy used equipment – You may want to start out small by purchasing used equipment at first.

  4. Keep personal and business finances separate – I can’t stress this enough. Keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances will help you manage your business better. It will give you a better picture of how your business is performing. By combining the two, you are opening your personal finances up to liabilities related to your business.

  5. Pay your Taxes - As you are making money set some aside for taxes. As a self-employed person, you are now responsible for “Self Employment taxes.” Self-employment taxes is basically double FICA. As an employee you are taxed at 7.65% for FICA, you employer has to match that 7.65% and send both “buckets” to the IRS/SSA. Being self-employed you are responsible for both the employee and employer portions for FICA, therefore your tax rate just DOUBLED.

If you are an artist or small business owner looking to maximize your deductions, please contact WATS CPA at 561-450-9287.

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