Two tips on how to handle taxes as an artist

It's this time of the year again when taxes are due, which means that most people get money back, but for artists you consider yourself lucky if you don't have to pay anything. Here are the two most important things you need to do year round to avoid taxes freak out: use a credit card for all your job related expenses, and put 20% of each paycheck on a separate account.

  1.  Use a credit card for all your job related expenses: no, it's not about building your credit or spending money you don't have. It's about easily creating a file of all the things that you can write off at taxes time. You're buying scores? It goes on the credit card. What had to repair your instrument? You'll get that counted off later. What about that fun video camera you used to tape on of your concerts? You bet, it counts too! A year is a long time, but if you use one specific credit card all year round for only your job related expenses, you'll just have to check it out come taxes and write it off. And of course, make sure you don't use that credit card for any other expense. So easy!
  2.  Put 20% of each paycheck away: create a savings account or a checking account separate from your regular accounts, and put on it 20% of what you earn as soon as you get a paycheck (that didn't already take back taxes). Come taxes time, even with all the 1099, you'll already have a good idea of how much you'll need to pay, and you'll be able to pay it right away with no sweat and tears. Otherwise, if you try to save your money in your regular bank account, you'll soon forget how much money you're supposed to have aside, or you'll be tempted to use it, etc. 

Easy steps towards tax control!
Share your own tips in the comment section.


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