Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back-To-Business: A Taxing Situation II - Mailbox

Hi folks

As you might expect, the late posting of my last Back-to-Business article contributed to a significantly lower amount of email and comments... I did get a few though. A lot of them sounded like this:

... Seriously, THAT'S your tax advice? Keep your receipts? I already do that... (Many and varied)

I know, I know... it seems pretty simple, doesn't it? The key isn't saving your receipts, though - the key is putting them all in one place that you can find easily at tax time. A lot of actors have to comb through their bedrooms, home offices, and cars every April looking for their receipts - that's why a simple accordion file can be such a useful tool. By labeling the pockets by category and putting your receipts in the appropriate pocket throughout the year, you'll save yourself a lot of time (and stress) at tax time.

... Or you could just do what I do - take your receipts to a CPA and have her do your taxes. It's totally worth the money. (KA, Tempe AZ)

You're totally right, KA - and the money you pay your tax preparer is totally deductible as a legitimate business expense :) There's still something to be said for organizing your materials before taking them to your tax person, though; most tax preparers bill by the hour. If you just walk in with a big brown box full of receipts, W-2's, 1099's, and pay stubs... you'll be paying them for the time it takes to sort through them and put them in order. It's worth the time to do the sorting yourself before you bring your materials to a tax professional.

Besides... it's also a good excuse to look over the past year and realize how much you spent on advertising... or networking... or how many miles you drove!

Well, that's it for now folks. As always, feel free to email me your questions - or pose them on Twitter. Just remember that I'm not a licensed tax professional; if you have any questions about your specific situation, you should totally (as KA says) ask a licensed tax professional.

Next week we'll talk about how you can get all your acting income and expenses printed off for you automatically, and delivered right to your mailbox. Until then...

Lets get to work!


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