06 February, 2017

Tax Season, and not Politics.

     What am I going to write about this Monday? I’m not to sure, but I can tell you what it’s not going to be about. It won’t be about politics. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I do. It just means that I am sick of it all and want to begin focusing on others things too.

    Well, it’s tax season and I could be writing about taxes. I could do a tutorial about how to do it yourself, but I won’t. How about I just say what I do and well leave it at that.
It’s not the most exciting of topics, but it’s necessary.
Taxes well. Here’s how I do it. I keep the receipts for everything that I’ve bought for music and/or house and car fixing. The house and car because I drive to the gigs so that counts and I have a separate room where I do music stuff.
  • strings,
  • office stuff,
  • instruments,
  • instrument repair, that sort of thing.
  • paper for the printer,
  • printer ink,
  • envelopes,
  • stamps,
  • staples,
  • folders.
    Anything that can be used for the office part of the music business. What’s that you ask? Clothes? Yes, if you use the cloths for your shows and the shows only. Sure. If not then no. Gas or mileage? For what I do I have to choose and it’s still better for me to write off the mileage. That means every time you go to the store to buy staples or strings. Every time you go to a gig, or go to get gas, or go to a place that has music and you want to investigate playing there. Yes, all of those things are included. I am terrible at this. Terrible with a capital T.
Then you want to collect and keep track of all your profits.
This includes:
  • Tips
  • Fees
  • Sales as in cd sales, dvds, ect. Don’t forget the sales tax
    If you keep track of all of these things you’ll be fine. Now let's say you’ve got a gig that you play at a lot and you’ve earned $600 dollars or more from this joint over that calendar year. They will need to send you a little paper which states that they paid you whatever it was they paid you for the year. It’s called a 1099. You see they probably haven’t taken any taxes out and if that’s true then you’re going to be responsible for paying taxes on that income. That is unless you can offset it with all of the things you’ve bought for the business and can count the whole year as a loss. Hey don’t worry if you’ve made a profit that only means that you’re a success. Groovy. Congratulations. I am officially jealous.

    All of these things go into a nice little folder/bag/shoe box/sewn up underwear type of thing plus any W2’s you might have from standard jobs which you have worked that year. It all goes to a tax person. I bring mine to a very nice lady whom we lovingly call, ‘The Great Omnipotent Tax Mama’. As we go into her office we bow on our knees for exactly 5 minutes while offering candied bacon to her majesty. I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

    Now this is by no means a complete list of things you should do. It’s just one musicians slant on what happens at this time of year.
Do your homework, and check around for good accountant. It doesn’t have to be a crazy stressful time. Especially if you have candied bacon.
See you next week
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