Author Topic: Tax Season!  (Read 9105 times)

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megf

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #15 on: Nov 05, 2011, 02:27 pm »
Gym memberships may not be deductible - but I agree wholeheartedly that physical fitness is important for all SMs, for a host of reasons.

If the expense of exercise facilities and/or gear is cumbersome, I'd be happy to share my personal shortcuts via PM :)

MatthewShiner

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #16 on: Nov 05, 2011, 08:39 pm »
Think of difficulty of tracking what portion of the gym membership was for general health versus for job improvement.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

BalletPSM

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #17 on: Dec 11, 2011, 02:32 pm »
I think one of the best question to ask when figuring out what you can deduct/can't deduct:

Would I buy this/do this/go to this if I weren't working in this industry?

If you say yes, then you probably shouldn't deduct it....or at least all of it.

Gym memberships are NOT deductible.  Specific fitness classes may be if you must take them for your job....
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

SGU312

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #18 on: Jan 21, 2013, 05:07 pm »
I've been looking around the site for tax info, but some things I found were from 2005 (!), and this thread has not been active since 2011. Anyways, I graduated back in May. Since then I've worked two different postions where I was an independent contractor, so I have the 1099-MISC forms. I've found a lot of helpful info between this thread and several others. But any advice for someone who is dealing with 1099's for the first time? Luckily, my taxes are still fairly simple (minus doing them for three different states--WA, IL, NY), and TurboTax is super helpful.

I did not keep most old receipts or track of expenses, but now I will.

(Side note; I also worked two other positions that have sent me W2s.)

On_Headset

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #19 on: Jan 21, 2013, 05:24 pm »
Do you have any specific questions?

SGU312

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #20 on: Jan 21, 2013, 11:24 pm »
Do you have any specific questions?

I think the thing I'm most curious about is withholding. For example, this summer I took the bus to/from my internship (which was one of the 1099s). Can I consider my expenses for my transit card as something I can withhold?

A friend of mine suggested that as an independent contractor, I should write off everything. But I don't exactly want to piss off the government...

babens

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #21 on: Jan 22, 2013, 12:05 pm »
Travel between your residence and the place of employment is not considered a business expense.

I would avoid your friend's advice to write off everything.  That is a sure way to raise a huge red flag on your return.  If you are working a lot of 1099 work (which I despise, as stage managers we do not meet the qualifications of an independent contractor, but that's a rant for another time) save every receipt, and then find a good accountant who knows the laws covering entertainment professionals.  It will save you so much time and grief.

KMC

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #22 on: Jan 22, 2013, 12:22 pm »
I would avoid your friend's advice to write off everything.  That is a sure way to raise a huge red flag on your return. 

+1 on this, especially if you're also filing W2s, which you are.  If you do write things off, be sure you have meticulous documentation prior to even considering it. 
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

SGU312

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #23 on: Jan 22, 2013, 06:24 pm »
Thank you so much! Good advice from both of you. I think I'll hold off from worrying about deductions this time around. I only had two 1099 positions this past year, and stupidly did not save most of my receipts. I will now though!

On_Headset

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #24 on: Jan 22, 2013, 06:30 pm »
One of my old professors had some great advice: get yourself a day-planner. Even if you don't plan ahead, use it as a diary. Track everything you might want to deduct down the line.

For example: "11:30: Lunch with Beth Rowlands. ($11.26, Peach Tree Cafe) Discussed her plans for the next season, was invited to apply for a position."

Such a situation may be deductible (it would be deductible in my non-American jurisdiction), but the receipt alone might not stand up to an audit: the fact that you had spaghetti bolognese with a Sprite doesn't prove it was a business meeting. If you have a meticulously-kept planner with that information, the deduction is yours.

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ejsmith3130

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #25 on: Jan 23, 2013, 04:50 am »
One of my old professors had some great advice: get yourself a day-planner. Even if you don't plan ahead, use it as a diary. Track everything you might want to deduct down the line.

I was also given this advice, and told that it would hold up in an IRS audit. There was a fine line about keeping an electronic calendar, like google calendars, versus a handwritten one I remember. I guess it seems easier to fake an electronic copy and the IRS is a bit more leary of that kind of proof.

I couldn't really live without my planner anyway, so all the details are there and it gets filled away with my receipts at the end of the year. I haven't had to itemize yet (I'm at the begining of my carrer and the standard deduction still covers enough for me to get the majority of my taxes back without the headache) but I figure it is good practice for the years ahead.

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Skulking

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #26 on: Jan 30, 2013, 03:05 am »
I hope I'm not going to off topic, but I've been looking over my taxes for this year, and I have a question I'm hoping some of you folks can answer.  What IRS Business Code do you use on your taxes when you are filing as an IC working as a stage manager?  I have looked over the list, and it looks like the closest thing would be one of the 711*** numbers, but none of them really seem to fit.  Do you use one of the 711*** numbers?  If so which one?  Do you use 999999?  Has that been problematic for you?  Do you use another number I am completely overlooking?  Thanks. 

PSMKay

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #27 on: Jan 30, 2013, 04:15 am »
I'd say 711310 (performing arts management with facilities) if you're resident at a particular house, and 711320 (performing arts management without facilities) if you're touring/itinerant.

Bwoodbury

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #28 on: Jan 31, 2013, 11:36 pm »
Anddddd, Kay is amazing, as usual.

PSMKay

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Re: Tax Season!
« Reply #29 on: Feb 01, 2013, 12:35 am »
Heh. Actually I happened to be doing some demographic research for another project that also involved NAICS codes, so I had the URL handy. Not sure if that means "awesome" or "excessively nerdy."

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