MUSICIANS ARE YOU RUINING YOUR TAX RETURN BY FILING YOURSELF?

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To all my future musician clients, I know you’ve tried saving money by using TurboTax or some other DIY tax website and you’ve probably made a few mistakes. The problem with these DIY tax programs are that they don’t ask the right questions specific to you as an artist, so you wind up with the wrong answers.

Here’s an example of a mistake that I’ve seen musicians make — YOUR CLOTHES, HAIR, AND MAKEUP AREN’T DEDUCTIONS, unless your “on stage outfit” is a costume, it’s not deductible for tax purposes.

Here are a few other tax items you may be missing or not.

#1 – 1099-MISC INCOME WAS MISSING

You forgot to include the 1099-MISC you received from a venue, artist, record label, or publishing rights organization. The IRS knows you got the money, and they’ll be contacting you soon, because the person who paid you reported the income because it is required for them to report it if it was $600 or more…you are still responsible for reporting ALL income received even if you did not receive form 1099-Misc

#2 – YOU DIDN’T SEND FORM 1099-MISC TO THE APPROPRIATE PARTIES, BUT TOOK A TAX DEDUCTION

Anyone you pay $600 or more should be rewarded with a Form 1099-MISC. If you don’t send them a 1099-MISC by January 31, the penalty is $30-$100 per form! So, ensure you send those out on time. Taking the deduction without sending the proper forms is a red flag.

#3 –  YOU DEDUCTED “FREE” SHOWS TO NON-PROFITS AS A CHARITABLE DEDUCTION

Wrong! Your free show was free; you don’t get to deduct what you would have made if you had charged the charity. The actual deduction you could take would be the mileage deduction for driving to and from the event at the charity mileage rate.

There’s no shame in pinching the pennies to do your own taxes, but make sure you don’t make mistakes and ruin your tax return. If you’d rather play it safe, hire a professional like us so that you can fix it before it’s too late to receive a refund or costlier in interest and penalties!

What Do You Do? I Sell Time…

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the-two-most-powerful-warriors-are-patience-and-time-quote-patience-quotes-for-you-580x580I Had an “Aha!” Moment.

As always I was watching an “Informational” video, and on this particular day it was a Gary Vaynerchuck video where he was at a college speaking on entrepreneurship.  Now if you don’t know who Gary is you may want to Google him he’s very unintentionally motivational.  Anyway, he had stated that you cannot teach someone how to be an entrepreneur, which I agree 100%.  You either are, or you’re not.  I would like to consider myself an entrepreneur because the thought of only working for someone else drives me insane.  As he was speaking he said something very interesting which was…”The #1 Asset to everybody in the world is TIME.” I had an “AHA” moment, because after he said that he went on to saying, “if you can figure out how to sell it and buy it back that’s a big coo.”  Now if you don’t know already I have a business where I do Bookkeeping, Taxes, Payroll, Business Formation, IRS resolutions and some additional “business related” stuff.  The one thing that I’ve always dreaded about going to conferences and networking events are the people who walk over to me and ask  “What do you do?”  Thinking to myself, should I tell them EVERYTHING that I do or just mention some or one thing that I do.  So I end up just telling them, “I do taxes and bookkeeping.” And their response is usually “Oh, ok that’s great.”

Now, with Gary V saying what he said about time, reminded me of a TED talk that I watched a while back featuring Simon Sinek who spoke on somewhat the same lines.  His thing was people don’t buy What you do they buy Why you do it. This was the one thing I have always struggled with because I didn’t want to sound like everybody else…At first, I had always thought my WHY to WHAT I DO was to make people’s lives a little less complicated, but at that “AHA” moment I tapped into the #1 Asset that everybody in the world was wanting according to Millionaire Gary V and that was TIME.  I sell TIME.  For example, if you run a business and the majority of your TIME is consumed by doing the bookkeeping, the payroll and the monthly, quarterly and  year-end reports or even worse dealing with those annoying letters coming  from the state and federal agencies because of some discrepancy that was made.  Just think about it, aren’t  you losing time?  Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you could get back that time so you could focus on growing your business or your artistry which will in turn result in increasing your revenue.  As they say, TIME IS MONEY.   So, with all that said, doesn’t  it make sense how providing my professional services can ultimately give a business back its TIME?

Now when I get the opportunity to go to a conference, or a networking event, and I am asked the question, “What do you do?” Guess what my response will be…you got it…I SELL TIME! And instead of them saying the usual “Oh, okay that’s great,” and then walking away. They will be more curious and interested in what I do. Because who doesn’t want their TIME back, even if you have to pay for it.

So, What Do You Do?