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End of the Year Tax Preparation for Photographers


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End of the Year Tax Preparation for Photographers

It’s that time of year again…and no, I’m not referring to all that Christmas shopping you need to get done.  It’s the time of year to make sure you get all your business records in order so tax-time isn’t as stressful as it has been in the past.  It’s also time to make sure you start off the New Year on a better foot so this time next year you don’t have to do any end-of-year organizing of your records.

I know a lot of photographers, and other small at-home type businesses, are doing what they love.  It probably started off as a hobby, and then turned into a business.  Don’t be mistaken, even though you love what you are doing, you HAVE to file taxes for your business!  If you are a sole proprietor (meaning you own the company yourself, no business partners) you very likely can file your regular, personal tax return (whether you are single or married) and include your business as well.  If you are unsure, contact a tax accountant.

Having business records that are current and easy to look at is SO huge for a business!  You can’t make adjustments in your advertising, pricing, sales, etc if you don’t know how profitable (or not) you are in all those areas.  Tools like The Easy Accounting Solution for the Photographer, allow you to clearly see how you are doing in all areas of your business with just a couple clicks of the mouse.  This helps you all year long, and makes getting your records together for tax-time a breeze!

You don’t have to work on your business records every day, I know you MUCH rather spend that time on your photography work.  But put aside time weekly, or even monthly to update your records.

Decide how you want to “file” your paperwork, and create labels for all the folders.  If you do this at the beginning of each year, you can be ready when each month comes along vs having to create new folders each month.  This way you don’t have to “record” each receipt/bill when you get it, but know what folders to pull to make it easy when you get a few minutes to catch up.  Some prefer to file by category (a folder for just phone bills, or even all utilities, for the entire year in one folder, all vehicle receipts in another folder for the whole year, etc).  Some prefer to keep files per month (this is especially helpful if you only plan to record things once a month vs as the expenses occur.  Then you just pull the folder for which month you’re working on at the end of the month and input all the receipts).  If you plan to create just one folder for the whole month, you will probably find it helpful to clip receipts together by category (all utilities together, all vehicle expenses together, etc) in case you need to go back and supply “proof” of expenses for taxes, or verify your numbers at tax time.  Likewise, if you create “category” folders, clip all the items together each month, that way if you end up going back needing to review May utility bills to see what you paid last year vs this, it’s easy to find them instead of leafing through an entire year worth of papers.

I know it seems overwhelming, but it’s not too late to get this year organized!  Get 2010 organized, and more importantly, do yourself the favor of starting 2011 off right, and seeing what a time-saver, and headache preventer, it can be in keeping your records straight…  PLUS…you just might make/save more money in 2011 by being able to get a clear look at what is most/least profitable in your business!!

End of Year Tax Tip
Increase Expenses: Purchase items your business will need in the near future to maximize deductions for this year. If you can see a need for goods and services in the first quarter of the new year, buy them now! Hint, Hint – MCP’s Photoshop Actions or Photoshop Training Classes

You can end this year off strong, start next year off on the right foot, AND save money by maximizing your tax deductions for this year.

This guest article was written by Andrea and Lorena of The Easy Accounting Solution for the Photographer.


No Comments

  1. Paul Kremer on August 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Your daughters are going to have such an amazing record of their childhoods when they grow up! It makes me kind of jealous! 🙂

  2. Natalie on August 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    BEAUTIFUL pictures. I agree, your children are going to love looking back on all of these gorgeous photos.

  3. Gina on August 30, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    If this is a sneak peek .. I am sooo going to need this set! Love the pics!

  4. Allison on August 30, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Jodi, these are beautiful. I agree with the others these are going to mean so much to your girls when they get older. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Krista on September 2, 2008 at 11:22 am

    It looks like you had a lovely little vacation! I bet the Tall Ship experience will be talked about often in the coming days. Kids love those kind of adventures. As always, your photography is gorgeous.

  6. Brandy on September 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    In the photo with the fake railroad did you use an action to give it that coloring?

  7. admin on September 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Brandy, yep – it is one in a not yet released set though.

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