I admit... "tax season" is one of those things I dread. The tax world alone feels belittling especially if you have absolutely no idea what to do, how to do it, or where to even begin. A few years ago, I was lucky to have an aunt for an accountant who took care of me. Now, I am forced to find another accountant akin to her skills. I would hate to see the day where my aunt starts questioning what a Sybian is or why I'm deducting my high powered Hitachi from my taxes.
I know we are all having mutual feelings about the tax world. We don't want Uncle Sam knocking on our door step because we failed to pay our tax. How does a cam girl or a fetish model deal with the IRS? How do you know that you have a great accountant who has your best interest and will take care of your special needs? How do you know that this accountant will give you accurate calculations and the maximum refund? And lastly, how do you not get yourself in trouble with the government? Well ladies of the house, I can't answer all your questions just to be clear. I am not here to give free legal advice (for starters, I'm no lawyer). But I can give personal recommendations and share experiences that will get you out of trouble. I personally recommend stand alone accountants. It's not because I hate big companies like H&R block or Jackson Hewitt (I've used both formerly) but because it feels like I'm another client on a conveyor belt. When I moved to Seattle about a year ago, I had to find a good accountant and this process alone is very time consuming. I decided to go with an independent accountant who's been in business for 20+ years. Grumpy old man he was, but the trick is to never judge. Using Turbotax, I did my own tax preparation first. To tell you the truth, I wasn't happy with the results. My goal was, if this accountant could do a better job than what I did on Turbotax, then I'll file my taxes with him. Makes sense right?
I was hesitant at first but sure enough, he was able to reduce it to 65%. This accountant is a tax wizard! He didn't question what I do for a living, nor did he ask what "cam outfits" were. A true professional and just as what I was seeking for! So here's some personal recommendations for those of you who are in the same boat I was about 3 years ago.
1. DO find an accountant that best suits your needs. I'm not saying that you should go elsewhere other than H&R block, Jackson Hewitt or Liberty Tax. If one of them can lower your IRS debt, then go for it! Would you rather pay $5,000 to the IRS or spend $500 on a good accountant who can lower your debt to $2,500? I'd go with the latter than the former. The only reason I went with a stand alone accountant is because I love supporting small businesses. They are the driving force of our economy. Another good tip is if you know a local cam girl or fetish model, chances are they have an accountant they trust! So don't be afraid to ask.
2. DO organize your taxes. I use Microsoft Excel to organize my taxes and I use a mobile scanner to keep digital copies of my receipts. You can use Brother DS-620
, TaoTronics Mobile Scanner
, or Brother ADS2000 High Speed Document Scanner
. All are top rated by consumers and if you're not convinced, Amazon offers a big selection of scanners. Quickbooks
is another great tool to organize your expenditures and income.
3. DON'T even try and file taxes yourself unless you are certified and read all the books about your country's tax law. I've seen a lot of models do their own taxes and end up paying more because they don't wanna shed $400 to a tax specialist.
4. DO ask if your accountant can do a tax review. Even if you filed a year or two years ago, see if your accountant can include that in your current tax filing. Chances are, they can!
5. DO find out what kind of contract you have with the companies you're are associated with. Most likely, you are an independent contractor so this gives you leverage and control in filing your taxes. Ask your accountant regarding specific deductions you're allowed to.
6. Don't be shy in explaining to them what you do for a living. Unless they know, they can't help you fight this war. The closest avenue we can get is "Model/Performer/Entertainer" since "Cam Girl", "Porn Star" or "Fetish Producer" doesn't really exist in the industry catalog just yet. Instead of saying "sex toy", you can say "show item/prop".
7. DO file your taxes before April 15. The government will penalize you guaranteed if you don't file in due time and can put a levy on your personal bank account if taken lightly. Yes, they have the power to do so and it's frightening. Find out what extensions can do for you if you can't file on or before April 15.
Hopefully these recommendations will help you take a step into filing your taxes! Questions? Comments? Simply email me! email@example.com