Sunday, April 8, 2007

taxes

Every performer or otherwise self-employed person loves tax time, right? Ummmm... yeah, right....

Every year, I dread the day I finally sit down to enter all our information and find out how much we owe, and it's never as bad as I think it's going to be. I should really learn from that and remind myself not to procrastinate so much next year. We'll see how that goes.

For the past couple of years, I've been using this handy-dandy deduction worksheet for artists/performers that was sent to me by an accountant friend of mine. When I finally break down and have someone else do our taxes, I'm sure this will come in very handy. It has an excel sheet for each month and a place to enter your deductions each day in various categories, and then everything magically adds up on a separate sheet with yearly totals. I know, it's not rocket science, but it cuts the amount of time I spen going through receipts and such at the end of the year by probably 75%. My taxes used to take a full day. This year they took 2 hours. Not bad. The good news -- we made 20% more this year than last year on our gross adjusted income, and the taxes we owe are down by about 15% from last year. Woo hoo! We still owe plenty, believe me, but it's not nearly as much as I had feared. This is due mostly to the fact that I was employed full time by a school during the spring semester last year and had taxes being withheld from my paycheck, which doesn't normally happen for me. However, I also ended up with lots more deductions than last year (more audition trips, and more expensive voice lessons). I made significantly more as a performing singer last year than I have in the past -- it's kind of fun to look back and see the numbers ticking up over recent years. The other good news is that the amount we owe is significantly less than what I had saved up in my "tax account." The rest will go into savings or to pay off some debt, but a little will become some extra spending money on our vacation next week. Yes, that's right, a VACATION! Only for 3 days, but still! I'm very excited about it.

Ah, and now I can curl up on the couch and watch a movie, with no feelings of guilt or dread hanging over me. :)

4 comments:

ACB said...

Hey, would you mind sharing this worksheet? I'm always looking for better ways to organize all this stuff...

Congrats on what sounds like a wonderful St. Matt's experience! Wish I could have sung it with you.

Kisses! Happy Easter!

diane said...

Same here, Mlis. How do I get a hold of this worksheet?

SBF said...

Me too?
I am facing my first year of full-time self-employment as a singer and voice teacher. This worksheet sounds like it could be a lot of help!

Ariadne said...

Hi, Melissa -

I'm quite interested in this worksheet, too...

Actually, as we speak, I'm working on a plan to come out to the West Coast next month for the Classcal Singer Convention in SF and the Portland Magic Flute for 1st Lady role research.

So if you're free, I would just *love* to meet, swap blogger-singer stores & look at the spreadsheet over coffee (or wine) in person.

[I didn't see an e-mail address in your profile, so maybe you could e-mail me at singerfreedom at yahoo ... ?]

Hope to hear from you and meet you soon! A.