April 15th is around the corner, have you started doing your income taxes for your photography business? Are you procrastinating like the rest of America?
One question that frequently pops up when inputting expenses into the Schedule C for your photography business, is how should your expenses be categorized? Below is a list that should help you out a little bit…
Also, check out Podcast #4 which features information about business deductions and other tax tidbits pertaining to state and federal income taxes and your photography business.
I know that some people feel hiring a tax professional or CPA to do their personal and business taxes is too expensive. I want to emphasize that I think it is a super great idea to tax hire professionals when you are unsure about things yourself. CPA’s and income tax professionals can help answer your questions and ensure you are doing things right…
BUT if you are confident that you know what you are doing, TurboTax is actually really great. I have personally used the TurboTax Home & Business version to do my taxes for the past few years and found it to be straightforward and easy to use. It leads you through all of the categories for Schedule C Expenses, and really “holds your hand” through the entire process for filing your taxes, from start to finish.
Busines cards, yellow page listings, web advertising, banner ads, pay per clicks and facebook ads, promotional purchases and giveaways, brochures, mailers, flyers, fees paid to add and public relations agencies, website creation and hosting, business logo design, marketing e-mails and direct mail campaigns, SEO and web traffic analysis, promotional events, newspaper or magazine ads, professional performance videos, package design fees, catalogs, billboards and display racks or signs, sponsorships, banners and posters for business, stickers, door hangers
Air, train, bus fare for business travel, rental car expenses, hotel expenses for business travel, taxi and shuttle fares while on business, gas, oil, parking fees and tolls while on business with rental vehicles, computer or internet fees while away, phone calls, tips while traveling (except meal tips which are only 50% deductible), dry cleaning or clothes cleaning if you are staying somewhere overnight and need clothes cleaned, cost of shipping baggage, supplies, products or equipment necessary for business, cost of storing baggage or luggage while on business trip, late check-out charges that are required.
Finders fees, sales commissions, fees for legal referrals, shared commissions, commissions paid to managers or agents that are not employees, fees to drop shippers or fees for online referrals. If you paid an independent contractor/freelancer $600 or more for services on a project and didn’t withhold any taxes you need to send that contractor and the IRS a Form 1099-MISC.
Second line for business, cell phone service for business, long distance fees, wireless access to mobile devices for business, internet phone service, voice mail and answering services, video conferencing services, wireless routers and cables, fax line
If you paid an independent contractor/freelancer $600 or more for services on a project and didn’t withhold any taxes you need to send that contractor and the IRS a Form 1099-MISC. This could be part-time programmers for special projects, writers, designers, additional administrative and data entry support, seasonal workers – second shooters, fees paid for outsourcing project work.
health, long-term care, liability insurance
business credit cards, loans and property interest
Legal and Professional Fees
Business related legal matter fees, association memberships such as WPPI, PPA, etc., organization dues, accounting fees, short-term/one-time consulting fees for things like management, marketing, engineering, technical info, fees paid for website analysis, other outside consulting fees for short-term advice.
Meals and Entertainment
Meals while traveling, entertaining business associates – remember only deductible at 50%
These are related to your office space – so pickup and delivery services, bottled water delivery, shredding services, backup data and arhiving services, office cleaning, office decorating, security system for office, fees for places like Costco and Sam’s club where you will buy things for your office use
Computers, copiers, lenses, cameras, storage and space rental, studio
Repairs and Maintenance
Fees to fix your business space or equipment – painting, electrical repair, lens repair, camera repair, computer repair, carpet and furniture cleaning in the business space, etc.
Pens, paper, pencils, pads, printer ink, toner, copier paper, data CDs, DVDs, stamps, labels, envelopes, mailers, flash drives, memory cards, shipping materials, storage and filing boxes, whiteboards and markers, calendars and planners, staples, staplers, scissors, tape, rules, calculators.
Taxes and Licenses
Payroll and unemployment taxes for employees, business licenses and permits, professional licenses and renewals, real estate taxes for business property, DBA filing fee, incorporation fees, business name or search fees, copyright application and registration, trademark fees, any other taxes imposed by your city, state, county required for you to conduct business, fee to acquire a lease
These expense are for your business office or properties only and NOT your home office. This would be gas, electric, water, trash collection
MOST THINGS WILL FALL INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORY
OTHER Miscellaneous Expenses
Adobe creative cloud and other similar monthly charge software services, bank charges, business related gifts, shipping and postage fees, book and magazines used in business, credit card processing fees, paypal processing fees, conferences and conventions, continuing education expenses, workshops, small tools, tax return software used for business, start-up costs up to $5000, shipping and postage.
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