by Nunzio Bruno
So you have your goals all set right?! I mean all over the internet this week all I’m seeing are posts and articles about starting your 2011 off with a bang. Well that’s not with this is today – sorry! What I want to do with this post is to get you thinking about how you are going to tackle saving as much as you can with your tax situations. If you are a talent agency or a production company then you probably already have all your tax resources lined up nicely (or you should have, you’re established!). This post is more for the performers who are contracted per diem or scene and paid in cash and checks right on site. I want to make sure that you have a least a few tools in place to keep you from sweating at the last minute and to help you keep as much of your hard earned dollars as possible.
1. Keep receipts! While hoarding your receipts in a shoe box is not anywhere near ideal it is a start. If you are shopping for make-up, clothing, accessories that you use on set then odds are you can write them off. This goes for the tools of the trade too – if you use props on screen and then again off it all counts.
2. Doctors appointments and checkups. If your doctor’s appointments, check-ups, and testing exceed 7.5% of your income then you can write it off. So keep track of those expenses!
3. Travel. Driving and flying can often be a big part of your day and if you are inclined to keep track of it then you can deduct this as well. Keep track of mileage and fuel costs/consumption. Along the same lines if you subscribe to any industry magazines, go to industry events or just watch buy a DVD or two to support a friend then you may be able to write that off.
4. Are you traveling for a meeting out of state? Do you have an interview or a pitch that you need to fly out for? Well you can deduct your faires like air travel and hotels before the meeting. I know this piggy backs a little on the third one but even food, cab, and entertaining can also be grouped into these expenses.
5. Gym memberships, breast implants, nose jobs, etc can also be written off. The moral of the story here is that if you are in front of a camera then anything you do to keep yourself there can be deducted. The same goes with any kind of sports supplements you might be consuming to keep yourself fit.
The adult entertainment industry has a ton of expenses that some IRS agents would argue aren’t deductible. The trick to beating a lifestyle audit which is bound to happen eventually is to keep track of records meticulously. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s really not much more than just keeping receipts and taking note of where you are spending. Odds are if you are a busy performer than you’ll be able to save yourself more than just taking a standard deduction.
This isn’t a complete or comprehensive list by any means on purpose. If you have tips, tricks, or experiences I (and the rest of everyone here) would love to talk about them! Leave in the comments and let’s try to save some performers some money!
Financial Coach/Business Consultant