Tag Archives: cpa


Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorby Joe Wallace

I filed a tax extension in April to give myself more time to ignore properly deal with my taxes. When I finally filed, I quizzed my CPA on several things including the concept of branching out and including more freelance audio work and film making in my repertoire.

My concern was that these other activities might be classified only as “hobby income” by the IRS, thereby nullifying any deductions I might be entitled to take otherwise. My CPA advised me that several things I was already doing in my freelance writing and editing work would apply for this new possible source of freelance income.

What follows SHOULD NOT be considered any form of advice from me to you, it’s just me musing out loud about what I’ve been told.

For example, I am told that “hiring” someone to work for me on a freelance basis as needed and issuing a 1099 for them is a signal to the IRS that you’re doing much more than just hobby work. This establishes a paper trail that hobbyists would not bother with. Joining a professional association for the type of work represented by my new income streams–live sound, field recording, film making, editing audio/video–would also go toward convincing the IRS that it’s a serious concern.

That move I’ve already made–I’m a member of ASCAP (The American Society of Composers and Performers) and a member of the Audio Engineering Society. I actually belong to more recording associations than writing-related ones!

My CPA told me the standard practice of keeping a separate credit/debit card for your business and maintaining a separate personal account is crucial, as is keeping careful track of your business spending versus personal spending. It’s one thing to take a “draw” on your business account, it’s another to buy groceries with your “corporate card”. These practices only make sense to me, and they are the kinds of details that do get more complicated as you get more successful…but the rewards are well worth it.

Keeping the IRS happy is one of my priorities–it’s a standard part of doing business AS a business. Keeping it all above board, moving in the right direction and maintaining your records is just as important as finding new clients and keeping ’em.

Top Tax Advice For The Freelancer

Catherine L. Tullyby Catherine L. Tully

I’m about to share with you my top piece of tax advice. It’s very simple–and I believe it will help you in more ways than you can imagine…

Hire an accountant to do your taxes.

I’m serious. An accountant (CPA preferred) will help you navigate the write-offs, assist you in understanding the latest laws, keep you informed about any changes and make the entire, miserable process of paying taxes a bit less stressful.

I love my CPA, and will never do my own taxes again. He has saved me money over the years, given super advice, and made sure I know what the latest information is for those who are self-employed. Sure, it costs me several hundred dollars–but it’s worth it knowing that I am working with a person who knows a heck of a lot more than I do about Mr. Taxman.

It’s a confusing web of information to sift through when you are self-employed. I strongly urge you to let a professional handle it. I’d love to know how many of you out there are currently getting your taxes taken care of by an accountant or CPA…ring in if you have a second…

Tax Help For Writers

Tax Information for Writers

Don’t panic. I know tax time is right around the corner, but you don’t have to stress yourself out. I’m not going to give you any tax advice, but I will point you in the right direction. The IRS has a “Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center” that can help you figure out the maze of details that come with filing your taxes as a writer. It can be a great help in figuring things out.

Personally, I don’t mess around. I go to a CPA and have his expert eyes look everything over so that I don’t miss anything. I highly recommend this if you are making some money from your freelance writing. You’ll want to be sure you are paying everything you should, as well as taking the deductions that you are entitled to.