Wouldn't it be great if the only expectation on us as actors was to simply act?
Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Actors have legitimate responsibilities in addition to working on their craft that need to be addressed, such as taxes.
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
If you want to get ahead in this business, you'll start taking these other job-related responsibilities seriously.
Other actors are taking them seriously and greatly increasing their chances of success.
You can be that actor starting today.
In this blog post, I'll give you a few easy tax tips to follow that helped me receive over $2,000 in acting related tax write-offs.
Please note that I am not a tax professional. I am simply sharing my personal experience. I encourage you to also consult with a certified tax professional.
YOU MUST PAY THE IRS
Remember that Benny Frank quote at the top of this post?
Too many creatives think they can slip through the cracks by ignoring the business side of acting, including taxes.
It's possible that you get away with it for a few years, but it won't last!
Please know that if you aren't giving the IRS their cut of the money every single year, they will find out at some point.
If you don't pay the IRS, you may be facing jail time for tax evasion, and your acting career will consist of you entertaining inmates.
I could say that I'm not trying to scare you, but I am because this is serious.
I have actors tell me ten times a day, "You're good at the business part of acting. I need to start getting better at that." But then they don't take action.
Just do tha thang!!!!!
1. LOG YOUR NON-UNION TAXES
You'll notice that your SAG-AFTRA checks already have taxes deducted, but you need to double check all of your checks.
If you're working non-union jobs, the checks you get from your agency may not have taxes taken out of them yet. You 100% need to set aside those taxes into a savings account so you have it to pay the government come tax season!
This is serious business.
The IRS is not going to give you a break because you "didn't know."
You may not even need to pay what's in your tax savings account if you have enough write-offs. It could be a wash, but you need the money there just in case so you're not short come tax season.
If you don't need to use those savings, sweet! Use that extra moola for extra payments on your debt or put it into your emergency savings.
Just don't be these guys. C'mon everybody, to the tune of Singing in the Rain!
"I'm siiiinging in a cell. Oh siiiinging in a cell."
2. LOG YOUR MILEAGE
Are you logging your mileage when you drive for acting jobs?
Y'all, most of my tax write-offs came from mileage. It adds up fast!
Again, check with a tax pro to be safe.
Here's the safest way to log mileage in my opinion:
Once you put this information into a spreadsheet, it will take you less than five minutes to do each time you log mileage. You can get my full system for logging mileage in the download at the end of this post.
3. LOG YOUR RECEIPTS
Are you logging your receipts?
You need a separate spreadsheet to log any receipts of acting-related expenses.
While this doesn't technically count as a receipt, you should still log the square footage of your home self-taping studio if that's all you're using it for.
I log the square footage of my studio, but I do not include the closet space because I use it for additional storage that isn't acting related.
Just logging your mileage would make a huge difference, but how great would it be to feel confident that you have all of your tax info together should the IRS ever ask for it?
See below to learn more about Actor Boss Taxes to access my 5-step system and spreadsheets that my tax advisor loved so that you can get organized this year.
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,