by Noelle Stewart
It’s tax time so here are some suggestions for doing your taxes as an actor and artist!
First and foremost, there are many places where you can do your federal taxes and your state taxes for FREE.
Turbo Tax has a free edition, H&R Block, Tax slayer… every online tax software has a free version.
These free versions have requirements that you must meet before you use them. Usually they involve your age and how much you make a year. If you are an artist in school no matter what age you are, you almost always qualify for them and if you make under $30,000 a year you also have a good chance, regardless of your age, to qualify for them.
1. To find these free programs for your specific state go to Google and type in File (State) taxes online.
2. Look for the government website and look for a link on how to e-file your taxes. These websites will either have a way to file that state’s taxes right there or lead you to websites that will do your taxes for free if you qualify.
You should never have to pay to do your taxes if you make under $30,000 a year, NEVER!!
Here are links to sites that will do your federal and state taxes for free in New York State:
If you are still in school it makes the most sense to take a standard deduction.
A standard deduction is a standard amount of money that you will claim that will not be taxed. This amount is the same federally for everyone but changes from state to state.
If you are not in school or you make more than $30,000 a year then paying for a tax program or having an accountant do your taxes for you is probably a good idea.
If you are an artist you are basically your own business and you can claim almost anything you spend pertaining to that business on your taxes. You can claim food, travel, and entertainment. You can claim the money you spend on supplies for headshots and sculptures. To do this you need to keep all your receipts for that year so you can file these amounts accurately.
In the end, doing your taxes is hard but programs like TurboTax can lead you through the process on your own with little confusion.