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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Taxes and Photographers

Because I'm an award winning member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association and the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, I was interviewed for this month's WedPix Magazine. About TAXES and how they apply to being a professional photographer. Gee, thanks guys, for making me think of taxes a couple of months early! Actually, my wonderful accountant sent me a huge packet to keep me organized earlier the very same day I was interviewed, so it was already on my mind. And I'm also honored that someone thinks I know enough about taxes to be interviewed!

Actually, since starting this business, I've learned a lot about taxes. I'm no expert by any stretch, and resort to my accountant with any questions I have about anything, but some of it has to be proactive on my part. So many aspiring photographers ask me for all kinds of information about this business, and my first is to get yourself an awesome accountant! But since so many people ask me for advice, here's my tax tip for those starting out:

Always collect business tax, and set yourself up legally as a business with a tax id so you can do this. I can tell you from experience that paying the 5% state tax out of pocket at the end of the year sucks big time. And set aside 30% of everything you make for the feds. You're also taxed on your gear. Did I mention that taxes suck? But hey, I'd rather do it right than have them come after me in 10 years saying I owe them (tens of) thousands in back taxes!

When it comes to (your) business, operate legally and correctly, and you won't regret it.

You can read the article here: WedPix - Wedding Photographer Tax Tips

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I am a sculptor, photographer, and mixed media artist based in the Washington, DC metro area. I sculpt with steel and glass, and enjoy people and holga / alternative processes photography best, although I experiment with many different subjects and media where I find them.

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