08 Apr, 2014 | Posted by: sellmyphotos





TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS --Deborah Block: “Before you start figuring possible tax deductions, you must decide whether you’re running a business or have a hobby for tax purposes. You make the determination, but the IRS won’t be pleased if you claim business deductions and aren’t striving to turn a profit. SOURCE: http://petapixel.com/2014/04/02/10-common-tax-deductions-photography-business/
TAKEAWAY: With the help of a tax person familiar with intellectual properties, you can save an immense amount of taxes (in write-offs) if you structure your photo marketing business properly. Check out Sell&ReSell Your Photos (any edition) or sellphotos.com to confirm your savings. -RE

25 Mar, 2014 | Posted by: sellmyphotos





HOME OFFICE DEDUCTION -- Business Use, Size of Space Determine Home Office Deduction Amount – Bizfilings: “The qualification requirements for the home office deduction state that a portion of your residence be used regularly and exclusively for business purposes. But, this space need not actually be an "office." It can be a conference room, a lab area, storage room, or some other type of business usage. If you do have an area that you use regularly and exclusively for business, the tax law permits you to deduct a portion of certain expenses relating to your home. SOURCE: http://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/sbg/tax-info/fed-taxes/business-use-space-size-home-office-deduction.aspx


14 Jan, 2014 | Posted by: sellmyphotos

DEDUCT THESE HOME EXPENSES?

Did you know you could? - Julian Block: “The law allows independent stock photographers, freelancers and other individuals who work at home to claim home-office deductions if they pass a series of IRS tests. You must use a portion of your home exclusively and on a regular basis for work in your stock photo business. It has to be your principal place of business. Arranging things to pass the tests lets you transform otherwise nondeductible personal expenditures (a portion of everything from home-insurance premiums to repairs to utility bills to depreciation if you own your house or a percentage of your rent) into deductible business expenses. SOURCE:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julian-block/tough-rules-for-homeoffic_1_b_4526031.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications


19 Nov, 2013 | Posted by: sellmyphotos







TAX DEDUCTIONS for Your Photography Business. Lauren Margolis: “Tax Day is right around the corner, and the best thing you can do before you file (if you haven’t already) is to educate yourself. The second best thing you can do is keep good records, as you can often use the tax laws to your advantage if you’ve got the documentation to back up your claims. SOURCE: http://blog.photoshelter.com/2013/03/10-common-tax-deductions-for-your-photography-business/



05 Nov, 2013 | Posted by: sellmyphotos





Most freelancers, consultants and other self-employed individuals lose more than necessary to taxes. But not the freelancers who know how to make continually changing tax laws work for them.
Julian Block’s Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers is an indispensable reference that offers clear, concise and immediately useful advice on how to sidestep pitfalls and take maximum advantage of frequently missed, perfectly legal opportunities that can save many thousands of dollars.
Julian Block is a nationally recognized attorney and former IRS special agent (criminal investigator). He has been cited as: “a leading tax professional” (New York Times); “an accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal); and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). He is frequently quoted by such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

For more info: http://www.amazon.com/Julian-Blocks-Writers-Photographers-Freelancers/dp/098226609X

16 Oct, 2013 | Posted by: sellmyphotos





Most freelancers, consultants and other self-employed individuals lose more than necessary to taxes. But not the freelancers who know how to make continually changing tax laws work for them.
Julian Block’s Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers is an indispensable reference that offers clear, concise and immediately useful advice on how to sidestep pitfalls and take maximum advantage of frequently missed, perfectly legal opportunities that can save many thousands of dollars.
Julian Block is a nationally recognized attorney and former IRS special agent (criminal investigator). He has been cited as: “a leading tax professional” (New York Times); “an accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal); and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). He is frequently quoted by such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

For more info: http://www.amazon.com/Julian-Blocks-Writers-Photographers-Freelancers/dp/098226609X

13 Mar, 2012 | Posted by: st




Does Uncle Sam and the IRS love it when you pay more taxes than you should?

Actually, the Feds would prefer that you get professional help in preparing your taxes so that you reduce your tax liability to the lowest possible amount.
Why? Because economists tell us that when we have more money available to stimulate the economy, everyone benefits: merchants, employees, and employers.

If more money is circulated,
it means more taxpayers are
generated. The IRS is not
unwise in encouraging you to
learn how to reduce your taxes.

A famous jurist once said, “To evade taxes in not legal, but to avoid taxes is your right.”

Stock photographers have a special advantage when it comes to tax reduction. Not only are your home office or studio business expenses legal deductions but also so are your travel expenses to get those photos.

Your automobile or air travel, your lodging, not to mention your upgrade to a new digital camera or photography software -- these are bona fide expenses.

Travel expenses for your spouse, if he or she is employed regularly as a model in your photos, are also deductible.

And, of course, your photos become “receipts” that document that you actually traveled to a location and took marketable photos. (The IRS always likes to see proof that you actually performed the work.)

HELP IS ON THE WAY


Where do you find help to learn more about the legal tax deductions that you may be missing out on ?

Not in the Yellow Pages. Instead, search the web for tax professionals in your local area who deal in the area of what’s called, “intellectual properties.”

Also, ask local successful authors,musicians,songwriters, artists, -anyone who makes a living in a creative way – who they use when tax time rolls around.

You’ll probably hear the name of a particular local tax expert cropping up often. This is the person who can save you possibly thousands of dollars in unnecessary tax expense.

Prepare yourself for big tax savings. For helpful insights read and study our report, The Stock Photographer’s Guide To Tax Savings. If you’re good at doing your own taxes, this is all you’ll need. Otherwise, read the Guide and then take it to your tax professional and say, “Save me some money!” He or she will take it from there.

For more information on this subject, go to:

www.photosource.com/cart/taxtips.php

PS: Did you know that you can hire your teenage son or daughter in your photo marketing business? They can also become a tax deduction for your stock photography business, plus earn extra money while learning a photography skill.


Rohn Engh is the best-selling author of “Sell & ReSell your Photos” and “sellphotos.com.” He has produced a new eBook, “How To Make the Marketable Photo,”
and an eCourse, “How To Market Your Photos.” For more information and to receive a free eReport: “8 Steps to Becoming Published Photographer,” visit http://www.sellphotos.com 800 624-0266.







28 Feb, 2012 | Posted by: st



Questions to ask
your tax advisor


Can I hire my son or daughter in your stock photography business, rather than outsource the job?

Can I work from home and enjoy reduced costs of expenses that are normally not available as deductions to an office worker.

Are these write-offs for me? Software, computer, office heat,telephone calls, lighting, air conditioning,
How about my car?
Or, business-related magazines, and workshops?

The N.O.L. factor (NetOperating Loss) from previous years to reduce your tax burden in a profitable year? What's my advantage?

When I need a model in my travel pictures in Italy or Japan, can I have my spouse as the model and use the expense as a deduction?

Remember the IRS always asks the question, “Did you spend the money you are claiming?” As a stock photographer you have irrefutable evidence: the actual photos themselves. Your photos are your receipts!


Need answers to these question? In Google type: PhotoSource International tax tips. Each article will be valuable.
-RE

24 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st




Does Uncle Sam and the IRS love it when you pay more taxes than you should?


Actually, the Feds would prefer that you get professional help in preparing your taxes so that you reduce your tax liability to the lowest possible amount.
Why? Because economists tell us that when we have more money available to stimulate the economy, everyone benefits: merchants, employees, and employers. If more money is circulated, it means more taxpayers are generated. The IRS is not unwise in encouraging you to learn how to reduce your taxes.
A famous jurist once said, “To evade taxes in not legal, but to avoid taxes is your right.”

Stock photographers have a special advantage when it comes to tax reduction. Not only are your home office or studio business expenses legal deductions but also so are your travel expenses to get those photos.
Your automobile or air travel, your lodging, not to mention your upgrade to a new camera or photography software -- these are bona fide expenses. Travel expenses for your spouse, if he or she is employed regularly as a model in your photos, are also deductible.
And, of course, your photos become “receipts” that document that you actually traveled to a location and took marketable photos. (The IRS always likes to see proof that you actually performed the work.)

HELP IS ON THE WAY

Where do you find help to learn more about the legal tax deductions that you may be missing out on ? Not in the Yellow Pages. Instead, search the web for tax professionals in your local area who deal in the area of what’s called, “intellectual properties.” Also, ask local successful authors, songwriters, artists, -anyone who makes a living in a creative way – who they use when tax time rolls around. You’ll probably hear the name of a particular local tax expert cropping up often. This is the person who can save you possibly thousands of dollars in unnecessary tax expense.
Prepare yourself for big tax savings. For helpful insights read and study our report, The Stock Photographer’s Guide To Tax Savings. If you’re good at doing your own taxes, this is all you’ll need.
Otherwise, read the Guide and then take it to your tax professional and say, “Save me some money!” He or she will take it from there.
For more information on this subject, go to:
http://www.photosource.com/cart/taxtips.php

PS: Did you know that you can hire your teenage son or daughter in your photo marketing business? They can also become a tax deduction for your stock photography business, plus earn extra money while learning a photography skill.



09 Nov, 2011 | Posted by: st




Easy Tax Guide
for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers.




by Prof. James Edward Maule


A Tax Book for Writers (and Others)
Prof: James Edward Maule: "Almost five years ago, in A Tax Advice Book for People Who Write and Illustrate Books, I reviewed Julian Block’s “TAX TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Savvy Ways for Writers, Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers to Trim Taxes to the Legal Minimum. He has now released a new edition, with a modified title, “Julian Block’s Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers.” Once again, Julian has given tax practitioners and taxpayers with any sort of connection to the literary or artistic world a handy and helpful explanation of tax tips that they might otherwise neglect.
Julian opens the book with several questions posed by readers of the earlier edition. What are the tax consequences of writing a book for an agreed price, incurring reimbursable expenses only to discover that the publisher went out of business and did not pay?
Are the tax consequences different if the writing business is a part-time one?
How should an author react when one publisher sends a Form 1099 net of agent’s commissions and the other publisher sends a Form 1099 showing the gross royalty?
Must expense reimbursements included in a Form 1099 be reported?
Are the expenses incurred for a spouse who accompanies a writer to a conference deductible?
What is the tax treatment of a speaking honorarium that the speaker asks be paid to a charity?
What sort of charitable contribution is available for donating papers, photos, original manuscripts, and correspondence to a charity?
Is a charitable contribution available for an artist who paints a portrait and donates it to a church bazaar?

There are more questions. Yes, there are answers, but to discover them, buy the book.

Julian then discusses, in succession, the hobby loss and for-profit rules, the tax treatment of awards received for photography/writing and other accomplishments, depreciation deductions for writers and artists, how freelance photographers compute health insurance deductions, automobile expenses, travel expenses for spouses, the tax consequences of hiring one’s children (a plus!), home office deductions (there are mant for the freelancer), sales of homes for which home office deductions have been claimed, and clothing expenses.
Julian deals with these topics in language suitable for those who are not familiar with the technical verbiage of the Internal Revenue Code.(A major accomplishment along!)

Writers, photographers and other freelancers, especially those unfamiliar with the impact of tax law on their activities, should get themselves a copy of this book. I recommend it just as I recommended Julian’s previous books, "MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE: Savvy Ways For Persons Marrying, Married Or Divorcing To Trim Their Taxes - And They’re Legal," HOME SELLER’S GUIDE TO TAX SAVINGS: Simple Ways For Any Seller To Lower Taxes To The Legal Minimum," TAX TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Savvy Ways For Writers, Photographers, Artists And Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum," “Year Round Tax Savings," "Travel and Moving Expenses: How To Take Maximum Advantage Of Every Tax Break The Law Allows," and "Ultimate Tax-Saving Resource '08."
-Prof. James Edward Maule (Villanova University)

The link below for publitariat.com leads to a series of Q&As that are excerpted from the book.

Julian's columns are at www.Publitariat.com



13 Jul, 2011 | Posted by: st



PART-TIMER If you operate your stock photography out of your home, you are eligible for certain tax write-offs. Here's an interview (audio) you'll want to listenin on to gain some insight on answers to tax questions you might have. Julian Block is a tax expert and familiar with persons who operate home-based businesses.
The Interview (60 minutes) is by BlogRadio and centers on ways to save tax dollars for 2011 and gain a head start for 2012. Julian Block's topics include home-office deductions, how the IRS decides which returns to audit, amending tax returns, and whether to do tax returns yourself or use paid preparers.
http://feedraider.com/item/31578868/boomer-and-the-babe-show-w-tax-attorney-julian-block-jun-202011/


13 Apr, 2011 | Posted by: st




Tax Tips for Stock Photographers
PhotoSource International
1 800 624 0266

Want to save money on taxes? Want to make sure you’re taking all the deductions you’re entitled to? Want to see how you can be certain that you don’t overpay the IRS? Want to learn all this from an experienced, trusted expert in the field?
Julian Block’s Tax Tips for Stock Photographers gives you this important information.
Julian Block has been singled out by the New York Times as a “leading tax professional,” and the Wall Street Journal calls him “an accomplished writer on taxes.” He has published many books on tax issues and often contributes to magazines such as Consumer Reports, Money, Parade, and Reader’s Digest.
Now, in co-operation with PhotoSource International, he has launched this tax guide tailored for stock photographers -- both professionals and hobbyists -- that is sure to save you money! Don’t miss out, order your copy today!
Tax Tips consists of 70 pages full of useful information, inside tips, helpful hints and examples from real tax cases. Julian Block explains taxes and deductions in a way that makes them easy to understand.

The Stock Photographer’s
TAX TIPS is here
Some of the stock photography tax secrets this guide provides:

When you need a model in your travel picture in Italy or Japan, why not have your spouse be the model? pages 15, 45
Use the N.O.L. factor (Net Operating Loss) from previous years to reduce your tax burden in a profitable year. page 69
Hire your son or daughter in your stock photography business, rather than outsource the job. It’ll be a two-way tax benefit. pages 48, 52
Work from home and enjoy reductions of expenses that are normally not available as deductions to an office worker. pages 43, 57

Write-Offs: Any business-related item (software, computer, office heat, telephone calls, lighting, air conditioning, etc.) is a write-off. Does that include your car? page 12
Magazines, and workshops..a write-off? Yes, if they are business related. page 17
Don’t make a profit in three of the first five years you’re in business – are you red-flagged? Not always, especially if you can show your “intent” to make a profit. pages 20, 21
And remember the IRS always asks the question, “Did you spend the money you are claiming?” As a stock photographer you have irrefutable evidence: the actual photos themselves. Your photos are your receipts!This tax guide is useful even for those using tax professionals to do your taxes for you.

Few tax professionals have the kind of specialized knowledge (concerning intellectual properties) that this targeted tax guide provides.

Buy this guide, give it to your tax professional/CPA/accountant, and watch your tax savings grow!
Tax Tips for Stock Photographers is a publication in the PhotoSource International Guide Series, and as always when you order from us, you have a money-back guarantee if you're not 100% satisfied.

Our Guarantee: If for any reason you are not satisfied with your Tax Tips from PhotoSource International, please let us know and we will issue you a refund.

Order Here:
http://www.photosource.com/shop/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=taxtips09


06 Apr, 2011 | Posted by: st




Does Uncle Sam and the IRS love it when you pay more taxes than you should?


Actually, the Feds would prefer that you get professional help in preparing your taxes so that you reduce your tax liability to the lowest possible amount.
Why? Because economists tell us that when we have more money available to stimulate the economy, everyone benefits: merchants, employees, and employers. If more money is circulated, it means more taxpayers are generated. The IRS is not unwise in encouraging you to learn how to reduce your taxes.
A famous jurist once said, “To evade taxes in not legal, but to avoid taxes is your right.”

Stock photographers have a special advantage when it comes to tax reduction. Not only are your home office or studio business expenses legal deductions but also so are your travel expenses to get those photos.
Your automobile or air travel, your lodging, not to mention your upgrade to a new camera or photography software -- these are bona fide expenses. Travel expenses for your spouse, if he or she is employed regularly as a model in your photos, are also deductible.
And, of course, your photos become “receipts” that document that you actually traveled to a location and took marketable photos. (The IRS always likes to see proof that you actually performed the work.)

HELP IS ON THE WAY

Where do you find help to learn more about the legal tax deductions that you may be missing out on ? Not in the Yellow Pages. Instead, search the web for tax professionals in your local area who deal in the area of what’s called, “intellectual properties.” Also, ask local successful authors, songwriters, artists, -anyone who makes a living in a creative way – who they use when tax time rolls around. You’ll probably hear the name of a particular local tax expert cropping up often. This is the person who can save you possibly thousands of dollars in unnecessary tax expense.
Prepare yourself for big tax savings. For helpful insights read and study our report, The Stock Photographer’s Guide To Tax Savings. If you’re good at doing your own taxes, this is all you’ll need.
Otherwise, read the Guide and then take it to your tax professional and say, “Save me some money!” He or she will take it from there.
For more information on this subject, go to:
http://www.photosource.com/cart/taxtips.php

PS: Did you know that you can hire your teenage son or daughter in your photo marketing business? They can also become a tax deduction for your stock photography business, plus earn extra money while learning a photography skill.


Rohn Engh is the best-selling author of “Sell & ReSell Your Photos”
and “sellphotos.com.” He has produced an eBook, “How To Make the Marketable Photo,” and an eCourse, “How To Market Your Photos.” For more information and to receive a free eReport: “8 Steps to Becoming Published Photographer,” visit http://www.sellphotos.com
800 624-0266.








16 Mar, 2011 | Posted by: st






Here's how you can

buy your start-up equipment

at a 100% discount .


There's an often-overlooked tax technique that will help you cover the cost of much of your start-up equipment--your camera, scanner, lenses--even a computer, and important business subscriptions.

Since this tax move will result in dollars coming back to you in the form of a rebate, you can consider your purchases as free gifts--in other words, items bought at a "100% discount."

The tax procedure is called, "Net Operating Loss Carrybacks."You are allowed by law to carry back any loss to the three previous years. (IR Code Section 172.) You in effect then generate a refund of taxes paid for those years.

Here's a typical situation. You've quit your full-time job and have gone full-time into operating your own stock photography business, rolling up your sleeves and closely following the photo marketing sales and delivery strategies in today’s marketplace.

(NOTE: You can use the same carryback proviso for a separate sideline business, too, if you are working at your stock photography business only part-time.)

In the first year (like most start-up businesses) your income is low. Outlay camera and computer for equipment, film, travel expenses, etc. is high. These are normal allowable deductions. In our example, let's say that in your first year of business, when you subtract these expenses from your income, your Schedule C shows a loss of $10,000 (your Net Operating Loss, or NOL).

This is where the "carryback" comes in. You carry back and deduct your current NOL ($10,000) on your tax return of 3 years ago, and obtain a refund of part or all of the taxes you paid for that year. (If your current NOL surpasses your income for three years ago, the unused part can be carried to your tax return of two years ago. If there is still a part of your NOL left, it can be carried to your return of one year ago. If your NOL is greater than your past three years' income, then you can carry the rest of the loss forward to future years. See below.)

In our example, you in effect are able to subtract your $10,000 NOL from your taxable income of three years ago, and receive a rebate of the taxes you paid on that $10,000--which means you'll receive a check from the government for 28% (if that's your tax bracket) of $10,000, or $2800. That translates into the cost of much of your start-up equipment: a camera, office furniture, a computer, a scanner, software, etc.

As long as you are showing intent to make a profit, it is not an unusual situation to have a loss for your business. Consider that MONEY MAGAZINE took nine years before they made a profit!

You can expect an additional rebate if you live in a state that also has a carryback feature. Oregon, for example, has an 9% income tax, and allows the operating loss carryback. If you live in Oregon you'd enjoy an additional 9% rebate.

Either IRS Form 1045 or Form 1045X ( www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040x.pdf ) can be used to generate the carryback claim. Check with a tax professional on how to fill out the form for your rebate. And check to see if your state has a carryback feature.

Note: When you elect to carry a loss forward, this means you don't receive a rebate check, but it enables you to decrease your taxable income in your second and third year of business and so on, and have fewer taxes to pay initially as you're getting your business off the ground. You can carry a loss forward over a total of fifteen years.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Rohn Engh, veteran stock photographer and publisher of PhotoStockNOTES has provided
on-line targeted information for photobuyers and photographers for three decades.
No other newsletter brings stock photographers such up-to-the minute, practical
information from a professional intimately familiar with both sides of the stock
photo desk. If you have said, "How do I sell
my photos
?" check out his site at : http://www.photosource.com






26 Jan, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes



Julian Block’s Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers: Trim Taxes to the
Legal Minimum


By
Julian Block




Available at:
http://selfpublishingreview.blogspot.com/2011/01/easy-tax-book-for-writers-book-giveaway.html


Most freelancers, consultants and other self-employed individuals lose more than necessary to federal and state tax collectors.
But not the freelancers who know how to make the continually changing tax laws work for them.
Julian Block’s Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Stock Photographers, and Other Freelancers: Trim Taxes to the Legal Minimum is a reference that offers clear, concise, uncomplicated and immediately useful advice on how to sidestep pitfalls and take maximum advantage of frequently missed, perfectly legal opportunities that can save many thousands of dollars.

About the Author
Nationally recognized expert Julian Block is a syndicated columnist, former IRS special agent (criminal investigator) and attorney, who has been praised as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine).
He is a member of the New York Financial Writers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.




22 Dec, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes





http://www.photosource.com/ReducingYourTaxes/

08 Dec, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes



Tax Tactics

Can I Deduct My Home Office Expenses?

The IRS allows you deductions for the portion of your house that you use to operate your stock photo business. However, if you are a salaried person working at your “main job,” and your stock business is a part-time venture, you cannot use your office-in-the-home expenses to create a net operating loss. If the total of your other business expenses (not including home-office expenses) is greater than your income, giving you a loss, that is allowable. If your office-in-the-home expenses, when added to the total of your other business expenses, take you over the top to give you a loss, that’s not allowable. Only that portion of your home-office expense that takes your total of expenses up to the amount of your gross business income can be deducted each year (there is a carry-forward provision). If the total of your home-office expenses added to the total of your other business expenses comes to less than your gross income, the full amount of your home-office expenses is deductible.

SEPARATE EXPENSES

Here’s how that works. Let’s say your stock photography business, operated out of your home, has a gross income (receipts before expenses) of $12,000. Your business incurs home-office expenses of $1,500 (percent of utilities, mortgage interest, roof repairs, and so on). Your normal business expenses, such as office supplies, postage, travel, film, memory cards, etc. total $11,500. Since your gross income was $12,000, you can use only $500 of your $1,500 office-in-the-home expenses as a deduction. However, you may carry forward the disallowed $1,000 to subsequent tax years; these carried-forward home-office expenses, though, are subject to the same restriction each subsequent year– i.e., they are not allowable if the addition of their total creates a net loss from the business activity.

The room(s) in your home where you conduct your photomarketing business must be used exclusively and regularly for your photomarketing operations. The IRS won’t approve the room as a deduction if it’s also used as a sewing room or a part-time recreation room or if it’s part of your living room. If you’ve made a room or large closet into a studio consider that room also as tax-deductible. Measure the square footage of your home (don’t include the garage unless it’s heated or air-conditioned), and then measure the square footage of your working space. Divide the latter by the former, and you’ll determine what portion of your home is used for “profit-making activity.”

For example, if your working area is a fourteen-by-eleven-foot room (used exclusively and regularly for your photomarketing business), and the total square footage of your home is 1,232 square feet, you are using one-eighth of your home for business.
“Business Use of Your Home” is the title of IRS Publication 587. It’s a clear explanation of what you can and cannot deduct. Also check out Booklet 529, “Miscellaneous Deductions.” Write, log on, or phone the IRS for a free copy at (800) TAX-FORM.

From the IRS: "What You Need to Know about the Home Office Deduction"
IRS Tax Tip 2010-53


Rohn Engh is director of PhotoSource International and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com . Fax: 1 715 248 7394. Web site: www.photosource.com/shop For more tax tips: http://www.photosource.com/shop/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=taxtips09


26 May, 2010 | Posted by: photosource





Going green: Installing energy-efficient home improvements like windows and doors in your principal residence will qualify you for a tax credit. The credit equals 30% of the cost, capped at a maximum of $1,500. There’s another credit of 30% of the cost of installing renewable-energy improvements like solar water heaters and solar panels. This credit isn’t capped, and the residence doesn’t have to be your principal residence. For detailed information on the laundry list of items that qualify for the two credits, go to EnergyTaxIncentives.org.

Buy a home and lower taxes: New rules that took effect on November 7, 2009, extend and liberalize tax credits for homebuyers. Now there are two kinds of credits for homes costing under $800,000. One is a credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers of a principal residence who didn’t own another principal residence during the three-year period ending on the date they purchase the new place. The other is up to $6,500 for buyers who owned a principal residence for any five consecutive years during the eight-year period that ends on the purchase date. Both credits allow buyers with higher incomes to qualify and require them to sign a binding contract by April 30, 2010, and complete the deal by June 30, 2010.
If you own more than one dwelling, the terms principal residence or main home mean the place you live most of the year, as opposed to a vacation retreat or property for which you charge rent. A principal residence is not just a conventional single-family home. It also can be a condominium, a co-op apartment, a housetrailer, a mobile home, or anything else that provides all the amenities of a dwelling, such as a houseboat or yacht that has facilities for cooking, sleeping, and sanitation.
Credits versus deductions: Most taxpayers do not understand the difference between credits and deductions. Credits lower a person’s taxes dollar for dollar, making them more valuable than deductions, which merely reduce the amount of income on which taxes are figured. The distinction is critical. A deduction of $1,000 saves $350 in taxes for someone in the highest bracket of 35%, but only $100 for someone in the lowest bracket of 10%. A credit of $1,000 reduces taxes by that amount, whatever someone’s bracket is.
Another difference is that credits come in two flavors, nonrefundable and refundable. Nonrefundable means credits cannot be refunded to the extent that they exceed your income tax. Put another way, credits like the one for child care provide no help after your income tax becomes zero. Refundable means credits like the recently revised one for first-time homebuyers can be refunded to the extent that they exceed your income tax. So even buyers who have no income-tax liability could receive as much as $8,000 from the IRS.


Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com



12 May, 2010 | Posted by: photosource






HOW TO FIND A TAX ADVISOR

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Looking for a tax professional knowledgeable in the area of intellectual properties? Some people mistakenly think they can turn to a neighbor, or Uncle Jim, or that retired bookkeeper down the block, who is “good at taxes.” The price might be right, but for those who go this route it costs them in the long run. Moreover, they’re opening their checkbook to educate this tax person, since the average tax accountant or CPA deals with intellectual properties seldom, if at all.

The aim is to save on your taxes, not just to pay them. (“To evade taxes is illegal, to avoid is your constitutional right!”)

You want a tax adviser experienced in intellectual properties, who will show you how to apply for and get the write-offs (deductions) that are due you. A tax accountant experienced in intellectual properties may not be easy to locate in your local neighborhood. But here is a simple method to find one. Check around your community and find several successful creative persons who are doing well in their business: musicians, filmmakers, software developers, artists, songwriters, photographers, etc.

Call each one and ask who they use for their accounting and tax work. After awhile, the same name will keep cropping up. He is your man (or woman). –RE


05 May, 2010 | Posted by: photosource



Appeals Court Apologizes for Unrepentant IRS


An egregious example of bureaucratic imperiousness...

According to a former Internal Revenue Service commissioner,
some of the agency’s employees “need more training on how to be courteous.” Would it were that simple. Unfortunately, the problem is worse; the top brass want their staffers to take no prisoners and, like that Edith Piaf song, have no regrets.

For more information:
http://www.silverplanet.com/money/tax/appeals-court-apologizes-unrepentant-irs/56672


Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com



28 Apr, 2010 | Posted by: photosource



SMALL BUSINESSES GET FASTER WRITE-OFFS

WITH FIRST-YEAR EXPENSING DEDUCTIONS.



There are two ways for small businesses to write off their outlays for equipment purchases
such as computers and file cabinets. One is to use the "standard" route to recover the cost through depreciation deductions over a period of years. The other is the often-overlooked tactic of "expensing" authorized by Internal Revenue Code Section 179. It allows them to deduct the entire cost of the equipment in the year of purchase. The immediate write-off and resulting tax trimming benefits businesses battered by the recession.

Let’s say equipment purchases include $10,000 for computers, copiers and the like. Instead of depreciating that equipment over five years, they can be immediately expensed. A $10,000 write-off lowers taxes by $3,000 for individuals in a top federal and state bracket of 30 percent.

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Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com




21 Apr, 2010 | Posted by: photosource



PROFIT FROM PAYING YOUR KIDS. Do your children help out with your business? Could they? A savvy way to take care of their allowances at the expense of the IRS is to pay them wages for work they do. Hiring them keeps income in the family but shifts some out of your higher bracket and into their lower one.

Of course, deductions for their wages stand up under IRS scrutiny only if you treat them as real employees performing real work and receiving reasonable wages — not more than the going rate for unrelated employees performing comparable chores like clerical work or deliveries.

The children are liable for income taxes on their wages. But children’s earnings are offset by their standard deduction — for 2010, $5,700, a figure that’s scheduled to increase in later years.

There’s an additional carrot. Code Section 3121(b)(3)(A) allows you to sidestep Social Security and Medicare taxes on wages paid to under-age-18 sons or daughters, provided you do business as (1) a sole proprietorship (IRS lingo for the lone owner of a full-time or part-time business that’s not formed as a corporation or partnership) or (2) a husband-wife partnership. To put it another way: This exemption doesn’t apply to a family business that’s incorporated or a partnership with a partner other than a spouse.

Write-offs for wages enable self-employeds to save more than just income taxes. They also reduce self-employment taxes owed for 2010 on the first $106,800 of net (receipts minus expenses) earnings.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Julian Block, an attorney in Larchmont, N.Y., has been cited as “a leading tax professional” (New York Times) and "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal). His books include "Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers And Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum," praised by law professor James Edward Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Photographers writers and artists would be well advised to buy this book.” It is available at www.julianblocktaxexpert.com


14 Apr, 2010 | Posted by: photosource





DID YOU MISS FORM 1040'S FILING DEADLINE?


Were you late with your taxes this year? That can prove costly. The law authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to impose hefty, nondeductible penalties if you submitted your 1040 form after the deadline of Monday, April 17 (the 15th fell on a Saturday) and did not obtain a six-month automatic extension that moves the deadline back to Monday, Oct. 16 (the 15th falls on a Sunday).
How much is the penalty going to cost you? Generally, the late-filing penalty is 5% of the balance due (the amount on line 75 of the 1040 form) for each month that return is late, up to a maximum of 25%. The IRS calculates the penalty after subtracting taxes previously paid - most commonly, through withholding from your salary and your estimated payments.
And there's more. Another rule applies if your return is at least 60 days late. The late-filing penalty is at least $100 or the balance due with the return, whichever is the lesser figure. That means the IRS does not exact a late-filing penalty when there is no balance due.
And now the good news. There are times when the agency will forget about penalties for late filings or payments. To induce the tax collectors to undo an overdue-return penalty, you have to persuade them that there was "reasonable cause" for your tardiness.
So what cause is reasonable? The government's list of acceptable excuses includes a serious illness or death in your immediate family, postal delays, wrong advice from IRS employees, agency tardiness in providing tax forms and instructions, and the destruction of your home, photography studio or records as the result of a fire, other casualty or civil disturbance.
But what if you just don't have the money? The lack of sufficient cash to settle the tab at filing time, even if you are able to demonstrate that, is not reasonable cause that will relieve you of a penalty.
The IRS treats a 1040 form as filed on the date it is mailed to the IRS. That's more good news if you made it to the post office before midnight of April 17. Assuming there is no reasonable cause, you may qualify for relief under what is known as the "timely mailed, timely filed" rule. The agency will not assess the usual penalty against a taxpayer whose return is mailed by the filing deadline, even if it is delayed or lost in the mails.
But expect no clemency for a return for 2005 that is mailed after April 17. Worse yet, a late mailing can turn out to be considerably more expensive than you might think if there is a delay of some sort in the mail delivery.
The IRS computes the late-filing penalty for a delinquent return from the date it is received, not the date mailed. The difference between a postmark of April 17 and April 18 can mean an extra 5% penalty if the return is delayed for as little as one extra day.
This was underscored in a dispute involving a return that was due on the usual April 15, but not mailed until May 14, just under a month late, and not received until May 19, a bit over one month late. The IRS said the penalty should be 10% rather than 5%, and the United States Tax Court agreed.


Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, vi sit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com.






07 Apr, 2010 | Posted by: photosource




More Time to File Form 1040
And if you owe, it's usually easy to arrange installment payments
By Julian Block


For most people, this year’s deadline for filing Form 1040 is Thursday, April 15. Miss the deadline and you could get slapped with a substantial, nondeductible penalty.

Generally, the penalty is 5% of the balance due (the amount that remains unpaid after subtractions for taxes previously paid through withholdings from wages during 2009 and payments of estimated payments) for each month, or portion of a month, that a 1040 is late.

The maximum penalty is 25% of the balance due—a truly steep charge. On a balance due of, say, $10,000, that works out to $500 a month. The penalty can reach as much as $2,500 when more than four months elapse before your return reaches the Internal Revenue Service.

Sometimes, the IRS will forget about a late-filing penalty.
The agency will waive the penalty only if you can convince it that the delay was “due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.” An example: You’re unable to complete the return by the deadline because your residence, place of business, or records are destroyed by fire, flood, civil disturbance, burglary, or other casualty. Another acceptable excuse is the death or acute illness of an immediate family member or your own serious illness.

What if you don’t have sufficient cash on hand to pay the balance due at filing time? Even if you’re able to prove it, that isn’t reasonable cause that will relieve you of the penalty.

There’s no problem if you need extra time to complete your return or just to avoid the late-filing penalty. It’s easy to obtain a six-month automatic filing extension, moving the deadline back to Friday, October 15. By April 15, submit simple-to-complete Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return), available at IRS.gov, or file it by phone (call toll-free 888-796-1074 ), with computer tax preparation software, or through a tax professional.

Form 4868 extends only the time to turn in Form 1040, not the time to pay any taxes owed. While the IRS doesn’t require payment by April 15 of the tax you estimate as due, failing to do so means you’ll owe nondeductible interest, which runs until payment of the tax. It makes no difference that you had a good reason for not paying on time; you’ll still owe interest. Moreover, you might be assessed a nondeductible late-payment penalty on the unpaid tax. When you finally file your return, be sure to enter any extension-related payment on Line 68 of Form 1040 as "amount paid with request for extension to file."

The IRS relaxes the rules for those who are unable to fully pay the balance due by April 15. Usually, it’s easy to arrange for partial payments in installments by submission of Form 9465 (Installment Agreement Request). It allows you to request a monthly payment plan and specify the amounts you can pay each month and the monthly due date.

State tax returns: Some states accept Form 4868 for extending their due date; some require their own extension forms. Check the rules of the state in which you have to file returns, including the penalties for any underpayments of taxes.



Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Mini mum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit http://www.julianblocktaxexpert.com





31 Mar, 2010 | Posted by: photosource



GET UNMISTAKEABLE -- The 7 Common Tax Mistakes Made By Photographers - Nobody likes, or needs, an IRS audit. Here’s a talk with Matthew Whatley, the "Tax Ninja," in his office in San Francisco. Here are the most common tax mistakes made by photographers. SOURCE: http://blog.photoshelter.com/2010/03/the-7-common-tax-mistakes-made-by-photographers.html

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There’s Free Filing Help for Seniors

Free, but not necessarily perfect

By Julian Block


The Internal Revenue Service sponsors a Tax Counseling for the Elderly program during the filing season. A key participant in this nationwide program is the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). It offers AARP Tax-Aide, a tax assistance and preparation program, at approximately 6,500 sites.

AARP says that its 34,600 volunteers have trained with IRS materials and been certified by an IRS examination. These counselors can help with most tax circumstances faced by low- and moderate-income taxpayers and put special emphasis on those age 60 and older. To find an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer site in your community, call 888-227-7669 (888-AARPNOW) or visit the Tax-Aide Web site.

Free help, but not necessarily perfect: AARP counselors and volunteers in other organizations prepare nearly 3.5 million returns annually. Like accountants, attorneys, financial planners, and other paid preparers, volunteers make lots of mistakes, says the Government Accountability Office, which reports to Congress on the operations of the IRS and other offices of the federal government. A GAO audit of volunteer programs concluded that the accuracy rate was just 59%. But volunteers did much better on the IRS’s own, larger sampling, which found that the accuracy rate was 79%.

IRS publications: Another way the IRS helps seniors and other taxpayers is with its nearly 100 publications and other tax material. IRS publications provide considerably more information about specific situations than is included in the instructions that accompany returns.

There’s even a publication listing all the publications. Publication 910, Guide to Free Tax Services, identifies the many IRS tax materials and services available to you and how, when, and where you can get them.

For instance, Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, can help you prepare your Form 1040. This 300-page publication takes you step-by-step through each part of the return.

The agency’s annual bestseller extensively covers such items as how to report income from salaries; dividends from mutual funds and individual stocks; interest; withdrawals from IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans; and social security benefits; and whether to itemize your outlays for mortgage interest payments, donations to charities and the like or to take the standard deduction, the flat amount based mostly on filing status and age that you automatically get without having to itemize your spending. The tax manual’s front section highlights the latest tax law changes so that you can take them into account before filling out your return.

Other helpful guides for seniors focus on specific subjects. They include Publications 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled; 554, Tax Guide for Seniors; and 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements.

Free copies of publications are available by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) or downloading from IRS.gov. Publications are also available at most local IRS offices and at other community locations like libraries and city and county government offices.

For more on the pluses and minuses of IRS publications and free advice, see the discussion under "Getting Help from the IRS: Free Advice Comes with a Price" in "Tax Tips for Small Businesses: Savvy Ways to Trim Taxes to the Legal Minimum," available at http://www.JulianBlockTaxExpert.com









Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com



23 Mar, 2010 | Posted by: photosource



Tax Facts for Freelancers



In these tough times, it becomes more important than ever for freelancers to familiarize themselves with steps that can keep their taxes to a minimum - and, of course, keep them out of legal trouble.
To help subscribers take year-round advantage of legitimate tax breaks while not running afoul of the rules, we offer some tips from our tax columnist, Julian Block.
If you have general tax questions you'd like Julian to address in this column, please send them directly to him. If you need additional information or guidance in specific areas, you should contact the IRS or consult your personal tax advisor.


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Julian Block, a former IRS agent and a tax attorney, is the author of "The Stock Photographer's Tax Guide." For details on how to purchase this important 32-page publication: http://www.photosource.com/taxtips.php . Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com .

Question: I have two agents, one for assignments and another for stock photography. At filing time, they both send me 1099 forms, and I understand that copies also go to the IRS; these show what they've sent me during the year in terms of advances, royalties, and other payments related to my books. But they do different kinds of bookkeeping!
One agent's 1099 lists the gross (full) amount she received from the publisher as my income; that is, she doesn't allow for the commission subtracted by her up front before sending a check for the balance to me. The other one handles things differently; his 1099 lists only the net (after commission) payment he actually sent to me. How should I handle these payments on my return? I know I have to report the income, but I'm not sure which figures to report!

Answer: Let consistency be your guide. The amount of income you declare should be consistent with the figures shown on your 1099 forms. Otherwise, the IRS computers might go bananas, with unpleasant consequences.
When it comes to monies you receive via an agent, what you should declare depends on whether the agent submits a 1099 form for you that shows the gross amount (total paid by the publisher) or the net amount (amount actually paid to you after the agent's commission is deducted).
If the 1099 filed by the agent lists the gross, then that's the figure you should include in totaling your income to come up with your gross on line 1 of your Schedule C -- and remember to include the agent's commission, which is deductible on the line for commissions and fees, line 10. Does the 1099 filed by the agent list the net amount? Then, you should use that amount in arriving at your gross income figure -- and you should not deduct the commission on line 10, since it's already been subtracted from the income figure.
To make it perfectly clear, here's an example. Say your agent receives a check from your stock agency in the amount of $50,000, deducts the 15 percent commission of $7500, and sends you a check for $42,500. After that year's end, you receive a 1099 form that shows $50,000. You should include the full $50,000 in your reported gross income on line 1 and deduct $7500 commission on line 10. If, on the other hand, the 1099 shows only the amount actually sent to you, $42,500, you should include only $42,500 on line 1 -- and deduct nothing on line 10. Either way, you pay tax on only the $42,500; either way, the serenity of the IRS computers will be preserved.

Question: I photograph for several magazines. One magazine's 1099 form reports not only the fees they paid me during the year in question, but also includes sums that compensated me for out-of-pocket expenses. Of course this doesnt agree with my records: I don't count those payouts as expenses, since I know that I'm going to get them back -- and I don't count expense checks as income, either; it's just a wash.
Suppose I receive a 1099 form that shows $2587.53, which actually includes a $2500 payment for an article and $87.53 worth of reimbursement for telephone calls. It doesn't make sense that I'd have to include the latter amount in totaling my income for line 1 on Schedule C, since it wasn't income.

Answer: Contrary to what many photographers (and other self-employed people) mistakenly believe, it's not "just a wash." This is much like the prior situation, with payments from agents; again, you should make sure your return reflects the consistency that will keep the IRS computers in a calm, unagitated state.
You should include in your line 1 total the full amount shown by the magazine, $2587.53. Then, as with the agent's commission, count the $87.53 among your deductible business expenses, since you should not be paying taxes on it.
Question: A university asked to reprint one of my magazine articles in its alumni publication. I gave permission without asking for any payment. Since this is an educational institution, can I take a charitable contribution deduction equal to the fee I would have asked of a commercial publisher? Do I need a letter from the school? If so, what should it say?
Answer: Sorry, a letter won't help. You are not allowed any deduction.




Julian Block, an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com



17 Mar, 2010 | Posted by: photosource






Can You Use Schedule E

To Report Your Stock Photo Sales?




Q:

“This tax season, I’m going to report my stock photo sales not as income on the standard Schedule C, but as royalties on Schedule E.” a subscriber E-mailed me.
She said, “You can skip paying the 15.3% self employment tax, which consists of 2.9% Medicare and 12.4% Social Security. ”
Here at PhotoStockNotes, we're not ones to pass up a juicy opportunity to give our readers an insider insight on how you can avoid taxes (avoiding is legal, whereas evading is illegal!). So I ran this concept by our crack tax adviser, Julian Block, who has a string of best-selling tax books to his credit, writes a syndicated tax column and is also a former IRS attorney and investigator .
"You could land in the deepest of tax doo-doo," was his comment. Why? "The IRS looks unkindly on photographers and other self-employed who try to escape self-employment tax. Perhaps we have a case of semantics here. Yes, the word ‘royalties’ is used on Schedule E, and yes, the IRS defines royalties as ‘payment for intangible properties’ (e.g., books and artistic works, which would include photos) but the IRS insists that royalties for creative efforts be reported on Schedule C, making that income subject to self-employment tax."
Royalties from your coal, oil, or gas sites are reported on Schedule E. "You are playing the ‘audit lottery’ if you report stock photo sales as royalties on Schedule E. True, you might never be discovered, but should you be, expect to be hit with a hefty bill for back taxes, interest, and penalties." As Julian Block advises, Schedule C is the place to report stock photo income. The bad news is that you'll be subject to self-employment tax. The good news is that 1) you'll also be contributing to your social security benefits for your time of retirement, and 2) you'll qualify to shelter some of your income with deductible contributions to retirement plans.


Julian Block,an attorney in Larchmont, NY, has been cited as a "leading tax professional" (New York Times), "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Tax Tips For Small Businesses: Savvy Ways For Stock Photographers, Artists and Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum,” praised by law professor James E. Maule of Villanova University as "An easy-to-read and well-organized explanation of the tax rules. Business owners would be well advised to buy this book." To order his books, visit www.julianblocktaxexpert.com.



10 Mar, 2010 | Posted by: photosource



FILING -- Should you file electronically? Electronic filing was first introduced in 1990 and turns 20 this year. When you file a return manually, most of the information has to be scanned or manually keyed in by an IRS employee. In their own studies the IRS found that they themselves made mistakes on 20 percent of the returns that were processed manually compared to under 1% on electronically filed returns.
SOURCE: Kevin Reeth ; (www.outright.com)

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The standard deduction was originally designed to be a no-brainer. No longer. It is a particularly unfortunate example of how our tax laws have become too complicated for the average person

Take the Standard Deduction or Itemize?
Many of you who are about to file returns for 2009 want advice on whether to claim the standard deduction or to itemize outlays like mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Itemizing pays off only when total itemized deductions surpass the standard deduction.
The normal standard deduction amounts are $11,400 for joint filers, $8,350 for heads of household, and $5,700 for married persons filing separately and singles. Couples who file separate returns must handle their deductions the same way; if one spouse itemizes, so must the other.


Julian Block, a former IRS agent and a tax attorney, is the author of “The Stock Photographer’s Tax Guide 2006.” For details on how to purchase this important 52-page publication: http://www.photosource.com/taxtips.php . For Julian’s tax saving and tax planning reports, go to http://www.photosource.com/products and click on “2009 Tax Tip Guides.” Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com phone: 1 914 834 3227 fax: 914 834. http://www.julianblocktaxexpert.com



02 Mar, 2010 | Posted by: photosource




Question: Can I deduct money spent for a subscription to PhotoStockNotes/Plus or for post cards, maps, books or for magazines purchased at a newsstand for pre-shooting research? These are not magazines that I’m now photographing for, but magazines that I expect to photograph for. And if I can: Where on Form 1040 do I list those deductions?

Answer: The law allows you to deduct business-related publications, such as PhotoStockNOTES/Plus, books, newsletters, maps, etc. . These publications are are in that category.
Like your other photographing expenses, you claim them on Schedule C (Profit or Loss From Business) on Form 1040.


julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com phone: 1 914 834 3227 fax: 914 834 3227

Julian Block, a former IRS agent and a tax attorney, is the author of “The Stock Photographer’s Tax Guide ” For details on how to purchase this important 52-page publication: http://www.photosource.com/taxtips.php . For Julian’s tax saving and tax planning reports, go to http://www.photosource.com/products and click on “2009 Tax Tip Guides.” Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com . http://www.julianblocktaxexpert.com



24 Feb, 2010 | Posted by: photosource




Social Event or Networking?


Question:
I went to a get-together with some fellow photographers. There wasn’t a speaker; it was more of a social event. But I see it as networking with my professional colleagues, and most of the talk was about work-related issues. Can I take a business-expense deduction for the cost of getting there? How about my cash contribution to the refreshments for the group?

Answer:
The event does qualify. You're entitled to claim the entire cost of round-trip travel between your home and block, the party's site. For travel by bus, train, or taxi, just keep track of your fares and claim them as business expenses; for auto travel, you can claim actual expenses or a standard mileage allowance. That standard allowance for tax year 2009 is 55cents a mile. Whether you claim actual expenses or use the mileage allowance, remember to deduct parking fees and bridge, tunnel and turnpike tolls that you pay while you are on business, too.
When you travel away from home on business, you should keep records of all the expenses you have.. You can use a log, diary, notebook, or any other written record to keep track of your expenses.
Can you deduct meals ? Yes, in most cases. Go here to find out the rulrs: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch01.html#en_US_publink100033781

SOURCE: Government publications and Julian Block, Esq.

Julian Block, a former IRS agent and a tax attorney, is the author of “The Stock Photographer’s Tax Guide 2006.” For details on how to purchase this important 52-page publication: http://www.photosource.com/taxtips.php . For Julian’s tax saving and tax planning reports, go to http://www.photosource.com/products and click on “2009 Tax Tip Guides.” Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com . http://www.julianblocktaxexpert.com phone: 1 914 834 3227 fax: 914 834 3227



03 Feb, 2010 | Posted by: photosource




TAX PLANNING


Back in 1947, tax planning was something that concerned only the wealthy. That year, taxpayers received often-quoted words of encouragement from Judge Hand: "Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich and poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands; taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant."

Nowadays, financial planning throughout the year, with an eye particularly on taxes, is not just for the wealthy. Advance planning is also rewarding for most middle income individuals.
TIP. Spend a few hours plotting how to choose and implement your year-end strategies, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover how many IRS-blessed opportunities there are to save on your taxes for this year and even gain a head start on next year. For example, it may be advantageous to buy computer supplies, printer ink or darkroom supplies in advance to reduce your net profit for this year. The main thing is to act before December 31 while there is still time to take advantage of tax angles that can generate a dramatic savings if you understand how to get the full benefit of what the law allows. Once beyond December 31, it is too late to do anything but fill out your tax forms, except for a possible contribution to a traditional IRA or a Keogh.

Julian Block, a former IRS agent and tax attorney, is the author of "Julian Block's Tax Avoidance Secrets" ($29.95 p&h included, 560 pgs. Mention you are a PhotoStockNotes subscriber and receive the book for $19.95. Julian Block, 3 Washington Sq, Larchmont NY 10538-2032). Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com.



22 Dec, 2009 | Posted by: photosource



AVOIDING TAXES -- Expert Advice on Taxes - Tips for Reducing Your Taxes . SOURCE: www.pdnonline.com. CPA Robyn Cohn
http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content_display/features/pdn-online/e3i96949e983b3a97e2f678ced056cac9c2


17 Nov, 2009 | Posted by: photosource



TAX FIGHT
-- - A once-thriving family business in WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - is on the verge of shutting down, and its owners are virtually broke, after spending years fighting the North Carolina State Department of Revenue over an audit they believe was full of errors. In 2005, Tammy Webster and her husband were living their dream. They owned a successful marketing firm called Webster Design Group. But all of that changed when, in 2005, the N.C. Department of Revenue sent a letter saying the company was being audited. The audit ruled the small business owed $600,000 in taxes. "We knew immediately there was something wrong," said Webster. Over the next two years, the Websters fought back, believing serious errors were made in the audit. Those errors included counting invoices more than once, including a single photography invoice four times, Webster said. SOURCE: Chad Tucker , FOX8 News


09 Sep, 2009 | Posted by: photosource




Educate Yourself

For Tax Planning



By Julian Block Esq.



Are you a stock photographer who doesn't want to pay
any more to the IRS than you have to, legally?


Keeping good records is the key to mapping out strategies that you can use year after year to trim taxes. But organizing that ever-growing accumulation of records in your desk drawers, closets, and other storage spaces is just the first step for effective tax planning.

Educating yourself on the current tax opportunities and pitfalls can be an important second step. Ideally, you should be equipped to weigh the tax consequences before you make decisions on whether to invest, borrow or spend.

In these increasingly tough times, it is more vital than ever that stock photographers assume greater responsibility for their financial future. They ought not to rely exclusively on paid advisers to keep on top of tax-law changes or other legislation that might make it necessary to revise their plans. At the very least, photographers should be knowledgeable enough to raise good questions and evaluate answers when they deal with a professional tax advisor. Keep up with the times. The informed client gets the best advice.

COMMUNITY TAX HELP


On a personal note, JFK was president when I first passed a bar exam. Eight presidents later, I still am constantly contacted by individuals seeking to disentangle themselves from problems created by their blind reliance on flawed advice from highly paid professionals. That is why I recommend photographers sign up for low-cost adult education courses on taxes, investing and other aspects of personal finance.

Photographers can pick from an array of continuing education courses tailored to their interest, that are available at high schools, community colleges and the like. These courses are typically taught by attorneys, CPAs and financial planners — individuals with hands-on experience who are able to provide helpful, unbiased advice.

What is particularly advantageous is that the courses make it possible for photographers to pick the brains of qualified instructors at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost to meet them on a one-to-one basis.

An example: In my near-New-York-City neck of the woods, the going hourly rate for tax lawyers commonly is several hundred dollars and up, whereas students generally pay about $40 at the adult ed places that offer my two-hour sessions on narrowly focused topics.

Another decided advantage is that you and other attendees get to ask questions about significant events in your financial lives. Some of the queries regularly fielded by me and my fellow instructors: the tax-right way to open, operate, or close business ventures; the tax and other legal consequences of getting hitched or unhitched; when and how much to remove from traditional IRAs or other tax-deferred retirement plans; and whether to make lifetime gifts of money and other kinds of property to family members, or to leave the assets to them.

Also, you learn money-saving techniques that you can apply yourself, or, should you decide to seek professional help, test out on your advisers. And, conceivably, those advisers might turn out to be your instructors, whom you’ve had an excellent chance to evaluate.

Should some kinds of courses be shunned? Unquestionably, in my experience.


The adage that there is no free lunch is particularly apt when it comes to no-charge seminars sponsored by brokerage houses, insurance companies, etc. Far too often, these outf its use the talks mainly as marketing tools to promote (1) themselves, (2) dubious investment vehicles and other products designed to generate lucrative commissions for themselves and dismal returns for their clients, or (3) all of the above.



Julian Block, a former IRS agent and a tax attorney, is the author of "The 2009 Stock Photographer's Tax Guide." For details on how to purchase this important 32-page publication: http://www.photosource.com/taxtips.php . For Julian’s tax saving and tax planning reports, go to http://www.photosource.com/products and click on “2009 Tax Tip Guides.” Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com .




29 Jul, 2009 | Posted by: photosource




WRONG STEPS – The Worst Photography Tax Stories - Taxes are a nightmare at the best of times. Some photographers though have found that the tax authorities can be particularly mean, landing them with some unexpected bills of eye-watering sizes - and for some very odd reasons.
http://blogs.photopreneur.com/the-worst-photography-tax-stories
TAKEAWAY: A good time to remind you of Julian block’s 2009 Tax Report for Stock Photographers. https://www.photosource.com/cart/taxtips.php

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Note:
Information in this article was compiled by Rohn Engh from qualified tax sources, with special help from Julian Block, Esq.


OK …So You Need Some Tax Advice.


As a stock photographer, and a businessperson, you’re bound to have some crucial tax questions come into your life as you move along in your career.
Rather than having to madly flip through the Yellow Pages the moment a T-crisis comes up, let me give you some options where you can spend less time and pay the least for the best advice.
I know that’s a difficult situation to be in, so I’ll line up your options for you.
While things are calm and cool, right now, you can get a handle on what to anticipate.
Stash this article somewhere, and then when the IRS bolt strikes, pull it out of your file drawer and move forward, confidently.

Here goes.

Steps to take when you need answers to crucial tax questions;

1.) Yes, try the Yellow Pages to find a tax advisor, but ask for references. Tax advisor fees can range from $50 per hour (Pumpkin Center, Iowa—yes, there is an advantage of living out here in farm country) or $700 if you’re living in Westchester, NY. No kidding. But again, ask for references. Go to the Yellow Pages AND ask around. Ask around to whom? when? for what?

2.)
At any time just to get some info, take a community college course. There are usually several titles to choose from, ranging from trimming your taxes to personal finance and investing in the stock market.

3.) Go to a free lunch seminar. Usually 15 people attend, at a local Holiday Inn. The quality of lunched served telegraphs the quality of the seminar. If you get a hot dog in a white box, -well.

4.)
If you check with Uncle Henry or the neighbor down the street who used to work for H&R Block, be sure to ask “when” they worked there. Nina Olson, of the “National Taxpayer Advocate,” in her recent report to Congress, said that IRS code changes have averaged one per day over the last 8 years. If Uncle Henry hasn’t worked in the Tax Advice field for a couple of years, he might have missed those more than 600 IRS changes.

5.) Utilize free telephone advice. You can call the IRS Help Desk 1 800 829 1040 and ask a question. (Don’t call on a Monday or a Friday. The lines are usually clogged. As far as the accuracy of the answer from the person the other end of the line, it’s not guaranteed, but it might point you in the right direction to know what to ask as you move further down this list.

6.) Internet advice sites will give you reasonably accurate information. First of all, the Tax Expert doesn’t know w\to whom they are talking (This is a security strategy of the service. No one is committed to a follow- up so you can be reasonably sure you’re getting some objective answers.) If you want a follow- up, there’s a “next stage” charge to your credit card. A good place to check out is Just Answer.com. I’ve tried it for a medical question and was satisfied.

7.) Telephone Counseling. The one I can recommend is a handholding telephone
service that describes itself as “Your Personal Adviser.” It’s called “Keen.” One of our colleagues, Julian Block, is a tax advisor for Keen, and comes from a background as an IRS agent and tax attorney, also familiar with the nature of stock photography. He was one of the first tax advisors recruited by Keen when it was established in 2000. (And if you read my book, “Sell&ReSell Your Photos,” you will recognize my referral to Julian Block in the chapter on Taxes, Chap 16. Keen allows visitors to check their advisors’ backgrounds and their ratings by previous customers. What does the Keen service cost? Depending on the complexity of your call, you might get by with $50 for a short telephone visit, up to several hundred dollars. But remember, the call night save you thousands.

To contact KEEN –go to www.keen.com , or call –800-ASK-KEEN (275-5336) .
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Rohn Engh is the best-selling author of “Sell & ReSell Your Photos” and “sellphotos.com.” He has produced a new eCourse, “How to Market Your Photos.” For more information and to receive a free eReport: “8 Steps to Becoming a Published Photographer,” visit http://www.sellphotos.com

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Julian Block, a former IRS agent and a tax attorney, is the author of "The 2009 Stock Photographer's Tax Guide." For details on how to purchase this important 32-page publication: http://www.photosource.com/taxtips.php. Julian can be reached at julianblock[at]yahoo[dot]com .



05 May, 2009 | Posted by: photosource





Six Steps to Taking Control of Your Back Taxes



http://taxes.about.com/od/taxtrouble/a/back_taxes.htm


22 Apr, 2009 | Posted by: photosource



THE TRUE COST -- What Your Tax Return Can Teach You About Your Photography Business -
http://rising.blackstar.com/what-your-tax-return-can-teach-you-about-your-photography-business.html


15 Apr, 2009 | Posted by: photosource




There’s Still Time !



click here
http://www.photosource.com/TaxTipQandA.pdf

1.) Take this report* to your accountant –
2.) He/she will probably not be aware of tax deductions
that a stock photographer can take. (We’re talking
intellectual properties, here.)
3.) Buy a new computer with the tax savings. . .


Late filing? Want to make a correction on
already filed taxes? This report*will show you how.



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Recent advice by Julian block as it appeared recently in the New York Times


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/business/retirementspecial/02TAX.html?_r=1&emc=eta1


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* Julian Block’s 2009 Tax Tip Guide for Stock Photographers





08 Apr, 2009 | Posted by: photosource



There’s Still Time !



click here

http://www.photosource.com/TaxTipQandA.pdf

1.) Take this report* to your accountant –
2.) He/she will probably not be aware of tax deductions
that a stock photographer can take. (We’re talking
intellectual properties, here.)
3.) Buy a new computer with the tax savings. . .


Late filing? Want to make a correction on
already filed taxes? This report*will show you how.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Recent advice by Julian block as it appeared recently in the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/business/retirementspecial/02TAX.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
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* Julian Block’s 2009 Tax Tip Guide for Stock Photographers



01 Apr, 2009 | Posted by: photosource



Your Stock Photography…

Is it A Hobby, Or a Business…?


Learn how you can pay for your equipment
when it becomes a deduction.

Click here . . .
http://www.photosource.com/TaxTipQandA.pdf