Filing Your Taxes as a Freelance Artist

So 2016 was my first year being self-employed! It has definitely been tougher than I thought it was going to be but so rewarding.

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 4.35.09 PM.png

There are pros & cons to being self-employed vs. working for someone else but that would be in another post.

This post refers to artists in the United States as I am aware there are people worldwide reading this blog.

Note: I am not a tax professional and I am only speaking on my experience.

There are so many things I didn’t realize I had to do as a Freelance Makeup Artist. It almost kind of slapped me in the face and I was not prepared at all. Being a freelancer can be frustrating at times but in the end it is all worth it. So let me share with you everything I learned thus far.

You should be putting aside money throughout the year to pay your taxes. That is such a crucial point because you need to be prepared to pay your taxes if you end up owing the IRS. I went to a tax professional at HR Block to only realize that having my taxes done there would cost me a few hundred dollars. I also realized that even though I’ve been keeping track of my expenses, I didn’t categorize them so I knew it was going to take me forever to go back. I wish I would have looked at a Schedule C Form before. This is what you’ll be using to file your taxes if you are a freelancer. On the Schedule C Form on the Part 2 section you’ll see all the categories for your business expenses. So throughout the year you should categorize all your expenses.

To save myself some money I decided to do my taxes myself using TurboTax. They are so easy to use and since I have used them before they have all my information saved so they save me a lot of time. When you file your taxes as self-employed TurboTax will let you use Quickbooks for free! This was such a gamechanger…so currently I am using Quickbooks and it is quite simple and easy to use. When you connect all your bank and credit card accounts, it allows you to categorize your income and expenses. You can even upload your receipts! So far I am loving it!

I wish I had kept a better track of all my miles. Whenever you travel for a job/client you should mark exactly how many miles & keep a log of it. I found an app, MileIQ, that helps you keep track of all your miles. It allows you to classify them as personal or business. I wish I had heard of this app sooner!  However after I started using Quickbooks, I learned that Quickbooks offers the same tool as MileIQ for no additional cost.

So when it comes to your taxes just take a deep breath, keep organized & I’ll share more tips as we go along 🙂

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me <3