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'Tis The Season To Wrap Up
Records For Your 2011 Taxes

 
By Johnny George
Voice Actor

The year is coming to a close as we try to keep up with voice work, family celebrations, church, company parties and - oh yes - closing out our 2011 tax year.

If you are a serious, full-time voice actor, I certainly hope you are itemizing. 
 
In fact, I hope you have a CPA who is collecting all the right pieces of paperwork and advising you to spend whatever profit you made on your business to increase your deductions. 
 
GOOD RECORDS COUNT
 
You do have a lot of deductions, right? You saved all your receipts and categorized every legal deduction, correct?
 
Boy, I hope so.
 
Do you need any new equipment for your studio? New mic, headphones, software or a new comfy chair?
 
Have you been keeping all those receipts when you take clients or business associates to lunch or dinner? 
 
TAX DEDUCTION DEADLINE
 
Saturday, Dec. 31, is your deadline for spending any monies off the top before you declare what you made in 2011.
 
Granted, my company is incorporated for tax and liability reasons, and that is why I need a CPA to keep all those thousands of new IRS rules in check, with full knowledge of what you can and cannot deduct. 
 
In fact, since I started a promotion business in 1978, I've had a CPA guiding me and keeping me honest. 
 
NO CASH, PLEASE
 
I declare all the income I make. And no, I  don't take cash. 
 
It makes it so much easier to keep my records straight and honest.

COLLECT OUTSTANDING $$$

This is also the time to remind clients that their outstanding balances need to be paid for before year's end. 
 
Blame it on your CPA if they give you any grief. 

Of course, in our practical world, many agencies pay at 90 days or have the "I-can't-pay-you-until-they-pay-me" syndrome. 
 
Go with the flow and they, in turn, slow down your income collecting machine.
 
But the end of the year push is understood by all.
 
REINVEST YOUR INCOME
 
If it's on the books, it's income. So you might as well spend it on something within your business to reinvest and shelter your income.
 
It only makes cents - uh, sense.  

ABOUT JOHNNY ... 

Johnny George is a versatile and engaging 35-plus-year veteran voice actor with an ISDN-equipped Pro Tools studio. He specializes in creative audio for commercial, business marketing and multimedia applications.  

Email: vo@johnnygeorge.com
Web: www.johnnygeorge.com

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Comments (3)
Bob Richards
11/28/2011 at 3:35 PM
Johnny, you're my hero!
Bobbin Beam
11/28/2011 at 11:20 AM
Johnny, thanks for the excellent article. Good record-keeping is critical for all business owners. I've been working with my CPA since 1994, and I always do tax planning with him during the first week of December. You MUST know your numbers!
All The Best,
Bobbin Beam, Voice Actress
Lisa Rice
11/28/2011 at 7:36 AM
Thanks for the reminders, Johnny!
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