Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide specific tax advice and should be used as a guideline to help encourage you to seek professional tax services.
First and foremost, legally, you -have- to claim all of your wages that you made in the last year. However, most dancers do not. Don’t think that you can escape the IRS though. Everything that you deposit into your bank account or major purchases will be tracked to you and it will catch up with you.
Over the last year, you should have kept your receipts for shoes, make-up and mileage to and from the club.
What’s that? You didn’t keep track? No problem. Here are some easy tips to help you figure out what sort of deductions you can claim this year on your taxes and how to get them ready for the CPA of your choice.
Find a random shoe box and begin accumulating the following items for your Tax Professional.
* Cash – If you didn’t keep any receipts for make up, shoes, or jewelry purchases there is pretty much no way you can claim a deduction for those items if you paid cash. Any time you purchase -anything- from the costume lady, ask for a receipt. Even if they give you a funny look, feel good about being smart with your money. If you happen to find some random receipts stuffed in a drawer or in a old Mac bag, add those to your shoe box.
* Debit/Credit Card Purchases – You should be receiving monthly statements from your bank or Creditor. Go through those to find purchases made local and online that were for your stripping business. Highlight those items with a highlighter pen and put with any receipts you found.
* The next time you go into work, figure out what the mileage is and calculate an average of how many shifts per week you worked over the last year (all of 2009). For example:
If the club is 10 miles away, that’s 20 miles round trip. You worked 3 shifts on average per week, times 52 weeks equals 156 shifts. You then times 156 by the 20 miles and that equals 3,120 miles. Just write that down on a piece of paper and place in box.
* If you traveled out of state to work, your airfare is deductible as well as hotel and other expenses. Your CPA will be able to tell you exactly what you can deduct for business travels.
At the end of your gathering, just take the shoe box to your CPA appointment.
Preparing all year for the inevitable tax season can make a huge difference for your stripping business and your purse.