Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tire Pressure + Taxes

{It Doesn't Have to Be That Hard}

Last night on the way home from the studio I recalibrated the pressure in the tires of our truck. I was ever so pleased with myself. But the truth is it wasn't that hard; it just required a quick reference to the owner's manual, the use of a brass pressure gauge my dad gave me for my birthday last year and a trip to the air pump at the gas station.  It is what Responsible Able-Bodied Farmgirls Know How To Do, says my mummy, with whom I consult on all such matters.  And since 2009 was the first year I was self-employed as a full-time painter, she urged me to tackle my now infinitely-more complicated taxes with the same pragmatism and can-do attitude.  Riiight.

We all know that the keeping of receipts and the documentation of sales is important. And that the brewing of strong tea and the discovery of a Moe's Bacon Bar in the cupboard is crucial. 

But after reading and rereading Form 1040 Schedule C to no improved comprehension there may or may not have been excessive, angry mouse-clicking, foot-stomping and borderline tears. So tonight P. and I are meeting with The Tax Man and I will assail him with my steno pad of questions.

Not sure if you should file as self-employed or if you've got an official small business? Click here; the humans at the Internal Revenue Service put a lil sumpin together for us artists. If you're not ready to take the spiritually-deadening leap to the IRS website, the ladies at Design*Sponge have some helpful info for you entrepreneurial photographers, illustrators, printmakers and crafters here.

Any other tax resources for artists you want to share? After all, as the back of my receipts say, WE STRIVE TO SATISFY (I might have to make that the new tag line on my business card).


  1. Taxes are killing me this year. I thought I had it all tapped - I started out with a separate business account from the get-go, so all my expenses and sales showed up clearly. After all, I've used Schedule C before because I've done lots of on the side tutoring before.

    And then I discovered a little thing called inventory. And COGS. The tears started. I called an accountant. The accountant was kind of rude. More tears. I could have looked around for a less rude accountant, but instead I decided to carve out a couple days just to sit and figure it all out. I think I have. It's going to be a bit painful, because I have to go back and figure out the inventory thing based on my receipts. But I can do it. Next year I may find a nice accountant to help out, since it will be my first full year.

    Yay for both of us! And yes, I also do my own tire pressure adjustments. I like being independent.

    Oh, and just to make this the longest comment in history - I started using for my accounting. It is AMAZING if you primarily use Paypal, so great for me. Probably not so good for you, since I'm sure you do a lot more business in person.

  2. Lily!!!!!!! I was going to start with a comment about taxes but then I scrolled down to your OWL POST. YIKES!!!!! My cat family and I may have found a new virtual home. Just the sound of it, we are listening now, is so calming to my little girl and me. And what is more precious than a little sleeping mother owl? WHAT IS???????????

    Anyway I'll just close to say, I'm glad at least you have a posh degree and yellow and blue bits to drink tea out of, because UGGGHHHH taxes. Here's something I heard years ago, you might want to discuss it with someone, depending on the scale of your art-derived income, and your expectation of doing exactly the same thing in 2010 at the same rate/ scale/profit as in 2009...and going forward....the IRS (as with credit reports) looks at consistency from year to year. Inconsistency is a red-flag to them and engenders audits. Bon courage ma chere fille.

    And now. Back to owls.

  3. I am terrible...I let my husband handle it...I only do my state taxes for myself...Thats why I have always liked younger men that way I wont be the lost old lady when my husband dies...that sounded morbid and not funny at all...but I have always had a thing for young men!

  4. Oh Lordy, Lordy! Taxes are looming over my head like a black funnel cloud about to rip my life to shreds. I want to stomp my feet and throw a fit...don't wanna deal with it! Can you believe I used to work in finance and do this crap every day? I can't. It's nasty business. Good luck! Your pretty little teacup and bacon bar looks to be making it all better! Thanks for your (as always) sweet comments this morning! Big HUGs! xoxo

  5. Lily... goodness oh goodness. These photos, the color of the tea, the cup, and even your receipts. You inspire me, especially that you are a full time painter. That is exactly why I gave nursing the boot, and I am venturing down the path of a chief/writer/student/photographer. I can't get enough of this blog.. it's a jewel you know that?!! JEWEL!! XO

  6. oh my goodness i am ALSO on the way to the tax man tonight (mine is named peter cruz and he is not a real human bean) we must be on the same best friend tax wavelength or something. the thought of your little left brained artists self crunching like a schoolgirl and reminds me of us sitting next to each other in 11th grade math doodling on our college ruled notebooks. wrapping this up, i love you, good luck with ze taxes, and call me later. xx

  7. Ahhh. Leave it to you, to have such beautiful photos to contrast with the hell that is tax season! I have been self-employed for a few years, both with being a hair stylist and painter. Hopefully one day full time painting. Quicken has been my life saver, along with an ex IRS accountant. He is the best. I just enter all the catagories he needs into Quicken, enter all year long and then hit print in April! Wish paying what I owe was easier... Good luck!

  8. Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..Tire Pressure


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