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Author Topic: General Rules for Business Expenses -  (Read 3422 times)

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Goofy

« on: March 06, 2014, 20:36 »
0
Recently, I am into doing a lot of food images for the microstock business and wanted to ask this question to the masses-

When I shot a food session can I keep the receipts and write off the session? When I finished the session can I eat the food?  I have my LLC for the business and wanted to get some feed back on what I am allowed to write off and what I cannot write off.

Thanks

Tom 


« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 20:44 »
+2
Yes.

Goofy

« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 20:47 »
0
thanks Sean!

« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 22:33 »
+3
I recently bought a house so I could take pictures of it so I am writing the cost off as a business expense.  When I am done taking pictures can I live in it?  Now if only the sites would accept pics of cars too.

(no, I am not serious)

Goofy

« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 22:40 »
0
You had me excited! So if pay $10,000 to have my house repainted due to needing that color of house in my portfolio can I write that off as well?   ;D


Uncle Pete

« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 22:46 »
+1
Yes but you must eat it...

Neither am I.  :)

I recently bought a house so I could take pictures of it so I am writing the cost off as a business expense.  When I am done taking pictures can I live in it?  Now if only the sites would accept pics of cars too.

(no, I am not serious)

Goofy

« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 22:52 »
0
I hope the IRS doesn't read our board  ???



ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 23:18 »
+5
You can write a portion of the space in the house used for the business, a portion of internet, phone, transportation and more.

« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 08:10 »
+3
I hope the IRS doesn't read our board  ???

Just be honest on your tax returns and you should be okay.  Funny, I use the same mentality I promote at work.  Just make sure you can defend your deductions with facts.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 10:40 »
+1
While you are 100% correct, it's allowed and legitimate. It's also a red flag and you'll be much more likely to be audited if you claim a portion of the home, or car, or Internet, as "business". Ask some accountants. Sometimes it's not worth the trouble.

I depreciate the cameras. I keep receipts for props, lighting, perishable items that are consumed in making photos. I've never tried to charge off travel, or lodging, but I could? I like to keep these as a safety net, should the IRS decide to audit my returns. That way, I have padding to my benefit.

I'll add that the IRS is actually pretty reasonable as long as you aren't trying to cheat or fool them. Where I've had the worst cases was the two times that the state sent out someone to pick at my accounts for a week. Wow one time they found a $1.63 error after days going over my files. Talk about inefficient Government and waste.

But shooting food, save the receipts and just like a model release, attach a photo. Now you have your proof. And then ask yourself Tom, is the 25% off the cost of the food, worth the time and effort documenting it and the risk of being audited for claiming the deduction?

Renting an airplane, hiring a model, and many other things are expensive. Food that you will eat after the shoot? How important is that and what's the return vs risk?

You can write a portion of the space in the house used for the business, a portion of internet, phone, transportation and more.

« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 10:43 »
+2
I buy hundreds of dollars of food a year.  Never had any issue writing that or anything else off, prop-wise.  Food is disposable - it's not like you can keep it around.  The photos are proof of use.

« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 13:03 »
+1
Car mileage is my biggest photography expense. Hotel and other travel costs add up quickly depending on your travels. In the USA, take the deduction. (Consult your accountant or tax adviser! because I'm not one!)

« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 13:20 »
+1
Once food is styled how often can you eat it?  I thought you used Elmer's glue, murphy's oil and blow torches etc.  Don't kill the mystic for me :)

« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 13:38 »
+4
Once food is styled how often can you eat it?  I thought you used Elmer's glue, murphy's oil and blow torches etc.  Don't kill the mystic for me :)

My "styling" is cooking it.  Or pouring it into a frosty mug. :)

« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 16:09 »
+1
Yes but you must eat it...

Neither am I.  :)

I recently bought a house so I could take pictures of it so I am writing the cost off as a business expense.  When I am done taking pictures can I live in it?  Now if only the sites would accept pics of cars too.

(no, I am not serious)

Ginger Bread House ?

Goofy

« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2014, 16:32 »
+1
Yes but you must eat it...

Neither am I.  :)

I recently bought a house so I could take pictures of it so I am writing the cost off as a business expense.  When I am done taking pictures can I live in it?  Now if only the sites would accept pics of cars too.

(no, I am not serious)

Ginger Bread House ?

I already did that one and my daughter eat the house afterwards  ;)



Uncle Pete

« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2014, 13:36 »
0
Absolutely Stan. The answer is Keep Good Records. That would be a log book and receipts.

I wasn't saying anything about not claiming, food or props or perishable items that are used or consumed in the production. Of course, after you shoot that frosty beer, it must be properly disposed of.  :) I keep receipts for all props, boards, Plexiglass, lights, reflectors... you all know what I mean.

The part that can be risky is deducting part of the home, part of the phone and part of the Internet, as business. Shared expenses start to get complicated.

And I'll remind, you depreciate equipment like cameras and flashes, it's not a one time deduction. You also must claim when you sell something or replace it.
 
I pay an accountant and hand her a red zipper bag full of file folders, checks, receipts, CC statements, any photo income, 1099s, W-2s and self employment income. It's a mess and she's good at figuring it out.


Car mileage is my biggest photography expense. Hotel and other travel costs add up quickly depending on your travels. In the USA, take the deduction. (Consult your accountant or tax adviser! because I'm not one!)


« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 13:39 »
0
And I'll remind, you depreciate equipment like cameras and flashes, it's not a one time deduction.

You can use a section 179 to do it all at once.  That's what I do.

Goofy

« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2014, 13:54 »
0
I assume you have to declare the income of any old equipment that you sell when you upgrade?

« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2014, 13:56 »
0
There's a lot of information on the IRS website that explains, with examples, what you can deduct and what you can't.
IMHO if you are honest and reasonable about it, and keep good records, you should be okay.

Your equipment will be listed on your Schedule C and if you sell it, that is reported on Schedule C.
If you are confused by the IRS publications, you might consider having an accountant do your taxes to be sure you do them correctly.
If you use TurboTax, you'll need the small business edition.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 14:01 by wordplanet »

« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2014, 13:57 »
+2
I assume you have to declare the income of any old equipment that you sell when you upgrade?

I never sell anything.  :)

« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2014, 12:17 »
+2
Howdy,

 My company has been audited by the IRS it is a big pain in the butt. The best thing I can share is yes you can deduct those expenses but make sure your file system is dialed in. We start off by writing on the back of the receipt what was used from the receipt and for what shoot and date. We were fine and passed with no extra due but the effort to pull all that information will shut down your operation for weeks if you are not completely organized. Keep deducting but build a strong filing system for if and when the day arrives.

Best,
J
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 15:23 by Jonathan Ross »

nicolebranan

« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2014, 12:53 »
+1
Howdy,

 My company has been audited by the IRS it is a big pain in the butt. The best thing I can share is yes you can deduct those expenses but make sure your file system is dialed in. We start off by writing on the back of the receipt what was used from the receipt and for what shoot and date. We were fine and passed with no extra due but the effort to pull all that information will shut down your operation for weeks if you are not completely organized. Keep deducting but build a strong filing system four if and when the day arrives.

Best,
J



Good to know, thank you sharing this info here, Jonathan!


 

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