Tax season is upon us, so camming tax advice is due! What sort of write offs can you have as a cam model? Do you need to file your taxes? Do you need an accountant or can you do it yourself?
I’ll answer these questions here, but keep in mind that I am not a licensed professional and don’t know your particular situation. For any specific advice, I would always suggest asking an accountant.
First off, YES, you need to file taxes for any income you receive the previous year (if it’s over $400 if you’re in the US). Working for a camsite, you are classified as an independent contractor, and they will mail you a 1099 form listing your income. If you are not american, you’ll have to report your income earned yourself without the form.
What happens if I just don’t file taxes?
Well, somewhere down the line IRS will be contacting you asking why you haven’t been making payments and making sure that you do, in which case you will be paying late penalties. Another way to get on IRS’s bad side is overstating your expenses/write offs. If you have way too many or too many inappropriate expenses, it might raise some red flags resulting in an audit.
However, if you record your earnings and don’t go totally crazy with deductions, you will be fine.
I’ve never done taxes before! Should I hire an accountant?!
Possibly, but in a lot of cases an accountant is not needed. I understand that filing taxes for the first time or doing it for the first time as a self-employed person is scary, but tax software is really easy to work with and is created in a way that guides you through it step by step and corrects any potential mistakes. I recommend the TurboTax Home & Business version, which you can get as a PC/Mac download or as a disc.
If you want the peace of mind, I do recommend having an accountant assist you with taxes to ensure you’re covering all your bases and that you save as much money as you can when you file your return. Jeff Lang is a certified public accountant (CPA), specializing in tax preparation for those in the adult industry, so you don’t have to worry about going to an H&R Block and getting an accountant who may not be comfortable with your job or understand your situation. Jeff can also assist with quarterly estimates and business incorporation (S-Corp or LLC), and make the whole experience quick and easy.
If you mention the promo code, CAMTAX10, you will get $10 off your tax preparation fee!
Write Offs for Camming
The beauty of being self-employed is that you can write off a lot of your expenses, but only those that you used directly for camming. That’s why deducting things like lingerie or makeup is a bit of a grey area and different people will tell you different things. To be on the safe side, I would not include expenses like makeup, clothes, lingerie, salon visits, tanning, plastic surgery, or toys UNLESS you can prove that you only used them for camming.
Also, remember to save all your receipts! You will have to show them if you’re ever audited.
So, here are the things you can write off:
- Part of your rent (You will have to report what percentage of your house is used for “business” and any expenses associated with it will count as deductions)
- Percentage of your utilities: heat, water, electricity, internet, phone
- Equipment, such as webcams, lights, camera (that you use specifically for camming), laptop (again, strictly for camming)
- Other supplies and camroom decorations
- Travel expenses (to go to conventions or photoshoots, including gas, flights, hotel room charges, food)
- Mailing supplies and expenses, if you ever ship any items to customers
- Other business expenses, like advertising, web design or hosting fees if you have your own website
Remember to save about 20-30% of your paycheck throughout the year to not be hit with a huge tax bill and not having money to pay it. Keeping track of all your expenses throughout the year is also a good idea, so that you’re not scrambling to find things at the last minute.
One more thing, if your tax bill is over $1,000 this year (if you’re in the US), you will be required to pay quarterly estimated taxes the following year, so be aware of that. Check out my post on quarterly estimated tax payments here.
Any questions? Let me know! Good luck!