It’s that time of year ago when we all start scrambling to catch up with our bookkeeping for the year. Looking at the disaster in front of us, we sigh and promise that we will not get this unorganized again next year.
That is why the original Tax Spreadsheet for Photographers was developed and offered since 2005. It is now updated for 2017-2018 and has been going strong. Back in 1996, I found that I was struggling with keeping up with my small business regarding bookkeeping. I took a class in Quickbooks and quickly realized that Quickbooks was completely unnecessary for the size of my business. Sure, I could make it work, but it didn’t have to be that complicated for daily use. I took to Microsoft Excel and put together a spreadsheet. My tax preparer was absolutely thrilled at end of year when I wasn’t scrambling or throwing a box of receipts at her. When I left that small business, moved to another, and then finally to photography, I simply redesigned some of the areas that changed from industry to industry.
I actually hold a degree in Business Management and Accounting and have worked in accounting and even as a controller, yet I still use this spreadsheet to this day because it is just that easy.
How does it Work?
Easy. There are quite a few tabs at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet. Start with the first one.
Fill in all information here and it will automatically appear everywhere else it needs to.
There is an area to insert mileage, tax rate, and self employment tax rate. These are already filled in for 2017 (although you can make changes if you need to).
There is an area to insert your home information if you are taking part of it as a deduction. Read all notes on each page to see which options you may want to use.
Every time you are ready to enter your numbers, check the different tabs for where they should go.
The Income tab is for all of your revenue, whether that be sales of products, service fees, or even that little bit of teaching revenue.
There are tabs for fees, equipment, supplies, etc. Just enter your receipt amounts in the fields provided.
The bottom of each section will sum up the amounts and carry them over to the front page.
On the front page, you will see all of your combined figures from all of the sheets at a glance. This is great for comparison purposes. You can see quickly how revenue is building for the year and you can compare your expenses for decision making later (such as how to price, maybe where you can cut back).
This is the page that will interest your tax preparer the most. While all of the details of each transaction are located on other sheets, you do not have to print out and bring them with you to your tax appointment.
These are ready to go. Your accountant will be so happy to see these figures tallied and ready.
This is also something that is wonderful to compare quickly year to year.
There is also an area that will help you greatly as far as being prepared for your tax burden. Whether you have to pay your taxes quarterly or yearly, you can visually see the estimated tax burden during the entire year any time you wish.
Trust me, the last thing you want is a surprise at the end of the year. I’ve been there! Not fun.
Some of the areas can only be estimated as your accountant will make a decision as to what additional deductions you can take depending upon your individual situation; however, this gives a close estimate that will protect you from those bad kind of surprises.
Why is this spreadsheet so inexpensive? I’ve seen similar spreadsheets for over $100? Look, I’m with you, dealing with the shift in the photography industry, I’m assuming you also want to hold onto your profits and not waste hundreds of dollars. This is a spreadsheet I have had for so many years and customized it. I’m sharing it, making it available for purchase, but at a cost that allows me to answer questions, make changes as necessary, etc. so I can still be paid for my time/talent/effort, just as we all want, but I have no intentions of gouging. I am out to help not hurt.
Note: If you attempted to purchase prior to 2/1/18, you may have experienced trouble due to your purchase or download was being made from a site or page dated 2014 or earlier that was no longer active. This page is monitored daily and everything is current and up to date with our downloading program.
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