Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It's a sad thing that some of the most beautiful people in America are also some of the dumbest at doing their taxes. Most actors and models in Hollywood have to fiddle around with 1099s, those miscellaneous income forms we get around the beginning of the year. I got 7 this year, and there's a chance I may get more after April 17.

I remember getting my first 1099 and not knowing what to do with it. No taxes are taken out, so what does the IRS care about it? It turns out, they care a lot. They want you to pay self-employment tax on top of any federal or state taxes. I started doing my own taxes about 20 years ago, and that was before the advent of any tax programs. Used to take me 40 hours to do my taxes.

But for those who know better, or those who know a savvy CPA, 1099s are actually a pretty good deal for the actor/model. You can write off a lot of stuff—legitimate stuff. Stuff like makeup, grooming products and services, clothing, headshots, gym membership, classes, postage, parking, gas, car, car insurance, oil changes, your new tires, but not a car wash and certainly not pet food.

One of my old roommates wrote off video games and entertainment equipment like a TV or sound system. I wrote off this computer and the DSL costs.

The first time you get a 1099, it will be for a minimum of $600. If that's the only income you made the entire year, unfortunately, you still have to file your taxes. That's how 1099s work. But after the second or third year, you'll learn to like them... a lot.

Oh, by the way, I booked a print job for next week, probably the day after tax day. They'll most definitely pay me as an independent contractor. That's just how it goes.

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