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April 13 2008 at 7:43 PM
Tony Borders 
from IP address

Hello, guys. Here are some taxing thoughts for U.S. ventriloquists.

Remember to save all your receipts for taxes. There are allowances for a hobby deduction if you file a schedule A. (Usually for those who give away over $7,000 each year.)

Or you can file a schedule C, and MUST file a schedule C if you made over $1,000 (doublecheck that number) by doing your hobby this year. If you did NOT make over that amount I don't believe you have to claim it. Although you can always claim it under Other Income on your 1040.

However, with deductions you may wind up in the hole on your schedule C.

To figure mileage do a route check on mapquest or Microsoft Streets and Trips for each show. Then add up all those business miles!

Meals are deductible if they are for times when you are away from home overnight. OR if you are meeting specifically for the purpose of the business.

Puppets, magic, etc. are deductible. Think of it as a 25% off sale at Axtell!

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Tony Borders

Happy April 15th!

April 14 2008, 11:42 PM 

Just a reminder that if you want that money back from the government (in the United States) then you HAVE to at least file an extension today, April 15th!

Tony Borders


January 19 2010, 9:17 AM 

If you earned over $600 from any one organization this year as a performer, they will be sending you a 1099. They have until Feb. 15th to send these out, so you won't want to file your taxes until at least a week after that date. (Yes, some are later than the deadline!)

If you have any tax questions and you are filing your own taxes you can ask them here and we will see if we can keep you out of jail. (Or put you in!)

Chris Wintter


January 19 2010, 4:40 PM 

Tony, I could google what I'm about to ask, but for the sake of this site, what is a schedule A's and schedule C's main purpose? Example-schedule B is for claiming interest and dividends.

Tony Borders

Schedule A and C

January 19 2010, 5:17 PM 

Schedule A is a plus for you. It is for deductions you may have. The IRS automatically allows people about 5 to 7,000 in deductions, but if you have more than that, such as in tithes, or donations to charity, then you can list them and take the actual amount instead of their allowed amount.
For example, if you had a lot of medical expense (over 7% of your income) then you can deduct that.
Or if you had job related expenses that are over 2% of your income. You can even count the value of items you donated to charities. Cool!

Schedule C is for business owners or sole proprietors. It is where you put your income and expenses for your business. (You can't count job related expense on both schedule A and schedule C. Schedule A is more for your 'day job' expenses, such as dry cleaning, new suit, etc.)

Schedule C has a lot of items to record but boils down to an income and an outgo.
Income from 1099's
Income from this particular business
Mileage expense OR Actual vehicle expense
Office supplies
Business inventory
Advertising Costs

Whatever income you finally produced on Schedule C will be taxed along with your 'day job' income. The exception is that you also have to pay the employer's part of the Social Security tax. OUCH!

Tony Borders

1099's are still coming

February 14 2010, 5:33 PM 

If you are in the U.S. and you earned $600 or more from any one organization during the year (a school district, county library system, church, etc.) they have until Feb. 15th to put your 1099 in the mail. So don't file your taxes until at least the 21st, allowing the mail time to be delivered.

Any other tax questions that you want answered by an amateur?

Chris Wintter

Schedule C or Form 4562

February 10 2012, 2:46 PM 

On what line on Schedule C would I list items like Puppets and Magic tricks that I bought in 2011 and that I will use in future years.

Or, does this go somewhere on form 4562, and I only get part of the cost and have to depreciate it depending on how many years I expect it to last.

Tony Borders


February 10 2012, 4:35 PM 

You should have a search button. Search for "business property depreciation" or "depreciation worksheet". You'll lump like items together. (Ex. If you bought a dozen Axtell puppets this year and want to depreciate them you just write "puppets" with the total. Otherwise you have to fill out a worksheet for each item.)

Once you fill out the worksheet it should tell you if you need to go to the form you mentioned. I don't know that answer. I found it better to count everything off in one year as long as your income was more than your outgo for that year.

Tony Borders


February 10 2012, 4:37 PM 

Keep in mind that some places may be behind on getting a 1099 to you. They are supposed to send you one if you earn $600 or more from them in one year. They don't have to otherwise. (You claim it either way on Schedule C, but in different spots.) Just make sure that you do NOT claim 1099 income twice by listing it as 1099 and then also adding it into the total you made for the year. Ouch! Taxes are high enough already!

Chris Wintter

Taxes are complex

February 10 2012, 7:13 PM 

I tried to get advice from a really nice lady at H&R block. I could tell that she was stumped as well.

I actually spent more then I made this year, especially if I do not depreciate any magic props and puppets I bought this year.

Tony Borders

Depreciaton on Sched. C

February 11 2012, 6:51 PM 

It looks like the final amount goes on schedule C line 13. You will need to do the business property depreciation worksheet first to come up with the amount for that line.

Chris Wintter


February 13 2012, 8:09 PM 

Someone recommended the TurboTax program. For $75, it is an excellent program.

It does the Schedule C form and the 4562 form. I also understand that if you use this program from one year to the next it will even keep track of the years of depreciation one has assigned to puppets and props.

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