Tax Time Prep - Creative Law Center

Tax Time Prep

Tax Time Preparation: Basic Bookkeeping for Creatives [Live Workshop]

Some people just hate doing their books.

They hate it because it seems difficult.

There’s a long-standing, but unfounded stereotype about creatives not being able to deal with numbers. Left brain, right brain nonsense.

Actually, tax preparation is not all that difficult.

For those who say, “I’m just not into math,” tax prep is not really math.

Tracking your numbers . . . that’s all it is. You just need to know what to track and how to gather the information.

And even if tax preparation were math, did you know that math is a profoundly dynamic and creative endeavor?

I read that somewhere.

Bookkeeping, and the bit of math it involves, is just a sheer veneer over your creative business. Bookkeeping doesn’t exist to impede or obscure your creativity. It exists to enhance it. Really.

Besides, there are spreadsheets and apps to do the math bits. All you have to do is gather and track your numbers. Technology and accountants can do the actual crunching.

The real difficulty for creatives at tax time is that they don’t want to take the time to do the prep work. Every minute spent on the books is a minute away from your core creative work.

That’s why you need the task to be as efficient as possible.

January is the time to do your basic tax preparation work because even though April 15th (April 18th in 2022) is tax day in the US, there are some critical deadlines for businesses in January and March. And April will be here before you know it, anyway.

So whether you are a sole proprietor, an LLC, an S-corp, or even a foreign company, this workshop is for you. Basic bookkeeping strategies underpin tax time, and profitable creative businesses, everywhere in the world.

In this workshop we will cover:

  • Best methods for tracking your income from single or multiple income streams;
  • How to capture the wide variety of expenses that can be used to reduce your income. You don’t want to miss any;
  • How to juggle multiple accounts: checking, savings, PayPal, Amazon, Stripe, credit cards, etc.;
  • How to prepare appropriate 1099s for freelancers and vendors;
  • How to manage cost of goods sold if you have a business in which you produce, purchase or sell merchandise;
  • Tax filing deadlines in the US; and
  • The personal information needed for most tax filings.

Our guest this month is Jonathan Ankney, the founder of Small Business CFO, a company dedicated to providing the guidance, accounting services, and financial expertise needed by small businesses regardless of their stage of development. With an undergraduate degree in music, Jonathan is living proof that creatives can master numbers.

When he moved into the world of finance and obtained his MBA, Jonathan brought his creative sensibilities with him. He believes that money does not need to be complicated. Here’s what he tells his clients,

“So my friend, forget debits, credits, gross profit, net revenue, and all that terminology for the moment. Yes, you will eventually want to understand these terms in order to be a financially savvy CEO. But if we get back to the basics of financial management, or looking at things intuitively, and understanding the core principles…well, I think the rest is a matter of taking learning more over time, just like I did. Remember, if I could make the transition from artist to CFO, you’ll be able to get this stuff too!”

Jonathan Ankney is just the person to guide us through the bookkeeping basics we need for this tax preparation season.

This workshop is being offered as a stand alone opportunity. You do not have to be a member of the Creative Law Center to attend it (members will have access, of course, and need not purchase the workshop separately). You’ll get an email with the Zoom link for Wednesday, January 19th at 1 p.m., EST once you sign up. You will have lifetime access to the replay.

This is a live, interactive workshop using Zoom. You will be able to ask questions in real time, so bring your list.

Join us to clean up and catch up from last year and get on track for 2022 to make tax time easier.

Remember, there is joy in profit! And your profit is found in your books.

About the Author

Kathryn Goldman helps small business people, writers, artists, and creative professionals make a living from their creative work by teaching them how to protect and enforce their rights. She is an attorney who writes these posts to help you be more thoughtful about intellectual property and the law as you build your business, write your stories, and create your art.