[Dixielandjazz] Playing for Schools and Taxes

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Fri Mar 11 18:20:50 PST 2005

Tom said:
 Now say your normal gig price is $600.00 or even more, you should keep a 
> record of all the assembly programs you play and at what amount of income you 
> received for doing them from the schools PTA or where ever you derive funds.  Now 
> the difference between your normal appearance price and what you did that 
> little program for is a legitimate advertising and promotion expense that can be 
> kept track of and deducted from your income tax under advertising and promotion 
> on your Schedule C.

Better not try it.  Your labor has no value to the IRS only actual expenses.

For example I could value my donated time at $100,000 an hour and never pay any taxes.  Or I could go to church and take the offering at $500 per hour.  Only legitimate expenses can be deducted for example:  You are a band leader and your sidemen get $100 each and you pay them and send out W2's or 1099's to them.   You collect nothing on the gig but pay the sidemen $500.  That you can deduct.

If you want to deduct something take up car racing and put your band name on the car then all expenses including your mileage to races is deductible.  Budweiser and all the big companies do it.  This could even extend to model airplanes, cars and boats if you put your company name on them.  The same is true of a little league ball team with your band name on it.  There are many deductions out there but your labor can't be one of them.

If you don't believe me call the IRS or a tax person.  You can call H&R block for free if you have a question.

By the way your Tux and other clothing you wear on gigs should have your name on them.  The best thing is to call them uniforms because a Tux can be worn off stage and not for business.  Have your band name sewn on the pocket then there is no problem.

If you are doing a schedule C you can deduct mileage too.  That can be a lot so don't ignore it.
You can donate to charities actual cash like the Boy/Girl scouts, Churches, red cross\ etc.

It might be more beneficial to donate through y9\our business than personally on  a schedule A.  It's becoming more and more difficult for the average American to use the schedule A unless there are four people who have terminal cancer and a three mil home with a whopping interest payment and you give lots to charities.

For the rest of us it's best to write a business check then In my case that amounts to 15% SS tax, 6% State tax and about 20$ fed tax.  That adds up to  41 cents on the dollar I don't pay.  The charity is happy and I'm happy.  And it's legal.

Don't try to deduct payments to a parochial school to send the grandkids.  That doesn't float either. 

The only way you could make the above work is if they wrote you a check for your normal price and you wrote them back a check for the donation.  But that's silly paperwork.  The only reason you might do that is to let them know what you really charge.

I occasionally discount for charities in my sign business but I give them an invoice for the full amount with a negative charitable discount added in.  That keeps someone associated with the charity coming to me wanting the same price.  There is no paperwork associated with this and I don't try to deduct the difference.

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