Tag Archives: accounting

Accounting for Photogs Recap

24 May

Accounting isn’t the sexiest part of running your own photography business; aside from equipment malfunction and extreme weather patterns, it’s more like the scariest. But last Thursday at our Quarterly Meeting, it was actually cool. Heather O’Mara helped plan the event, held at CPC Financial in King of Prussia, and hosted by Richard C. Capasso, CPA, PFS, CFP.

Rich isn’t your stereotypical accountant. He’s got a great sense of humor, is excited to advise on financial planning, and is really easy to talk to; it’s obvious after a few minutes just how passionate he is about helping small business owners (their firm has over 800 clients – all small businesses.)

It was an information-packed evening – two hours of advice that would be overwhelmingly long in a blog post, so instead, here’s a few highlights:

Money Matters:

1. No matter what type of business entity (Sole Proprietor, LLC/LLP, Corporation or “S” Corporation), set up separate bank accounts and credit cards so that everything is clearly defined as personal or business, leaving no gray area or confusion come tax time (and hopefully not: audit time).

2. At the very least, keep a checkbook, and have an income statement that shows profit/loss.

3. Remember that you need to earn roughly $1.40 to take home $1 after taxes, so pay what expenses you can before paying yourself. If you pay for something business-related on your own dime, treat it just as if you worked for another company and create an expense report before reimbursing yourself.

4. If you pay any one person more than $600 aggregate in one calendar year, you must send them a 1099. If not, and you are caught, you’ll lose the deduction on your return and be subject to a fine of $1,000-$10,000.

5. There’s no benefit to keeping extra funds in your business account. When there’s excess, distribute funds to your personal account to avoid any gray areas. And be sure to set aside 30% of that amount for income tax.

Deductions:*

6. If you claim a home office on your taxes, it must be a space reserved only for business, not an office/playroom, office/dining room, office/bedroom, etc. And if you’re claiming a studio, you’ll need a separate entrance into the space from the outside. Once you figure out what percentage of the home your office occupies, you can also calculate that percentage of your utilities, mortgage and possibly even your landscaping.

7. Health insurance premiums can be deducted from your tax return, as well as portions of your internet and cell phone bills (not included in the home office deduction).

8. When traveling, log your mileage – which is currently 50.5¢/mile and includes depreciation on your vehicle, insurance, and gas. (Second shooters and assistants who are traveling separately can also claim their mileage.) Only claim your vehicle if more than 50% of the mileage is used for business purposes total.

9. Charitable donations are NOT deductible – only the cost of goods (your vendor’s, not your mark up) for items gift (for example a canvas print, album, etc).

10. Don’t get wrapped-up in the idea of deductibility, or make purchases simply because they are a tax deduction. Everything should make good business and investment sense.

* Remember that if your company has a loss for the year, you can’t claim many expenses, including a home office or new equipment. You may, however, be able to extend and still claim some deductions the following year – check with your tax preparer or accountant to find out more.

If you’re interested in speaking with Rich about financial planning for your own business, or to get a business started, contact him by email at rich@cpcfinancial.com or call 610-265-4122.

Want to help out, organize, host or assist with an event? Give us a shout at info@phillyphotobetties.com.

May 19, 2011: Save the Date!

3 May

Accounting for Photogs

Thursday, May 19th
7-9PM

Yup! It’s already that time again – the next Photo Betties Quarterly Meeting is right around the corner and this time we are making it all about numbers. Join us for a no-holds-barred open forum about all things accounting, a topic we know has been hot on everyone’s mind as of late!

Now that the 2010 tax season is behind us, get your business primed for 2011’s tax filings as Richard C. Capasso, CPA, Vice-President and Shareholder of CPC Financial Planning, opens his doors to a special Betty gathering, offering advice & answers to your questions about your most complex accounting issues.

This is one Betty event you don’t want to miss!

Register for Quarterly Meeting: Accounting for Photogs in King Of Prussia, PA  on Eventbrite

If you have attended previous Photo betties events, you were emailed a, invitation and password that allow you to register with the link above. If you didn’t receive the email, or we be in the Philadelphia area and would like to attend, send an email to info@phillyphotobetties.com.