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Actors, The 3 Mistakes You’re Making This Tax Season!

February 24, 2012

Last week, I had my taxes professionally done by Prudential Vanguard, a business that specializes in tax preparation for artists, actors, and athletes.

My recent tarot card reading told me to start making mistakes. Apparently, I am succeeding.

Mistake Numero Uno!:
Last week, I had my taxes professionally done by Prudential Vanguard, a business that specializes in tax preparation for artists, actors, and athletes.

Something told me I didn’t like the idea of this once I got there. Could it have been the cold, stoic disposition of Walter, my tax preparer, combined with his utter lack of interpersonal skills? Could it have been the initial request of TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY RIDICULOUS DOLLARS as the cost for this forty-five minute session? Could it have been the pile of orange “Turbo Tax How To” books on the shelf behind Walter or his negligence to tuck in his shirt in a neat and spiffy manner?


But he had come to me through a recommendation, and, like an acting choice, I had decided to commit to this; to make my mistake and just do things differently next year.

I was pretty prepared. However …

Mistake Numero Dos!:
Not having every single receipt and thinking I could “ballpark” some of my write-offs.

Yeah right! This is NYC, people. The only ballpark is in the Bronx and its hotdogs are overpriced.

In Massachusetts, I could ballpark some of my write-offs (i.e. food expenses, clothing) and holding onto every single receipt was something reserved for the most anal of the anal. Well, folks, start folding the ends of your toilet paper because you must be OCD about tax prep! Save every single receipt.

Mistake Number Tres!:
Thinking I couldn’t maximize my refund on my own.

I found I really didn’t need this guy’s help. I had already thought out and written down all my deductions, had already organized their documentation in labeled envelopes, had already done all the math. My visit with Walter consisted of him taking my jacket and hanging it up in his closet, an immediate clash of personalities, and suffering through his lack of customer service which was bereft of any warmth or regard for my best interest. This was followed by him sitting at a computer and plugging in numbers provided to him by me. Then he printed some papers, half heartedly and way too quickly “explained” them to me, got my signature, and finally asked me for 200 whopping dollars.

The only thing I could think to do was buy myself some time and post date the check until February 28th … right when rent is due … good goin, rockstar.


How I’m Going to Do My 2013 Taxes Differently!

1.) Use Turbo Tax. It’ll only cost you around $80.
2.) Use one of one of these sheets as a guideline for write-offs.
3.) Save every single business expense related receipt and organize them appropriately.

Hopefully I’ve saved you in time and you can do this for your 2011 taxes.  I hope so!

Onwards and Upwards,

One Comment leave one →
  1. rockstarcpa permalink
    February 28, 2012 5:33 pm

    Great post. Smart information for any self employed person…and a little self deprecation is always amusing. Still, it sucks that some stuffy professional railed you. There’s nothing worse than someone saying they understand your plight as a professional and then proceed to prove they know nothing of the sort.

    If we can help in any way, let us know. We’ll be holding a live Q&A session on Twitter this Friday at 4:30 est and if you have any questions, we’d be glad to answer them. We’re @rockstarcpa in the Twitter-verse.

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