This blog post was written by Katherine at The Only Consultant! We are super grateful to her for sharing her expertise on taxes and clarifying one of the biggest questions in the industry: what IS and ISN'T tax deductible?
This was by far the most common question asked in our poll asking y'all what questions you'd like to ask an accountant, so it makes sense to start with it! XOXO
I’m Katherine, a tax consultant and content creator, and I have found my purpose in providing financial help for the spicy community. At The Only Consultant we believe sex work is work; we provide a judgement-free place for adult entertainers to take control of their finances. You deserve to understand and have peace of mind about your taxes. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous we’re never taught about taxes in school…
Here are some answers to the most commonly-asked questions I hear in consults.
Why file taxes? First and foremost, you don’t want to be audited by the IRS! Filing is also the baseline for thriving in society: loans, mortgages, credit, new businesses like loans, mortgages, credit cards, social security, retirement plans, college financial aid, filing for unemployment… the list goes on. You can also use your self-employment income to propel you into any other venture.
What documents do I need to file taxes?
- Organized income and expenses - cash, CashApp/Venmo/Zelle, 1099-NEC (you can download my free expense tracker here!)
- LLC Name and EIN (if you have one)
- Economic impact payment (stimulus)
- Any other documents relevant to your tax situation (ask your accountant)
What counts as a write off? There’s no definitive list because there’s a lot of gray area that depends on the individual. However, the easy way to determine whether something counts as a write off for you is by asking yourself: “Is this reasonable as a business expense?” “Do I feel confident that under audit I could prove that this expense is related to my earnings?”
When in doubt, don’t make it count. If your deduction is denied by the IRS, there are penalties that aren’t worth the risk. Remember to save and organize all your receipts!
Common write-offs for dancers:
- Tip outs
- House fees
- Costumes (cannot be worn in public)
- Makeup (separate from what you wear in your personal life)
- Supplies (pasties, liquid chalk, wipes, spray etc.)
- Industry Licenses
- Dry Cleaning
- Press on nails
- Removable lashes
- Wigs and clip in extensions
- Travel (this includes driving to and from work & Uber)
- Industry workshops and courses
- Pole at home for practice
- Tax preparation and LLC formation
What DOESN’T count as a write off? Any expense that is personal rather than business-related should not be included in your deductions. Generally, anything you can’t take off at the end of the night falls in the “personal” category, including:
- Gym fees
- Acrylic nails
- Permanent lash extensions
- Sew-in extensions
- Meal preparation services
- Cosmetic surgery- this includes botox, BBLs, breast augmentations etc. Body modifications are considered a personal expense because you cannot take them off at the end of your shift. Yes, ONE time the tax court allowed a dancer to write off her boob job because she went up to size 56FF so it was deemed a “fetish” size. If you’re getting a standard boob job…it’s not a write off. Read the case here
It's always best to consult with a tax professional if you are unsure of your tax situation or have additional questions. Book a consultation with me to get started!
You can get their FREE OnlyFans or Stripper Income & Expense Tracker here!
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