You’ve made it to New York, you’ve learned the subways, suffered through the indignity of retail, and landed a few gigs as a writer/comic/barbershop quartet singer. You can finally say at parties (without a sense of dread that someone will ask for proof) “My day job is my dream job.” You’re a freelancer, finally. Shouldn’t you file taxes like one?
Rus at Brass Taxes thinks so. He started in New York as a freelance video editor, writer, and performer. To make ends meet, he took a job with a tax preparer and discovered a startling truth: there was a whole lot more that he could have been deducting as part of his freelance career. “I found out I had been short-changing myself; I had been living so tightly. I never went out and had an appetizer,” Rus says of his leaner days.
Rus started helping his freelance friends with their returns and realized he had a knack for it, as well as a unique perspective. “I’m an outsider in this business. I was a freelancer who learned taxes.” When it comes to filing returns, that empathy can amount to a lot of money for you.
Most professional tax planners won’t take the time to figure out everything you can deduct. “Our taxes are messy. I think the kind of taxes we have and the kind of people we are can be annoying to traditional tax planners,” Rus says. Instead of sighing and rolling his eyes when you show up with receipts for improv classes, Rus sits down with you and figures out all of your legitimate freelance expense deductions.
And it’s worth it. Instead of taking three-plus hours of your time and $100-plus for TurboTax, you give all your tax documents to Rus, talk about what you do, and, presto, he comes back with a fully-filed return and mucho bucks for you.
Even if you’re not making that much money freelancing now, you can still deduct lots of things on your road to self-sufficiency. Writing classes? Yep. Notebooks filled with sitcom ideas? No prob. Trips to the Met to improve your graphic design skills? You bet. Rus knows what will fly with the IRS and what won’t, so head on over to the Brass Taxes website and check out his process.
If you’re still wary of spending money on a tax preparer, we’re giving away one free tax prep with Rus, a $200 value! Opt in to Rus’s mailing list and you could have your 1099 woes swept away by a kindred freelance spirit. For more chances to win, follow Rus on Twitter, like him on Facebook, tell your friends, or retweet the contest. (Oh, and if you file your taxes with Rus now and win the contest later, he’ll refund your money.)a Rafflecopter giveaway