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Screenwriters: Four Tax Deductions You May Not Be Aware Of

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Having a career in screenwriting is a complicated business. You are often hired as independent contractor, go from job to job, and must manage your own money while dealing with budgeting and taxes. Each year when tax season rolls around, it's important to get as many deductions as possible. This will help lessen the costs of your taxes and make it easier to pay off anything that you owe. Along with typical deductions like having a home office or deduction on your phone bill, there are many other deductions to consider. By learning about these various deductions, you can help maximize your tax savings. Once you have the receipts ready for these deductions, you can work with a tax preparation office to ensure that everything is completed correctly.

Streaming Services

As a screenwriter, it's important to study all types of media, including both movies and television. One way to gain access to this content is through streaming services. Services like Netflix or Hulu provide you with easy ways to research movies and access them from multiple devices. If you are paying monthly fees for these services, then you can deduct them from your expenses. If the accounts are also used for personal use, then this is where it can get tricky. A tax preparation company can help you calculate the difference between personal time and business time. For example, if you have paid $200 in streaming fees throughout the year, then you may take 50% as a business expense and 50% as a personal expense. This can ensure that you are filing taxes correctly and taking the proper deductions.

Movie Theater Tickets & Food Options

Along with streaming services, you may also study films in the theaters. This can help you stay up to date with the current movie market and trends. As you attend movies throughout the year, it's important to save all of the stubs and receipts that you have. There are two ways that movie purchases can be deducted from your taxes. The first is with the ticket price itself. That purchase is directly related to your career is important for deductions. The second is with any food or snacks that you purchase. Even though it feels like a casual time at the movies, it can be considered a business meal deduction if the move directly relates to your research for screenwriting. A tax prep professional can help you sort out both deductions and ensure that they are taken off the correct way.

Experience Expenses

When researching and writing a screenplay, there are many scenarios and situations that you have to describe. To help you with this, you may travel to areas, visit specific businesses, or go on a variety of experiences. For example, you may write a screenplay about someone who owns a yacht. As a part of this, you may chose to go on a yacht ride. Essentially, that whole ride could be considered a business trip. Not only is the cost of the event deductible, but you can also deduct travel expenses for the whole trip. This makes it easy to save a lot of money on any taxes that you owe. A tax professional an help separate these different costs and ensure that they are deducted correctly.

Job Searches

After you've completed a screenplay, it's time to start looking for another project. During this process, you may have to deal with a number of job search expenses. Luckily, all of those expenses do not go to waste. They can provide you with tax deductions. This includes postal services, traveling expenses, or extra fees you may have paid for parking, faxes, and other costs. Being able to cover all of these expenses can make a huge difference on your taxes and ease the burden of searching for a new job.

Getting started weeks before tax filing is due can make a huge difference on the amount you pay for taxes. A tax preparation company can even prepare for these deductions throughout the whole year.