Meet Sharon Quinn
As the month of March begins, so does the countdown to tax time.
That means it's time to begin organizing your paperwork from the
previous fiscal year and getting them ready for your accountant and/or
If you are making a nice amount of "change" from modeling and find that
you are filling out 1099 forms frequently, you might want to consider
claiming modeling as a second income on your annual tax return.
Some of the benefits you get from doing this is being able to get a
great deal of the money that you spent on your career returned to you.
Get A Good Accountant. This is an absolute must! If you
don't know a reputable accountant ask other models and or industry folk
for a reference. If you are doing an itemized return (and you are
if you are claiming modeling as a second income), you need someone who
is clear and fluent in tax laws to handle your business. Unless
you are professionally trained, I do not recommend that you attempt to
do this on your own.
Put your receipts in order by category. If you are an organized
person (lol...and I am not) you probably are already categorizing your
receipts. If you are a model and/or entertainer of any sort, you
should get into the habit of getting receipts FOR EVERYTHING.
Clothing, shoes, accessories, photography expenses, travel expenses,
dry cleaning, cell phones, wigs & weaves, dining and entertainment,
metro cards, laptops & computers, gifts that you purchase for folks
in the industry, cab fare, music, stamps and mass mailings; the list of
what you can claim is endless. If you are in doubt about whether
or not you should keep or toss a receipt (I even save my grocery
receipts) keep it and let your accountant tell you whether or not you
can use it.
Keep track of your vouchers and check receipts. Put your vouchers
in order by voucher number and then go back and match them with your
check stubs to see which invoices are still outstanding and which ones
have been paid. I had to learn this lesson the hard way when I
switched from my mother agency Wilhelmina to join the board over at
Karin Models. Things were going swimmingly at my new agency for a
long while, (You turned in your vouchers on a Monday and you could pick
up your check on Friday!!) It was a beautiful thing. All of that
changed, however, when Karin Models decided that they no longer wanted
the "image" of the plus sized model associated with their agency and
promptly dropped our division, which was making them a whole lot of
money. Wonder where THEY are now? Google them and see what comes
up. The plus board was then moved to another agency, located on
8th Avenue in Manhattan and this is when things began to go awry.
While the actual move of the agency was a smooth one and the work never
stopped coming in for me (I was their top plus sized moneymaker for a
while) after about 6 months I realized I had been working steadily and
hadn't received a single check.
I finally made an inquiry to my booker asking about the situation and I
got instantly nervous when SHE looked at me incredulously when I told
her I hadn't been paid. She sat down and had a talk with the
owner and he began writing me checks immediately. The second flag
went up when I realized that he was paying me in installments. I
didn't see the need for that (if the client is paying my invoice in
FULL, why are you paying me in pieces?) and I realized quickly that he
was "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul"; i.e. a check would come in for
a model and he would use a portion of that particular model's pay to
pay ANOTHER model, whose money he had already spent and then give the
rest to the actual model who earned it. Still following me?