2011 is coming to a close. Are you ready?

The end of November is coming to a close and then we will be trying to keep up with voice work, family celebrations, church, company parties and…oh yes – closing out our 2011 tax year.

If you are a serious, full time, voice actor, I certainly hope you are itemizing. In fact, I hope you have a CPA who is collecting all the right pieces of paperwork and advising you to spend whatever profit you made on your business to increase your deductions. You do have a lot of deductions, right? You saved all your receipts and categorized every legal deduction, correct? Boy, I hope so.

Do you need any new equipment for your studio? New mic, headphones, software or a new comfy chair? Have you been keeping all those receipts when you took a client or business-associate out to lunch or dinner? Saturday, December 31st is the last day of the year and your deadline for spending any monies off the top before you declare what you made in 2011. Granted, my company is incorporated for tax and liability reasons and that is why I need a CPA to keep all those thousands of new IRS rules in check and have full knowledge of what you can and cannot deduct. In fact, since I started a promotion business in 1978, I’ve had a CPA guiding me and keeping me honest. I declare all $$$ I make. And no, I don’t take cash. It makes it so much easier to keep my record straight and honest.

This is the time to be reminding clients that their outstanding balances need to be paid for before years end. Blame it on your CPA if they give you any grief. So many of today’s voice actors are making sure their clients pay before they receive their audio to keep THEM honest and you not holding the bag. However, in a practical world, many agencies are at 90 days or the “I can’t pay you, until they pay me” syndrome. You go with the flow and they in turn slow down your income collecting machine. But, the end of the year push is understood by all. If it’s on the books, it’s income. You might as well spend it on something within your business to re-invest and shelter your income.

It only makes cents…uh, sense.