Elaine Luttrull, CPA and Author of “Arts and Numbers: A Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class”

Austin:

Welcome to The Holistic Voice. We are your hosts, Austin Vitaliano and Jordan Reynolds and we are here with our special guest, Elaine Luttrull, who is a certified public accountant and author of Arts and Numbers: A Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class. She’s also the founder of Minerva Financial Arts, which connects financial decisions with creative goals for all the artists out there. Jordan and I thought it was really, really important to bring Elaine on because she has a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of financial literacy and- I don’t know about you Jordan, but for me especially going out into the dark unknown of the financial world I’ve been at a loss because I was just focusing on my technique and didn’t really think about the financial implications of something like that.

Jordan:

Oh yeah. It’s super daunting and you like, there’s a ton of information out there because we’re in the information age, but it’s hard to find what’s accurate and what’s current because tax laws are changing.

Austin:

Well, Elaine, welcome and thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Elaine:

Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to welcome you into this dark rabbit hole of financial literacy and shed a little bit of light on it.

Austin:

Let’s go down the rabbit hole and figure it out together. I just want to start off and ask, what is your background? How did you start out and what was your path to get you to where you’re at today?

Elaine:

That’s a great question. My background is in accounting and economics. I studied at the University of Missouri and I finished my undergraduate and graduate degrees there and right after grad school I moved to New York and took a job with Ernst & Young, one of the big four accounting firms, and my area of focus was in taxes. So I spent some time working in the media and entertainment industry doing some tax consulting work and then also working in mergers and acquisitions. So while I was doing that, I started volunteering with a group called The Arts and Business Council of New York. I had always loved the arts. I always loved writing. I had studied piano and flute and I had danced. And so the arts were always a huge part of my upbringing and my family and my life. I ended up eventually finding my way back to doing this work in the arts first through The Arts and Business Council.

Elaine:

I was volunteering to help teeny tiny arts organizations with their tax filings, which was amazing. And then that sort of grew into also helping them look at their budgets and plan for cashflow issues and also think about their grants applications. Can we tell the story of what they’re doing using their financial information more effectively? And that I found to be incredibly cool work and I wanted more of it. So I applied for a job at the Julliard School and I got it. And that was probably the most incredible place to be an accountant ever in the history of accountant, right? Because I was the director of financial analysis there and I got to work with an amazing team of people doing really complicated, interesting financial analysis, accounting and investment work and I got to do it all while gorgeous music wafted down the hallways and while, you know, you could step over a dancer stretching in the hall and you know, everything was in support of these incredibly talented creative people. And I found it was a really fulfilling way to put my technical skills and my analytical kind of expertise to work in support of this industry that I absolutely, totally and completely loved.

Austin:

Wow. I see why you got the job. You, you won it right there. That, that’s wonderful and such a perfect fit for what we’re talking about here. Let’s delve into it. Um, before we begin, we just want to have a little disclaimer that, while the dialogue and here is very informational and educational, it is not intended to provide and shouldn’t be relied upon for tax, legal, or accounting advice. Again, this is general information, and if you would like some more information, there are online resources and I’m sure that you can contact Elaine for further help if you’re so inclined.

Elaine:

That is absolutely true. I don’t work for Julliard anymore. My family relocated to Ohio a handful of years ago. The best way to find me is through minervafinancialarts.com. You can sign up for the newsletter or there’s a form there to contact us if you have additional questions or want any resources.

Jordan:

You’re also on social media. Is that the same handle, @minervafinarts?

Elaine:

That’s exactly right. Yeah. On facebook we’re @minervafinarts. I am @egluttrul on Twitter and Instagram. And then the company is @minervafinarts on Instagram and Twitter. Yeah, financial just has too many letters in it.

Austin:

So, the first question I have again is a general one, but uh, what are some of the nuts and bolts of financial knowledge and literacy that we can use for our everyday lives that you think is important for our audience to know?

Elaine:

Yeah, I think probably the most important thing is to know what you cost and that sounds like sort of a weird thing to start with, but if you think about what it costs you to exist as a human in the way you want to exist, right? So that includes, you know, not eating cereal for dinner every night, but like really taking care of yourself, living in the space you want to live in, paying your bills comfortably, all of those things, right? What does it realistically costs you to exist as a human? What does it cost you to run your creative practice in the way you want to run it? Right? So again, making sure you are investing in yourself and taking care of yourself and taking care of your practice, right? And then making sure you’re covering your taxes and your savings both for an emergency fund and maybe retirement long-term. Once you add all those things together, having a really clear understanding of what it costs you to exist in the way you want to exist- which does include savings in taxes by the way- and then making sure you’re really informed about that so that you can be intentional about your spending and also intentional about how you’re earning the money needed to support and sustain yourself in that way.

Jordan:

I was going to say I think that’s a really effective way to, to set what you price your product as well. Knowing what it is that you need to live as a human, um, sets you up really well to set that price point for your services.

Elaine:

Absolutely. And in the arts, we have a tendency to sometimes try to do things as cheaply as possible. Right? And, and partially that’s because we’re motivated to get the thing out there, right? We want this creative thing to get outside of us and bloom in the world. Right? But I think that doesn’t necessarily get you to the creative output you want, right? Artists are scrappy and they’ll figure things out and they’ll figure out how to make something work. Right? That’s one of the hallmarks of this sort of creative dot connecting, right? You can figure out how to do something, but I think if we really kind of exhale for a moment and just say, you know, how do we really want this to be. I think that brings a level of control and professionalism to the practice that takes it out of like a scrappy, let’s just figure it out kind of way and really gives it the dignity of the training and the professionalism that it really deserves.

Jordan:

Right. I feel like we sometimes get caught in this trap as musicians, you know. We’re doing this because of community. That’s why we get into music in the first place. So we get stuck in this…maybe selling yourself short or doing it for the dreaded “e” word- exposure, you know? So I think that’s really helpful advice.

Elaine:

Absolutely. Well, and I’m not always anti exposure, but you can’t just only do exposure. You have to be really intentional about how you’re going to translate that exposure into what comes next, right? So if you’re going to contribute a free singing lesson to a silent auction for charity, you adore- that’s fantastic. And maybe that counts as exposure, right? But are you also going to the silent auction event and networking with everyone who’s there? Or are you getting the list of everyone who bid on the free singing lesson you’re giving away? So that you can follow up with them or invite them to say, I’m sorry you didn’t win this free thing, but would you like to have a conversation about working with me in some other capacity? Right, so I think it’s, it’s about sort of understanding that there is value in that community and exposure, but you have to intentionally translate that into something that will yield sustainable benefits for your career. You can’t just cross your fingers and you know, hope everyone will realize how great you are. You need to take a little bit more control and intention around that process.

Austin:

Well, so. Okay, so Elaine, we got the job, we have the different roles and we’re really happy, we just signed the contract. Now we get a bunch of forms slapped in our faces. I’m looking at W2’s, I’m looking at 1099s and I’m looking at 1040s and they’re looking like a bunch of letters and numbers to me and you helped me and Jordan make some sense of this.

Elaine:

Absolutely. And on behalf of the entire accounting profession, the IRS, not that I speak for them, I apologize because the forms are ugly. They are designed not by designers and visually sort of literate people, right? They are hard to look at and they are designed to be universally applied to every human and creative people are just a teeny tiny subset of the humans in the country. So there’s a lot of garbage on there that doesn’t apply. So the biggest piece of advice is to just be patient with yourself. Pretend like you’re looking at a complicated score for the very first time. You don’t just glance at it and know it perfectly. You have to spend some time with it and you have to screw up and make mistakes and maybe call in a mentor or a coach or an advisor or a peer for some support.

Elaine:

Same process happens in tax world as well. So hopefully what we can do is focus your attention on, you know, a handful of things that need to make sense. So that when you do get that huge stack of forms in January, you’ll remember to be patient with yourself and then just work through them because this is way less complicated than what you’re doing creatively on a daily basis, but it doesn’t feel like it when you first look at this stuff. So let’s start with the difference between a W2 and a 1099 because that is huge in creative world, right? You will get a W2 at the end of the year for any jobs you had were you were paid as an employee. So this could be working at a restaurant, it could be working retail, and it can even be performing in a creative context if you were paid as an employee, that is totally different from a tax perspective than your 1099s, which is the form you will from anyone who paid you as a contractor or as a freelancer, right?

Elaine:

So it’s huge that you understand in these professional relationships you may have, whether you are being paid as an employee or a contractor. If you’re an employee, then your employer is helping to pay some of your taxes, specifically social security and Medicare. You’re splitting those taxes with your employer. They’re also withholding federal, state and possibly city income taxes from all of your paychecks. And then they’re sending those taxes to the IRS or the state government or the city cover match, right? So they’re using some of their infrastructure to not only contribute to your taxes through social security and Medicare, but also to use their infrastructure to collect and remit the taxes on your behalf. And that’s pretty huge. If you are a contractor though, you are totally responsible for all of your taxes, social security, medicare, all of the income taxes at every level and you’re responsible for sending them in. Because you don’t have an employer providing that infrastructure for you. Now, the good thing about being a contractor is that generally speaking, any expenses you have that are ordinary and necessary and effectively connected to this trade or business, you are running our deductible to you on your text form. That’s fantastic. If you are an employee, the general assumption is that your employer is providing everything you need to do your job effectively so you don’t get to deduct on your tax form any sort of ordinary and necessary business expenses associated with being an employee.

Jordan:

Of a W2?

Elaine:

That’s exactly right.

Austin:

Great. Can you expand on that idea of deductions? I hear standard and itemized…are there others? And what do all of those mean?

Elaine:

Oh yes, absolutely. So standard deduction happens on your individual tax return and this is an amount that every human that files a tax return in the United States gets. And you get it based on the filing status of your tax return. So if you are a single individual, you are not legally married, you get a standard deduction and for 2018 it’s about $12,000 or so. It’s worth noting that this is one of the biggest changes that happened as a result of the tax cuts and jobs act that was passed by Congress and signed by president trump in December of 2017. The standard deduction amounts were essentially doubled, which is pretty fantastic. Anyone who’s claiming the standard deduction is able to claim a much larger amount in 2018 than they were in 2017. And these amounts will continue going forward. So if you’re a single individual, not legally married and you don’t have any dependents, your filing status is single and your standard deduction is about $12,000.

Elaine:

If you are married filing jointly with your legal spouse, regardless of whom you’re married to, right? Everyone gets a $24,000 standard deduction. And if you are the filing status called head of household, which means you are not legally married, but you do have a dependent, your standard deduction amount is about $18,000. Now everybody gets the standard deduction amount, but there is a schedule called Schedule A and this is where you can choose to itemize certain deductions. And these tend to be personal deductions. The most common ones are mortgage on your home interest, also charitable contributions you might make, and also state and local taxes. Those tend to be the biggies that show up on Schedule A. So if you are that single individual, your standard deduction amount would be about $12,000. If you paid more than that in state and local taxes and charitable contributions and other things listed on Schedule A, you would choose to itemize your deductions instead of claiming the standard amount because you would take the deduction amount that’s bigger.

Elaine:

So let’s say I’m a single individual, my standard deduction amount is $12,000. Maybe I paid $9,000 in state and local taxes and maybe I made a $3,000 contribution to my conservatory because I so appreciated the education I got right. And maybe I also owned a home and ended up paying $2,000 in interest on that mortgage for the year. So I have $9,000 in state and local taxes plus $3,000 in a charitable contribution. That gets me to $12,000 plus another $2,000 in mortgage on my home interest. I’m at $14,000 in itemized deductions. That’s what I would choose instead of my standard deduction amount, which is only $12,000. So itemized versus standard is an either or kind of choice for individuals based on their individual tax return and their filing status.

Austin:

So the standard is going to be working well for you if you aren’t keeping track necessarily of all the deductions you necessarily make any year, but if you’re making more than that standard amount, it would be better for you to include those itemized deductions instead.

Elaine:

That is exactly right. And for singers, musicians, and anyone else who’s paid as a W2 employee, there’s a really big change you need to know about with respect to these itemized deduction.

Austin:

Do tell!

Elaine:

Yes, I know. Do you want to take a break first? This is a cliffhanger moment for the podcast?

Austin:

And we’ll tell you when we get back from the break! Nah, just kidding.

Elaine:

Hahaha. So on Schedule A, there used to be a line called miscellaneous. And miscellaneous is where people would report their unreimbursed employee expenses, so let’s pretend I am a performer and I am paid as a W2 employee and maybe I’m paid $40,000 a year as a W2 employee, right? Of that, I might pay $4,000 or 10 percent to my agent and while I’m performing I might have out of pocket expenses for lodging or meals or things like that. Right? Once upon a time, like last year in 2017, those types of unreimbursed employee expenses were deductible on Schedule A write on a line called miscellaneous, which is where you reported your unreimbursed employee expenses. Now, after the tax cuts and jobs act, that miscellaneous line NO LONGER EXISTS, so all of those unreimbursed employee expenses are no longer deductible, which is huge because remember, if you are paid as a W2 employee, you’re not claiming ordinary and necessary business expenses on Schedule C, that’s where you get to claim your business expenses associated with being a contractor or a freelancer. That 1099 income, right? If you are a W2 employee, all of these things that you may have thought were deductible last year are no longer deductible to you. And that’s a really big deal change.

Jordan:

So what would you recommend in that instance? Is that something you’d want to discuss with your employer? So you could get a similar type of cut if you would negotiate with them, something along those lines?

Elaine:

That would be a great option. One option your employer could start paying for those things, right? Which would be really nice because the employer as the company can deduct them as a business expense, right? So they could just pay for them instead of you paying for them and that will be really nice. Ideally you’d want them to still pay you the same amount and then pay for them out of pocket, but that could be sort of part of the negotiation. There are also some different strategies depending on the union or equity type of rules that might apply to different W2 employees. There has been chatter about forming an S Corporation to enable your employer to pay the S Corporation and then the S Corporation paying you as an employee, in which case the S Corporation would still get those deductions. That’s a little bit more complicated and definitely something that you would want to seek accounting and legal advice for because the rules for that are complicated and S Corporations are expensive to form and maintain. So you want to do the math to make sure that’s a good choice for you and also make sure that you will still meet all the employer rules that are necessary to do the S Corporation properly. Right. But that could be an option as well.

Jordan:

I would love to talk a little bit more about business expenses. Just like what kinds of things are deductible. So one I have a question about is transportation. Say you have a gig you have to go out to and you drive out to the gig, you perform and come back. So miles is a huge deduction for a lot of singers. Would would the miles count going there AND going back?

Elaine:

Yes they would. And again for this gig you’re probably being paid as a contractor or a freelancer. You’re not going to be an employee of the gig provider necessarily. So if you are an employee, all of a suddenly that’s commuting, right? And that’s not deductible. But if you’re a freelancer, those business miles driven our deductible and for 2018 the standard rate for business miles driven is 54.5 cents, which is pretty huge. And that would cover gas, maintenance on your personal vehicle, all of the other sort of things that go into using your personal vehicle for business purposes. If instead you had to rent a large van, right, because maybe you had a whole lot of people you needed to bring to the gig or large pieces of equipment or something like that, then you wouldn’t take the mileage rate. You would deduct the cost of the van or vehicle that you rented and you know all of the costs associated with that.

Jordan:

Wonderful. Do you have any advice for keeping track of these expenses? Because I know a lot of us as singers, you know, we want to go out and just do the art and not worry about taxes until tax season comes. And I know once that happens you can be ripping your hair out, trying to get everything figured out. So what advice would you give to make this habitual and really recording everything effectively?

Elaine:

Personally, my favorite approach is to set aside two hours on your calendar every month to go through the previous month’s expenses and income and your calendar to document what that mileage was. Right? And just give yourself permission to set aside two hours to kind of maintain this stuff on a regular basis. I think that’s a really effective way of training yourself and your body to kind of adopt these habits and it also makes you slightly more mindful and intentional so there can be lots of indirect benefits associated with that as well. If you are an app person, there are tons of apps you can use to help track both your expenses on a regular basis and also miles. MileIq is an app that does let you track your business miles, which is pretty great. You just download it and then enable the gps tracking. Then you just say, “Hey, I’m driving for business” and then it’ll track those miles for you.

Elaine:

If you are not an app person and I am not an app person, you can keep just a little notebook in your car and just jot down the mileage. Right? And that is perfectly fine. And then once a month when you’re looking through your bank statements for your business account and you’re going through that expenses and the income and kind of refreshing your mind about all of the record keeping for that month, just grab your little mileage log right and make a note of that as well. So you know, the most important thing is just to find the system that works very naturally for you because then you’re more likely to stick with it. I would never tell someone that’s not an app person that they have to use an app, right? Because that’s self defeating and no one has time for that. You have to figure out a system that definitely works for you and starting on a regular basis by building these habits, even just once a month or so is a really good way to do that.

Austin:

Going back to the point about being kind of this scrappy artist and having these opportunities, that exposure, I know that I have a lot of friends in the arts who are figuring it out by balancing multiple lives, multiple jobs in order to support their passion. Jordan, I think it’s a really good point in the interview to ask Elaine about those profiles that you were wondering about?

Jordan:

Yes. And this is specifically in your book, you bring up this point of your leading role as an artist and you have the supporting roles being your jobs that relates to what it is you want to do as your lead role. Can you, can you talk about that idea? I’m probably butchering this, so please explain that concept.

Elaine:

Perfect. Um, this is the idea of a portfolio career and I just absolutely love this as a framework for organizing what your creative life might look like. And again, for me, this is part of reclaiming that control over your own creative destiny, right? So as you mentioned, the main thing is your starring role or your leading role, that’s, that’s your thing, your total and complete passion. That’s what you could do if you could do anything in the world all the time. That’s your thing. And we want to make sure you are protecting that thing and doing it in a way that feels really authentic to you. And you can define it in any number of ways. It could be a singer very broadly defined, or it could be a very specific type of singer or performer in a very specific context, right? So it’s totally up to you how you want to define it.

Elaine:

You could even define it even more broadly than singer, as being a musician or someone who communicates through song and music. So it’s up to you to kind of define what it is and how you want to do it in a perfect context, but that’s what we want to preserve and protect. And in order to preserve and protect, right, so that you never have to say yes to something you’d rather say no to just for the money we develop these other sources of revenue or other streams of income so that again, if you are covering what you need to cover to exist as a human and protect your creativity in the way you want to protect it, then you never have to say yes to a gig for someone you can’t stand right? You can say, “Nope, I’m sorry. I don’t have the time or capacity to do that right now.”

Elaine:

You’re protecting that starring role. And the ways to do that sort of fall into these two other buckets. You have your supporting cast roles which are related to your starring role in some way, but they’re not exactly the same thing. So maybe a supporting cast role might be…if you are dreaming of performing on an operatic stage for ever and ever, maybe a supporting cast role would be performing in a sort of worship setting or a church setting on the weekends, right? Or maybe it’s singing for weddings. It’s not exactly what you dream of doing, which is being on the stage, right? But it allows you to maybe broaden your repertoire a bit, maybe work on a technique, maybe have some additional predictable streams of income. It could also be teaching. A lot of musicians in addition to performing, they take on students and that could be a very viable supporting cast role.

Elaine:

Again, because you’re developing technique, you’re developing new audience members for the future. You’re engaged in the world, but it’s not your starring thing. It’s in support of your starring thing. And in addition to income, it’s giving you some other kind of intangible, whether it is community or network or contacts or technique or discounts at a music supplies store, right? It could be any number of things, but there’s something related to your starring role that’s coming out of that.

Elaine:

And then of course the third category is your production assistants work. We all know in the performing arts that sometimes the star gets all the attention and the supporting cast role members are still there making everything look amazing and really work right, but the show wouldn’t happen at all if there weren’t lights and sounds and effects and ushers and a space and all of this production assistance work that goes into the thing, but it’s not necessarily what you notice. That can be your third category of income. It’s the work that is temporary and repeatable and stable, and you can go back to it if you need or want to and it provides income, but it’s not necessarily the work you talk about at cocktail parties, right? When you’re talking about your creative work. So those are kind of the three buckets you’re starring, role supporting cast role, and then your production assistant work.

Jordan:

Wonderful. So what I’m hearing from you is that this is largely an individual journey, but what’s important is to know the framework and how that can apply to you specifically because I think it’s so easy for musicians to feel that burnout when they have too much in one of these buckets. So I think that’s really helpful advice. So if you’re, if you’re feeling that burnout as a vocalist, as a musician, figuring out where you could start putting more time and attention to increase your quality of life.

Austin:

Yeah, Jordan, I’m hearing the same thing. Diversifying your revenue streams allows you to be financially healthy, but it also makes it mentally a lot easier. Elaine, that’s a really great analogy and it’s a great point.

Elaine:

Thanks, I find it so liberating because it reframes this idea of kind of “selling out.” I know we’re on audio, you can’t see me air quoting here, right? But the idea of selling out as an artist, if you’re not on stage all the time. That’s, that’s so detrimental. And the idea that if you are a person who needs very reliable health insurance for a period of time, or maybe you’re someone who works well with a very clear and predictable schedule. There might be a production assistance role that provides both of those things for you that totally frees you up to do whatever you want to do creatively in your starring role. That’s not selling out, that’s understanding your needs and figuring out how to live your life on purpose as a creative person and as a human. And I think when we sort of judge each other for the choices we make without understanding the full context, I think that’s so dangerous and I want everyone to feel empowered to make the choices that makes sense for them and then to make them on purpose.

Jordan:

I love that. An example that comes to mind is the Beatles. The Beatles started as a cover band and that’s their thing is they just covered songs for forever and then they started writing their own music and that could totally be seen as a supporting role because what they really wanted to do was be the Beatles! And they started with their supporting role and that totally fueled their musicianship, got them to a level where they were and they were able to write these amazing songs because they just had this vast amount of music behind them that they worked through and developed as a band together.

Elaine:

Absolutely. And Paul and John couldn’t have done any of the genius work they did if they were hungry! You have to take care of yourself. And sometimes that means also taking care of an aging parents. If you need to be physically in a particular spot and you can’t travel for a year or two because you’re caring for an aging parent or a relative, that should be okay and you can still contribute to this creative world in a wonderful way and let your mix of portfolio career evolve and change over time. And then you can be the Beatles and everyone lives happily ever after.

Jordan:

Okay. I have one last question. So with holding tax ourselves on the contractor 1099 forms, what would you recommend for holding? Like what percentage would be safe?

Elaine:

What a great question. One thing you can do is look at your own tax return for last year and look and see how much tax you actually pay. It’s going to be on the second page, about a third of the way down. And there’s a line that says tax, right? And it’ll tell you what your total tax for the whole year was on everything. Your self employed income and your W2 income with the standard deduction and everything else figured in, right? You can look at that amount as a percentage of your total income and use that as a good starting place to estimate how much you want to set aside. And you would do that for your state tax return in addition to your federal tax return. And if you live in a city that imposes a tax return, you’d want to look there as well.

Elaine:

But if you’re looking for just a quickie number, Elaine, just give me a number that I can start with, right? I would say start with maybe 20, 25 percent. And then just see how it goes. And that means you’re just setting aside 20 to 25 percent of everything you’re earning and maybe it’s a special bank account that you use to accumulate your tax savings so that at the end of the year or quarterly, if you’re going to be making quarterly estimated tax payments, you can make those payments from that account. And don’t forget as well if you do have a W2 job, even if it’s not related to your musical career at all, you can make use of your company’s infrastructure and you can sit down with the person in the payroll department or in HR and just say, Hey, I think I’m going to have about *fill in the blank* additional dollars of income from these singing gigs I’m doing. Would you help me set aside additional taxes? And they can withhold an additional amount from each W2 paycheck. And that can help pay your taxes on your freelance gigs as well.

Austin:

And you could just talk to HR about something like that?

Elaine:

You can! HR or the payroll person.

Jordan:

Wonderful. That’s great.

Elaine:

Yeah, that’s another great reason to keep that production assistance work. Because they, I mean, gosh, there’s so many benefits. Sometimes it gets a bad rap, but you know, paid time off for sick time and then using that infrastructure and predictability and schedule, there’s some really, really good things to that production assistance work.

Austin:

Well. Elaine, do you have any last pieces of advice for our audience members that you’d like for us to talk about? I think that what you have been talking to us about in terms of forms and which buckets that you’re having in terms of your financial life and especially these changes in 2019 are crucially important. But is there anything off the top of your head that you would like to discuss and leave our audience with?

Elaine:

Yeah, I think we covered kind of the most important, you know, surface level, top two to three things to just kind of plant in your brains going forward. So I applaud you both for kind of hitting those high points. I think we covered some really important things. The only extra piece I would add is this idea of for your business as a freelancer or a contractor or the own sort of businesses you run and sort of control as a creative person, don’t forget, you can still deduct all of your ordinary and necessary business expenses that are effectively connected to your trade or business and all of those live on Schedule C generally if you are a sole proprietor or a single member LLC and that’s a really good form to pull and look at some of the expenses that are listed on there like Advertising or Marketing Expenses or Studio Costs or you know, Equipment Rental or things like that. So definitely don’t forget that anything that is ordinary and necessary and effectively connected to the trade or business you are running is still deductible to you with some limitations. So be patient with yourself, definitely think about reclaiming control, about how you’re earning your income and making your creative choices, and then definitely seek some support as you navigate all of this tax nonsense, especially over the next year. So as these changes go into effect,

Austin:

Wonderful. Elaine Luttrull everybody! Certified public accountant galore. Again, author of Arts and Numbers of Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class, founder of Minerva Financial Arts. Elaine, thank you. Thank you so much. Jordan and I are so grateful that you have come on and hopefully we will be able to have you on in the future. I have a feeling that our listeners are going to want to hear you again.

Elaine:

It would be my pleasure, Austin and Jordan. I can’t thank you enough for having me today. All the best with the great work you both continue to do both with the podcast and with your own creative careers.

Jordan:

Thank you so much, Elaine.

Jordan:

Thanks for joining us for this episode. If you want to support the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes. We will be releasing our Patreon page soon and you can find a link for that in the episode description. Thank you all so much for listening. Happy Holidays!