Remember to save your receipts for possible tax deductible items. If you earn ove $1000 per year (in the USA) with your entertaining then you have to file a schedule C. It is considered a business rather than a hobby. The good part is that you also get to count your expenses off of the that income. So if you earned $1000 and bought $1100 worth of puppets it comes out as earning nothing. No, you don't get credit for spending more than you made. (You can claim a puppet in one year or spread its expense out, but that is harder to remember.)
Other receipts that will be tax deductible with a schedule C:
Mileage: Just use a mileage program like Streets and Trips to figure how many miles you put on the car for shows this year. BIG write off!
Food: Only eligible if it was specifically for the business, such as meeting with a client or fellow ventriloquist to discuss shows or when you are gone from home overnight.
Hotel: When you had a show and had to stay overnight because of it.
Airfare: If you combined a business/pleasure trip then count the part that was for business. A bit tricky since doing shows is such a pleasure! Most trips will be one or the other, but you could book a show next time you go to Hawaii and count off a fraction of that trip. If you're not sure what I mean then pay for my ticket to Hawaii and I'll book a show there and show you how its done.
Tax programs: Yes, you can even count off the cost of the software you use to figure your taxes OR the amount you pay the person who does your taxes.
Health Insurance: You can only count off the cost of your health insurance if you are not eligible to participate in any other program, including one that your spouse could sign you up for.
Certificate of Liability Insurance: If you don't have it, you should get it. See earlier discussions on performer's insurance in this forum. You CAN count off the cost of that insurance.
Dues: Belong to a magic club? Puppeteers of America? Count off the dues.
Conventions: Count off the entire cost of airfare, lodging, and meals for VentHaven or IFEST!
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