A Complete Guide to Filing Taxes as a Photographer

accountants for photographers

By doing so, your books and your bank account statements should line up more evenly. Revenue or income is the amount of money you earn from engaging in normal business. When you offer a billable service like photography, this money comes in when your clients receive their invoices and make payments.

  • This could impact the perceived value of services offered by photographers based in Philadelphia.
  • Top options include FreshBooks, Patriot, Shoeboxed, Wave, ShootQ, StudioCloud, and Studio Ninja.
  • Xero is one of the best accounting software options when it comes to features.
  • Needless to say, there is a lot on your plate when running a photography business.
  • Then, when quarterly or annual tax time comes around, you’ll be well-prepared with the most accurate information.

You might also earn income from special contracts and projects, or from selling investments. Softwares like FreshBooks can help create professional-looking invoices and estimates that reflect the brand. This, in turn, can help manage payments and reduce the need for chasing down checks. Some popular options include FreshBooks, Patriot, and Wave, which provide affordable solutions with features specifically designed for photographers.

Stay Informed

Taxes can be complex and time-consuming, especially for small business owners like photographers. To minimize your risk of an audit, keep your tax returns as simple as possible. Accounting software is always helpful in these situations as well as keeping very organized and concise records regarding your photography business and expenses. When you’re not behind a camera, chances are you’re in front of a laptop touching up the photos from the shoot. If you work from home, you can deduct a percentage of your home expenses — utilities, Internet, maintenance, property taxes, mortgage interest, rent, etc. Roughly 10% of total home expenses is a reasonable estimate, but it may be larger if you use your home as a studio as well.

All of them have pretty dashboards and integration with many banks. Payroll is an option in some, while others partner with other software. Looking at financial reports allows you to identify trends and plan for your taxes with a professional.


As a photographer running either a solo career or a studio with a number of staff, you will also find it an ideal solution to manage your finances and HR payroll. Accounting software is an application that enables businesses and individuals to manage their accounting transactions. It helps automate the process of documenting receivables, accountants for photographers payments, and HR payroll. Studio Ninja is more of a CRM, project management, and marketing platform, although it does have some accounting features built into it. This cloud-based platform is specifically designed to help photographers organize their receipts, track expenses, and simplify their overall accounting processes.

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If you do shoots away from your home, you’ll be traveling as a photographer. Think about all the weddings and other occasions that you’ll need to be on location for. Expenses like airfare, car mileage or rental car, lodging, and meals can all be deducted come tax time.

Expense tracking and management

Xero is one of the best accounting software options when it comes to features. Their accounting software provides a range of features for managing a photography business, including invoicing, bank reconciliation, and detailed financial reporting. It also integrates with various third-party apps to increase efficiency.

  • Kim Shackleton is a former accountant, bridging the GAAP between numbers and words.
  • Using simple accounting software like FreshBooks can help ease the pain of bookkeeping.
  • It won’t save you the entire $10,000, but you might save a few hundred dollars.
  • He works all over the US, but many of his assignments take him to Nashville, the country music capital of the world.
  • We go beyond traditional accounting, seamlessly integrating into your team to provide a harmonious and streamlined approach to your photography business.
  • It is important to keep an accurate record of your expenses right through the tax year.

Reports showing future cash flow and outstanding invoices are also helpful. Even if you can’t afford to hire a full-time employee to manage your photography business finances, incorporating expert advice at the right times can make all the difference. You might want to handle your own bookkeeping but invest in a professional accountant at tax time, and set aside money in savings if you want to hire a financial consultant or bookkeeper. Accounting for photographers involves more than just tracking receipts and incoming payments. To conduct business ethically, responsibly, and profitably, you should have a foundational understanding of good accounting practices. This includes tracking business expenses, tax preparation, using the right accounting software, and so much more.

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