Tax Spreadsheet for Photographers
You need this tax spreadsheet! I remember sitting in my first small business class and being told that only about 5% of small businesses succeed – what makes you think you will be one of them? This startled me. The successful business owners know their financials!
I’ve used the base of this tax spreadsheet since 1998 when I was operating other small businesses. Being in the photography industry for 15 years, I have updated and customized to fit the business of photography. I hold a degree in accounting and business management which has helped me improve this spreadsheet which is currently up to date for 2018.
Get on top of your bookkeeping without spending a lot of time, effort, or money. This spreadsheet also aids in purchasing and pricing decisions for your business. Streamline your process and know your bottom line.
I designed this Excel spreadsheet specifically because the operations of a photography business are fairly simple. Photography is typically a cash based business structure. The photographer performs the service and delivers the product after receiving payment. At the time of receiving payment, the money is recorded as revenue. Business standard Quickbooks (or even Sage programs) are designed for more complicated business structures. After my first Quickbooks course in the early 2000s, I quickly realized there was a need for a simpler way to keep track of my photography business finances.
This Excel spreadsheet is a tried and true product that I have sold for many years. I used to sell this best business practices spreadsheet for $100 but have since taken the price down. Because the industry has declined over the years and more and more photographers are entering the field without business knowledge, it is important that you know what your bottom line is and that you are making a livable wage. You need this information if you wish to be a success in the current business climate – it should be available to you at an affordable price.
“My accountant loves you. This is the only system that has worked for me in terms of bookkeeping.” ~ Meghan
“I just received the link. Thank you so much! It is incredible, exactly what I was looking for. Been using a similar one my accountant made for me but it’s nothing compared to this!! 7+ years and finally an easy, thought-out solution! Again, so grateful for ALL you do for us….” ~ Carlise
“I hate Quickbooks so much. It is so complicated and meant for larger businesses. This spreadsheet is exactly what I needed to save time.”
How to Use the Photographers Tax Spreadsheet
To use this spreadsheet, simply start on the first page and fill in your specifics – your state tax rate, your tax bracket (or leave as default for an overall estimate), and whether or not you are a home-based photography business or you have a studio (these specifics help determine your expenses on the next pages).
Next, simply fill out different types of expenses that are associated with your particular business as well as the income/revenue. There are detailed descriptions to help you understand what information you should enter or what you should typically consider an expense and breaks out areas of sales revenue separately depending on what you sell and how you sell it – tangible product sales, intangible product sales (downloads), service fees, etc.
EASY!!!!! All of your data will be compiled and calculations will automatically occur. You will be left with an estimated tax breakdown and an Revenue vs Expense report. This is the page that you hand to your accountant or tax preparer. He/she will then be able to simply look at the final totals in all areas and create your final tax papers.
You may also use these figures to quickly examine where the bulk of your expenses are and make evaluations as to whether you have certain costs that are too high that you may wish to cut back on. This spreadsheets helps in decisions making and simple analysis of the health of your business. This is tool is one of the best ways to know your business inside and out.
Looking for more resources? Check out the photography business articles.
Jodie Otte is a Maryland professional photographer and designer.