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Hello all,

I'm not new to the Fool but I am new to this board; "Artist" is the job description I put on any form that requires one.

For a living I paint murals in people's homes. I am also an oil painter and soon will be making a little extra money teaching a painting class. So, I'm primarily self-employed, however I'm also on the payroll at a local shop where I make painted clothing part-time.

I'm here mostly because the specter of the IRS is beginning to loom rather large on my horizon, as my business begins to pick up.

For the past 2+ years, I have been technically self-employed but worked as a contractor for another (more established) muralist. That worked great, I got paid hourly, saved a chunk of each check to pay taxes with, got a 1099 and filed at the end of the year. Kept my mileage log & expense receipts, and did OK.

Then the market tanked and I wound up in the dress shop (on payroll; again, no problem) through most of this year. Not making tons of money, but having an awesome time.

Now business is picking back up w/the murals, but this time it's my OWN clients, which of course will pay better than working for someone else. I'm thrilled. But--I've also had a few startling realizations.

Mostly they are as follows:

I don't know how to track income from various clients, for tax reporting purposes. I don't know what forms I will need for this. It was a no-brainer when I just had a 1099 from someone else, but this is different.

I probably need to open a separate business checking account. I've already got the fictitious name, tax number etc.

I know I'll need to file quarterly taxes. I don't know how to go about that, either, never having done it before.

I wonder if I'll need to become an S corporation or something, but know little about the implications.

So...there is a lot to sort through, and I'm sure this is just the beginning. I plan to stick around here and learn as much as I can from people who've been doing this self-employment thing longer than I have.

Meanwhile, if anyone's curious, I've got some images up at

I'll be back in a little while...for now I've got planning to do for my little class, which starts on Thursday!!! Ack!

Dreaming, scheming & glad to be here,


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