Episode 206 – 11 Tax Benefits Of A Photography Business

Episode 206 - 11 Tax Benefits Of A Photography Business


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

I’ve had a photography business since 1998, but I didn’t start it for the tax benefits. I just knew I loved creating images, and it morphed into a business from there. Knowing what I know today, I will never not have a business because here in the United States, there are some awesome perks most people don’t even realize.

*Disclaimer: I am not an accountant. Seek your tax advice from a local professional, because there are nuances in your state and country. I’m in Illinois, so the examples I’m giving you are based on Illinois. 

First, we’re going to talk about a write-off and a deduction. The number one reason to have a business is because you can write things off, you can deduct them. The example I’m giving you is based on two incomes. Let’s say your income is $100,000. Then you look at all the taxes you pay, in Illinois it’s 42.5%. If you decided to invest in a coaching program that costs $13,500, then you’re only paying taxes on $86,500. So now, we’re paying $36,000 in taxes. You are saving $5,700. The government gives that back to you, because you have a business. So you’re actually only paying $7,796 for that coaching program.

But it gets better…not only can you write off the coaching program, you can write off tools you would buy anyway. If you buy a $3,000 computer, you’re getting 42% of that back. Same thing with your camera and lens.

Again, I’m not an accountant, it’s specific to what you use it for, but my business, Sarah Petty Photography, has the mortgage, insurance and my car title.

You can also write off your personal things you would like to have that you can use as a prop for a session. I’m not telling you to go buy a bunch of stuff so that you can save the money, but a lot of these things you’re buying anyway.

Freedom and flexibility with our schedules is clearly a reason to have a business. My heart is my family and my youngest kid goes to college in Florida and I’m in Illinois, that’s problematic, isn’t it? To go watch her play volleyball I have to get on an airplane and get a hotel. Guess what? I write that off. All I gotta do is have a session or a business meeting in that city.

You can write off adventure trips. Three weeks ago I had a few of my coaches get together somewhere in Texas. They rented a $1.5 million Airbnb with all of their families. They did some sessions, learned, shared, and wrote the entire thing off.

You can write off learning experiences. They’ve gone to photography conferences with me, and they do some social media and I’m able to write off both of our trips while pouring into my kids.

You can write off paying your children. You can pay them for modeling or give them side jobs. You can build generational wealth.

I trust this shed some light on the surprising tax perks of running a photography business. This is just a glimpse into the gold mine of information shared at the Photography Business Institute’s annual virtual gathering each February called Go Boutique Live.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

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