April 5, 2015 • Musings
It’s spring and time to start celebrating colors and the season’s renewal. How’s that growing business? Flourishing along with the tulips, I hope, without being too saturated with administrative tasks that limit your creative time. To keep your artistic side happy this spring, we listed four things to do this month to better manage the business side of your art.
As important as administrative tasks are (and we know they are important), we’d really prefer not to do them. April is a great month to investigate some options for systems that will work best for you. The ideal system will save you time and energy and fit authentically within your creative practice. (And if you have a system, but you haven’t updated it in a while, April is a good time to examine if the system you chose is really the right one for you.)
Some of our favorite systems include GYST by Karen Atkinson, Mvelopes, Fresh Books, Quick Books, and any basic database tool like Excel.
Once you find the right system, it will make those administrative tasks infinitely less draining, saving you exponential time and energy to devote to what you love. Your April Systems To-Do: Recommit to a system that works for you.
Estimate Your 2015 Taxes
Your first quarterly self-employment tax payment for 2015 is due on April 15th. And remember, this is the first of four estimated payments, so while you’re thinking about the form, why not get the rest of your estimated tax filings ready as well? You can always tweak them later in the year. Use Form 1040-ES to make the payment, and don’t forget to use the available IRS resources to help guide you. Your April Taxes To-Do: Make your first estimated tax payment for 2015.
Pay Your 2014 Taxes
Have you filed your taxes yet? ‘Tis time. Go ahead and knock them out (including Schedule C or Form 1065, depending on your artistic entity type) so you can get back to doing what you love. And don’t forget to celebrate your 2014 successes – Filing your taxes is a great excuse to look back with pride on your most recent year.
You may notice a new question on your tax form regarding your minimum essential healthcare coverage for the year. If you did not have minimum essential coverage, and you didn’t quality for one of the exemptions, you will need to make a “shared responsibility payment.” Your April Taxes To-Do: Pay them. (Really.)
Support Your Community
What is it about spring and insanity? There are shows and premieres and commencements and culminations. As we embrace the end of winter – perhaps with excessive scheduling enthusiasm – don’t forget to support your fellow creative entrepreneurs. Our creativity and fulfillment grows with the spread of ideas and inspiration around us, and it feels like the right time to reconnect. Especially now that we’ve all ended our winter hibernation. Your April Support To-Do: Take a moment to connect with your creative community (they will enjoy it to).
To recap, there are a few things you can do this month to keep the business side of your art growing with the tulips.
- Recommit to a system for recordkeeping and management that works for you.
- Estimate your 2015 income and expenses for estimated tax purposes.
- File and pay your 2014 business and personal taxes.
- Take a moment (or two) to reconnect with your creative community.
Enjoy the sunshine (or the showers that make the sunshine even brighter).