Planning for the Present

bunnies!Here in the Northeast the weather is cooling. The back-to-school sales have started. Summer tours and vacations are winding down. Labor Day weekend is on the horizon.

For many of us, we’re starting to make sure we have all our finances together for the end of the year. Third quarterly tax payments are due September 15th. Many of us are assessing our health plans and IRAs, to make sure we’re using our money wisely. The tax code is complex, time consuming to read and, frankly, made by lawmakers and lobbyists who have more of their own interests in mind. Continue reading

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The Miseducation of Hip Hop

CHS Photo L. HillIn 2013, Lauryn Hill served a three month jail sentence for, of all things, tax evasion. I was shocked and dismayed by her case, mainly because I know where she comes from and she’s an intelligent, educated person.  Someone steered her wrong.  I don’t personally know the other increasing number of hip hop tax evaders, but I know they must be misguided and misinformed.

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Honesty Pays

Crocus in the snowToday I read this headline in Accounting Today:   “Tax Preparer Sentenced to 18 Months“.  This kind of thing always sends a shiver through my body, because, what if I make a mistake?  Or what if someone lies to me

I am a terrible liar.  Ask my mother. Ask my husband. Ask my children.  I giggle, I sweat.  I am a really, really bad at it.  That’s, in part, why I went into this line of business.  One of the rules when you become an Enrolled Agent is to be truthful to the best of your ability.  The penalty is much greater than lying to your mom about where you were last night. Continue reading

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Central Withholding Agreements (CWAs)


Artists and Athletes from outside the United States, were you aware that thirty percent of your U.S. earnings, including merchandise sold during performances and games, should be withheld for the IRS? This new policy assures that taxes are paid when needed.

However, many of the artists I know from other ccountries don’t make enough money here to have to pay taxes or live in countries with tax treaties with the Unted States. What to do?

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Savers Credit


The federal government has devised a way to make saving for your future a little easier.

The Saver’s Credit is designed for lower and middle income individuals and families who want to contribute to a retirement plan. Within a designated income range, as an individual you can receive up to $1,000. As a jointly filing married couple you can receive up to $2,000. Workers have until April 2013 to contribute to their IRA in order to receive the credit. If your retirement plan is of the 401(k) variety, you can set up your contribution now through your employer and claim the credit next year.

Qualifying taxpayers can file Form 8880 (pdf) with their 2013 taxes. For more information on this credit, check out

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Dunia Best Sinnreich – Fiscal Wellness Coach

Dunia Best Sinnreich, EA

Making money as a freelancer or independent artist is challenging – keeping it can be even more daunting.  I’m here to help you meet that challenge.  I’ll simplify the jargon and explain the process, all the while helping you to keep more of your hard earned pay.

Small business owners, you have great tax incentives to help you grow.  Don’t miss a beat.

Good tax planning year-round makes for an easier tax time.  Let’s make your plan.

I’m an Enrolled Agent,  federally licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS.  I’m available to give unlimited assistance with tax preparation, tax advice and audits as well as bookkeeping, payroll and retirement plans.  I’m dedicated to helping artists, small businesses and individuals achieve their financial goals.

I’m also a great listener.  Remember, all of our conversations are confidential.  Use the contact tab at the bottom of the page to start the process.

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Hobby or Side Income

You’ve done it! You’ve completed a successful Kickstarter campaign or finished that big tour, edited that documentary or sold that painting. You got paid! Nice!

Checks go to the bank, then out to rent, supplies, heat, light…life, basically, right? Maybe you’re holding down the day (or night or temp) job to supplement these soul pursuits. What if your side projects could supplement themselves?

When tax time comes, consider these side projects. It is work, after all. There is such a thing as “hobby income” and “hobby expenses”. Keep track of what you spend and what you make, even if you make your money by passing the hat. You can deduct a limited amount of expenses based on your total adjusted income. Maybe those rehearsals are deductions, after all. Your yoga mat may be more than one source of solace.

Most importantly, remember to breathe. We pay taxes to live in a society where our professional pursuits can be supported, where we can count on an educated public, where our health care is a right, where our children can thrive. Our individual prosperity increases when our community’s prosperity grows.

For more information on business and hobby expenses, check out IRS Publication 535.

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