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Photo sales/ABN shenanigans

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Hello Atomicans.

 

I've recently started doing (unpaid) gig photography where a blog/website sends me and I chuck the photos on their site. I've had one artist contact me, and I sold her a few photos where I just had her bank transfer the money over.

 

Now, I've had some other friends who are in bands ask if I'll do live and promo shoots, but I don't have an ABN or anything.

 

I've googled around, and I am super confused. They talk about claiming expenses and whatnot? I'd like to take the easy way out and just have them deposit it to my bank account, but I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon/illegal/throw me in jail FOR LIFE kinda thing.

 

Any advice is appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance. :D

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Hello Atomicans.

 

I've recently started doing (unpaid) gig photography where a blog/website sends me and I chuck the photos on their site. I've had one artist contact me, and I sold her a few photos where I just had her bank transfer the money over.

 

Now, I've had some other friends who are in bands ask if I'll do live and promo shoots, but I don't have an ABN or anything.

 

I've googled around, and I am super confused. They talk about claiming expenses and whatnot? I'd like to take the easy way out and just have them deposit it to my bank account, but I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon/illegal/throw me in jail FOR LIFE kinda thing.

 

Any advice is appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance. :D

Why not apply for ABN? Then you'd be able to claim the cost of any camera gear you purchase as operating expenses and get a tax return. You'd also be able to claim any other cost related to your photography work, eg. buying a computer, petrol, car, doing printing, maybe even electricity bill, etc.

 

You'll have to speak to an accountant with experience in this field though.

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Don't register for GST. If you do it on the phone don't let the person on the other end talk you into registering for GST.

 

From experience... trust me lol.

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Hello Atomicans.

 

I've recently started doing (unpaid) gig photography where a blog/website sends me and I chuck the photos on their site. I've had one artist contact me, and I sold her a few photos where I just had her bank transfer the money over.

 

Now, I've had some other friends who are in bands ask if I'll do live and promo shoots, but I don't have an ABN or anything.

 

I've googled around, and I am super confused. They talk about claiming expenses and whatnot? I'd like to take the easy way out and just have them deposit it to my bank account, but I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon/illegal/throw me in jail FOR LIFE kinda thing.

 

Any advice is appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance. :D

Depends entirely on how much money you think you will make out of it. If it's a hobby and doesn't raise much cash leave it as such and don't worry about tax etc. Yes, the gear isn't tax deductable but then you don't have to provide an annual return for the income. If you find yourself doing something for a company or organisation that needs an ABN or will deduct tax from the payment first then use a "Statement of Supplier" form from the tax dept that states that you are doing it as a hobby. Same thing happens in the 'amateur' music industry particularly around paid gigs for festivals etc where the festival is large enough to need a an ABN (ie has a reasonably large turnover) but some of the performers are just doing it for petrol money etc. If the annual income just offsets the depreciation on gear and costs involved (or worse still doesn't offset) it's far easier and the tax dept is likely to thank you for doing it this way. If the income does become significant then all you need to do is to do your usual annual tax return and include the money earnt but offset by expenses and depreciation of gear at the usual rates, not really necessary to have an ABN even for this. Don't forget that there are costs involved in having an ABN not the least of which is the annual tax return.

 

ABN's can be useful in other areas though such as getting access to Telstra Business services (ADSL via Telstra Direct is far more reliable than Bigpond and an ABN can also get you access to other ISP business services). By the way this shouldn't be considered tax advice in anyway.

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