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Article Published in the September, 2016 Edition of Pittsburgh Avenue West Magazine

Temporarily Out of Service

by Michele J. Gaines, B.A.C.P. EA 

When my daughter was actively performing as a singer, actress and pageant contender, all she could think about was shopping, getting ready for the next big event, practicing her many talents and winning and win she did. She won money on many levels, worked harder and won even more money. She then worked even harder at her craft and began to get offers that paid her very well. All of those earnings started to open many doors but knocking on one of those doors was the IRS. What does a talent do to make certain that taxes don’t interfere, stumble or completely ruin the life one has had and the one that is to come?

At first, all daughter had to do was count on mom since after all, when your mom is a Tax Professional, mom could handle all of the business side of things and all daughter had to do was to continue being the brilliant performer that she had become. The tax shell game was certainly not going to affect her since mom knew how to play that game very well. Soon the shells began to crack not because mom was no longer available to manage her daughter’s tax life, but because daughter’s knowledge of her own tax life was to her a misnomer and could not be recognized as a necessary and required part of daily life. Not to worry, mom did not let her daughter’s tax life slip into overdrive. Mom simply had to help daughter become skillful in tax management for daughter’s own life so her misnomer about taxation turned from an unmanageable roar to a quiet purr.

Granted, all artists think art, no matter the type, whether they are singers, dancers, musicians, poets or models. Once the lights go up, the thought of anything and everything else goes temporarily out of service, especially the need to pay taxes on all those earnings. As those earnings are received, it is very rare that artists think about tax tools that can and will always sustain their tax life. Artists of all types do not either know, have or use any of the tax tools available that help reduce a tax liability, or even provide an increased tax refund due to a refundable credit, like the earned income tax credit. Refundable credits are a great way to increase a tax refund but those credits dwindle every year so it is more likely than not that those types of credits may not be around forever. So, if you are an artist, no matter the type, get with the program, the tax program and keep your tax life in-tact by using developed tax tools to manage, grow and stabilize your tax life for a lifetime and save your tax life from being temporarily out of service.

Of Note: Michele J. Gaines is the Author of: The Top Ten Tax Series: Know The Game & Save on Taxes, a series of instructional guide booksdesigned to provide insight on how to manage and balance your tax life. Michele can be reached at 412.224.4022 or by email at

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