Its Tax time.. not Taxi…
As a CONTRACT cabin attendant, tax time can be quite scary…
Throughout the year we are flying our little butts off making bundles of “tax free money”!! when we are new.. the reality of what that will mean the following April- usually doesn’t set in till its too late ☹ ..Unfortunately, the majority of us have learned our lesson the hard way about saving or (not saving) our tax money.
The first time I flew “contract” for an entire year, was a real eye opening experience for me.. Luckily I had a great accountant that helped me out of my mess, After scolding me of course! She also taught me a great deal about “itemizing”, and all of the things I can “write off” as a contract flight attendant because essentially we are running our own business..
If you are new to this game, here are my tips…
First, speak to an accountant at the beginning of the year and get some help estimating how much you should save from each pay check for the end of the year and put that money aside!
Also, don’t take the advice of your friends, family, or co-workers when it comes to this stuff unless they are a professional CPA or accountant! Everyone likes to put their 2 cents in, and although they may have some good advice (including this blog), no one knows your personal tax situation but you!
Second, try to pay twice a year instead of all at once at the end of the year!
Third, here are some of the most common things you can write off for your “business”:
1. Clothes ( all those pretty suits you buy, shoes, and hosiery too)
2. Laptop and computer purchases
3. Cell phone bill
4. a watch purchase
5. Transportation to and from airports and FBOs
6. Car mileage or payments
7. Rent if you have a second bedroom and you claim it as your “office”
8. Trainings (this is huge!!)
9. Getting your hair done
10. Office supplies, faxing, copying, etc..( at kinkos or your hotel)
11. If you do not get reimbursed for food expenses, or do not receive per diem, you will write off your meals on the road
12. Other travel or hotel related expenses- that the company you are flying with does not pay for.
Now depending on your personal situation, geographic area, etc., there may be much more added to this list. But make sure you keep all receipts in case of a scary audit!!
There are also companies that will take taxes out even if you are working contract. ( this is ideal in my opinion).
If they give you the choice, you may have to figure out what the best route is to go for YOU (again with the help of a professional).
Don’t let April 15th be D day for you!!
Fly safe and wise,
Cobblestones and Heels