Tax Information - what do you need to do?

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Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Tuberat » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:47 pm

Hey everyone!

We've finally got everything set up for the Tax Stuff. You can read what you need to do and how to do it right here: http://www.animeboston.com/events/artists_alley_taxes/

ANYONE intending on being in the AA needs to do this. This process is free, and can be completed online in a short period of time.

DOING THIS does not guarantee you a space in the AA, so if you are on the Reserve List, please do not assume that you are now in just because you have also followed the procedure.

EVERYONE will STILL be contacted separately for Phase 2 (which is apparently not ready yet but will hopefully be so soon).
Those of you who have been told you are in the first wave WILL BE IN THE AA as long as you do both of the following:
  • 1. follow the above link now
  • 2. pay when that part becomes available.
If you have decided against being in the AA after looking at the following steps, LET ME KNOW so i can advance who is on the list so i can get Phase 2 out faster once its ready. Thank you.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Tuberat » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:55 pm

The artist who's email starts with Zimmay - your email host has decided that i spammed you and blocked your copy coming through.
hopefully, you see this post.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by SailorAstera » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:42 am

Ahhh being forced to do something I should've already done! AB knows what's good for me! xD

Thanks Nikki. ♥
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by snapesgirl34 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:46 am

It's a good thing Phase 2 isn't quite ready yet since it looks like it takes a few days for the business registration at the department of revenue to go through (which people should probably keep in mind so they don't apply at the last minute), and of course if it gets denied for some reason you have to apply again.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Blitzava » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:26 am

Does anyone else keep getting repeated error messages? It keeps telling me when I hit submit there are "technical problems" and it didn't go through :(

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by egyptianruin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:28 am

Once I register will I be required to file quarterly/semiannually (like I do for MD, my home state) for the rest of my life? I know with Maryland you have to file even if you make $0 and if you don't you get fined. I already have an EIN so registering won't be an issue. Just interested in this piece of info.
Last edited by egyptianruin on Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by egyptianruin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:39 am

Taxpayers who do not comply with the requirements to file returns, make payments or submit data to DOR in an electronic format will be subject to a penalty of up to $100 for each return, payment or data transfer submitted incorrectly to DOR. Please refer to TIR 04-12, Penalty for Failure to File, Report or Pay in the Prescribed Format; TIR 04-30, Revised Electronic Filing Requirements; and TIR 10-18, Electronic Filing Thresholds Modified, for more information.

Must a return be filed even if no tax was due for a given period?


Yes. A return must be filed for all periods even when no tax is due - just enter zero in the appropriate places. Filing each period is necessary for DOR's record keeping purposes. It also will help to avoid requests from the Department for filing information. Please note that all returns with zero tax due must be filed electronically. For more information, please see TIR 04-30, Revised Electronic Filing Requirements.


I found the answer on their website. I will have to think this over before committing. I will be bad at paying $0 for a state I don't live in every quarter or face a fine - especially if it is only done electronically and there are no reminders to do so. Gotta talk it over with my hubby first.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by egyptianruin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:32 am

Hey Nikki, Talked to my husband and I am a go on the tax stuff. He promised to remind me about due dates, lol.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Allyson-x » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:39 am

egyptianruin wrote:Taxpayers who do not comply with the requirements to file returns, make payments or submit data to DOR in an electronic format will be subject to a penalty of up to $100 for each return, payment or data transfer submitted incorrectly to DOR. Please refer to TIR 04-12, Penalty for Failure to File, Report or Pay in the Prescribed Format; TIR 04-30, Revised Electronic Filing Requirements; and TIR 10-18, Electronic Filing Thresholds Modified, for more information.

Must a return be filed even if no tax was due for a given period?


Yes. A return must be filed for all periods even when no tax is due - just enter zero in the appropriate places. Filing each period is necessary for DOR's record keeping purposes. It also will help to avoid requests from the Department for filing information. Please note that all returns with zero tax due must be filed electronically. For more information, please see TIR 04-30, Revised Electronic Filing Requirements.


I found the answer on their website. I will have to think this over before committing. I will be bad at paying $0 for a state I don't live in every quarter or face a fine - especially if it is only done electronically and there are no reminders to do so. Gotta talk it over with my hubby first.
Thats.... not very cool. Can someone clarify this? Is there a way to remove yourself from DOR when you no longer will be selling at AB? For example... if 5 years down the road I just can't do this anymore, I don't want to be hassled about paying $0 every 3 months or else pay fines, that doesnt sound right. I live in Maine, it's hard enough keeping up with my own tax things D: I saw a chart on their website too, and one of the amounts required that you file MONTHLY... Im not sure if that is the amount of taxes you owe to put you in that bracket, or total sales. Is there anything special that can be done for someone selling one time out the year?

I also have few questions of my own.

1) It says that clothing is tax exempt (YAY!) and when looking through the list it DOES say hats (which is my primary thing that I sell). It is my understanding that I still DO have to keep track of all the hats that I sell and report it to them, but I will only need to pay taxes on my plushies?

2) How do I give them the tax money I make? When do I do it? For example, can I just send them a check after the con, or is there some paperwork that I have to fill out and file on a certain date? Can AB provide the paperwork for us and the dates, or links to where we submit? Right now Im just nervous Im going to sign up, and on april 1st get a big penalty because I didn't file $0 in the first quarter. I guess this question ties into the first part, I just need to be sure I understand what Im getting myself into before I do anything further.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by snapesgirl34 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:48 am

Hey Nikki, I have a question about the taxes.

So I have a helper at my table who helps me sell my stuff (and watches the table so I can take breaks), but also sells her own stuff at my table (we sell our stuff collectively as same studio but each keep the profits for our own work). I'm assuming she will have to register for her own EIN. So I'm just wondering when phase two starts is there a way I can indicate that there will be two of us with different EINs at the same table? Or should I just email you separately?

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by snapesgirl34 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:51 am

Thats.... not very cool. Can someone clarify this? Is there a way to remove yourself from DOR when you no longer will be selling at AB? For example... if 5 years down the road I just can't do this anymore, I don't want to be hassled about paying $0 every 3 months or else pay fines, that doesnt sound right. I live in Maine, it's hard enough keeping up with my own tax things D: I saw a chart on their website too, and one of the amounts required that you file MONTHLY... Im not sure if that is the amount of taxes you owe to put you in that bracket, or total sales. Is there anything special that can be done for someone selling one time out the year?
You should be able to go to the website and tell them your business closed if you've decided to stop selling and don't want to have them keep bugging you for taxes. ;)

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Allyson-x » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:56 am

snapesgirl34 wrote:
Thats.... not very cool. Can someone clarify this? Is there a way to remove yourself from DOR when you no longer will be selling at AB? For example... if 5 years down the road I just can't do this anymore, I don't want to be hassled about paying $0 every 3 months or else pay fines, that doesnt sound right. I live in Maine, it's hard enough keeping up with my own tax things D: I saw a chart on their website too, and one of the amounts required that you file MONTHLY... Im not sure if that is the amount of taxes you owe to put you in that bracket, or total sales. Is there anything special that can be done for someone selling one time out the year?
You should be able to go to the website and tell them your business closed if you've decided to stop selling and don't want to have them keep bugging you for taxes. ;)
Ok, good to know :) I wonder am I able to do this right after AB and open up again in 2013? Im totally fine with letting them know what I made and giving them the sales tax, I just don't want to be hassled about it when this is a one weekend out of the year thing, you know what I mean?
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Faceman » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:01 am

snapesgirl34 wrote:Hey Nikki, I have a question about the taxes.

So I have a helper at my table who helps me sell my stuff (and watches the table so I can take breaks), but also sells her own stuff at my table (we sell our stuff collectively as same studio but each keep the profits for our own work). I'm assuming she will have to register for her own EIN. So I'm just wondering when phase two starts is there a way I can indicate that there will be two of us with different EINs at the same table? Or should I just email you separately?
It's fine if there are two EIN's at the same table - we just need to know about it. Both of you should submit your EINs to us via our form once you have them. When Phase 2 starts, just make sure you have her listed as in your assistant on the Phase 2 Registration form.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by snapesgirl34 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:07 am

Faceman wrote:
snapesgirl34 wrote:Hey Nikki, I have a question about the taxes.

So I have a helper at my table who helps me sell my stuff (and watches the table so I can take breaks), but also sells her own stuff at my table (we sell our stuff collectively as same studio but each keep the profits for our own work). I'm assuming she will have to register for her own EIN. So I'm just wondering when phase two starts is there a way I can indicate that there will be two of us with different EINs at the same table? Or should I just email you separately?
It's fine if there are two EIN's at the same table - we just need to know about it. Both of you should submit your EINs to us via our form once you have them. When Phase 2 starts, just make sure you have her listed as in your assistant on the Phase 2 Registration form.

Great, thank you! I'll make sure to do that. :)

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by egyptianruin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:20 am

So I just got approved and I looked at my account online and it does say I need to file QUARTERLY - I am on the phone right now to see if I can switch to semi-annually.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by kazul » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:26 am

I believe it will switch automatically after a year if your average tax filings are less than a certain amount
At least that's how NY taxes work
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by egyptianruin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:31 am

Well the lady on the phone said "Just close your account when the convention is over" I asked if there was a problem if I did this again next year if I were to attend and sell at the same convention and she said no just re-register all over again. I also looked up the date for the first payment and it was for the period ending 6/30/2012.

That being said my friend who is also selling said she didn't get any of this when she applied, that she got a temporary sales and use tax id and it asked her a bunch of questions like where the convention will be, dates, etc - any info on that?
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Gypsy Nightshade » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:31 am

Thanks for this! I have filed what needs to be filed with MA and awaiting their reply to file with AB. The people at the tax office are fairly helpful so long as you have a very specific quesiton. I am told one can file in how ever many states they want, just make sure to file your taxes accordingly per state per year.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by TwinEnigma » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:08 pm

I don't know about you guys, but when I contacted the DOR, they actually told me to get back in contact with the convention because I should be filing as a solo-practitioner under section C (or something) and not a business. Now, the former does not require registration with the IRS because it uses our SSN as an EIN, while the latter does want us to register and requires us to file separately as a business (which means an automatic $400-something tax).

So, do we need to be registered as a business with the IRS to sell at AB or can we register to sell just with the state as solo-practitioners using our SSNs as EINs?

I'm sorry if this is terribly unclear, but basically I'm confused because the site we were given is giving us instructions to file as businesses and not all of us may need to do that (at least according to George the DOR guy I just talked to).

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Bettina Marie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:12 pm

Even though I didn't make the first wave...at least I don't think I did...my business has been registered since 1993! :D So yea, I've been all set since then! XDehe
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Tuberat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:14 pm

Okay, it looks like most of the questions have already been answered -

firstly, yes, each person selling things needs to do their own tax thingy and submit it using the forms on the website. just make sure the person is also listed at your table when you do the full registration thingy.

secondly, looks like several of you have investigated the whole quarterly thing and got pretty much the same answer, so we're all set there.

thirdly, i have NO idea - i'd assume you would download a mass state tax form from that same website and use it the same way you'd do taxes anywhere else (i don't have state taxes in NH, but i do my business stuff in conjunction with my federal taxes and i do them online). and i know that way back when, when i actually owed taxes on anything, i just sent a check in with the form. though now-a-days, you can file electronically and you can do direct deposits - so why not direct withdrawals?

i'm sure that calling the place will get you pointed in the right direction. i have to make a call myself to clarify something i've done too....

umm...anything i missed?

Interesting how the new forum thingy works, it just stopped me from posting cause someone else did.

- twin - i have no idea. my boss went round and round with the DOR and THEY insisted we have to do this. i'm forwarding your question to him now. also, the form i filled out ALSO told me i could enter SSID# OR an EIN and that was using the same links given to all of you. We prefer the EIN because AB doesn't want to touch your Social Security Numbers.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by TwinEnigma » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:33 pm

So I guess we'll see then, cause the DOR also insisted I shouldn't be filing as a business.

Yeah, I'm a bit leery about that as well, but the filing difference between EIN and SSN means a world of difference for me, especially given where I sit on the Federal Poverty line.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by egyptianruin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:44 pm

From my understanding if you sell anything and make a profit you are a business. There was an option under the tax registration for Sole Proprietor - which I am under - meaning I conduct business myself, have no employees and file my income on my personal returns.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by TwinEnigma » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:48 pm

egyptianruin wrote:From my understanding if you sell anything and make a profit you are a business. There was an option under the tax registration for Sole Proprietor - which I am under - meaning I conduct business myself, have no employees and file my income on my personal returns.
Was that under the IRS one or the Mass one?

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by strawberryquincy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:52 pm

Wait so IS there an automatic fine like twin was saying? I know it is free to register but are they going to be like "here take this $400 fine and also pay sales tax on everything you sold" because if that is the case I'm not sure if I can swing that with travel and hotel and actually registering for the convention.

I'm in the first wave and I'd LIKE to go, but I need to get this sorted out first.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by TwinEnigma » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:09 pm

From what George the DOR guy was telling me, yes, there is an additional $400-something annual tax you pay if you register as a business with the IRS. I'd say call them and ask about it for more details.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Ree » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:14 pm

How long do we have to do this?
I made the mistake of mentioning this to my mom, who has no idea how taxes work, and she's been freaking out about me wasting all of my money since this morning. My dad's on a business trip and will be back home later this week, and he generally understands this stuff, so I'm hoping I can wait until then to file?

I feel like the worst person ever right now, since I have two other people at the table with me who need to file as well, but everything for the table is in my name. And if my mom has her way I won't even be able to attend the con at all. : /
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Allyson-x » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:29 pm

TwinEnigma wrote:From what George the DOR guy was telling me, yes, there is an additional $400-something annual tax you pay if you register as a business with the IRS. I'd say call them and ask about it for more details.
What??? I'm really confused now. I can't imagine everyone in the AA being OK with something like this. I know not everyone makes $400... I don't want to register as a business if Im going to be charged a fee like that! Why can't I use my SSN? Now I have no idea what to do...
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by okapirose » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:40 pm

Allyson-x wrote:
TwinEnigma wrote:From what George the DOR guy was telling me, yes, there is an additional $400-something annual tax you pay if you register as a business with the IRS. I'd say call them and ask about it for more details.
What??? I'm really confused now. I can't imagine everyone in the AA being OK with something like this. I know not everyone makes $400... I don't want to register as a business if Im going to be charged a fee like that! Why can't I use my SSN? Now I have no idea what to do...
Ya this is NOT helping matters, if we have to pay a $400 fine on TOP of everything else, we'll be in debt before the con even starts. Very confused on all this... :cry:

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by strawberryquincy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:53 pm

Okay guys, I just called and asked a few questions and the $400 something dollars is ONLY for large companies. If we sign up as sole proprietors there will be no additional fees other than sales tax. The guy at the DOR said we ARE allowed to use our SSN but it's better not to because it will need to be displayed and that is (of course) not good XD So no, if you fill out the business form as a sole proprietor you will NOT have to pay those extra hundreds.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by TwinEnigma » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:55 pm

And did he say if we could do that with the IRS or just through MA?

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by snapesgirl34 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:56 pm

TwinEnigma wrote:From what George the DOR guy was telling me, yes, there is an additional $400-something annual tax you pay if you register as a business with the IRS. I'd say call them and ask about it for more details.

Huh. No mention was made of that when I was registering, and there's nothing about it on their page about Sales Tax and Use: http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/tax ... guide.html Maybe George was confused? At least I hope he was. I think I'm going to call later and double check this later because that seems rather steep for an annual tax. D:

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by snapesgirl34 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:57 pm

strawberryquincy wrote:Okay guys, I just called and asked a few questions and the $400 something dollars is ONLY for large companies. If we sign up as sole proprietors there will be no additional fees other than sales tax. The guy at the DOR said we ARE allowed to use our SSN but it's better not to because it will need to be displayed and that is (of course) not good XD So no, if you fill out the business form as a sole proprietor you will NOT have to pay those extra hundreds.

Phew, that's a relief!

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Allyson-x » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:58 pm

strawberryquincy wrote:Okay guys, I just called and asked a few questions and the $400 something dollars is ONLY for large companies. If we sign up as sole proprietors there will be no additional fees other than sales tax. The guy at the DOR said we ARE allowed to use our SSN but it's better not to because it will need to be displayed and that is (of course) not good XD So no, if you fill out the business form as a sole proprietor you will NOT have to pay those extra hundreds.
I was just on hold for 10 minutes trying to call them, so I hung up when I refreshed the page and saw your post XD I was calling about the $400 fee.

So, if we use our SSN we DONT need to get an EIN?

If we use our SSN, what do you mean by "need to be displayed"?
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by strawberryquincy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:00 pm

Allyson-x wrote:
strawberryquincy wrote:Okay guys, I just called and asked a few questions and the $400 something dollars is ONLY for large companies. If we sign up as sole proprietors there will be no additional fees other than sales tax. The guy at the DOR said we ARE allowed to use our SSN but it's better not to because it will need to be displayed and that is (of course) not good XD So no, if you fill out the business form as a sole proprietor you will NOT have to pay those extra hundreds.
I was just on hold for 10 minutes trying to call them, so I hung up when I refreshed the page and saw your post XD I was calling about the $400 fee.

So, if we use our SSN we DONT need to get an EIN?

If we use our SSN, what do you mean by "need to be displayed"?
We do not need an EIN if we use our SSN but (for those of you who went to Otakon, I'm assuming it is similar to the Affidavit we have to file) we will need to display either the EIN or the SSN at our tables/when we are asked because that is essentially our license to be there. That makes it much safer to go ahead with the EIN because flashing your SSN isn't very safe haha.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Bettina Marie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:03 pm

okay...I've been filing business/self employment taxes with Mass since 1993 and have NEVER come across the 'paying additional $400-somthing annual tax' for registering your business.

I DO know that you do have to pay taxes if you make more than $400 PROFIT when you file income tax returns. Perhaps that has changed and I wasn't aware of it, but yea, I've paid some taxes on what my profit was after business expenses were subtracted from income...maybe that's something entirely different T_O;

As for the quarterly payments...I've had my taxes done thru H&R Block (though I've been doing them myself most of the time since I can't even afford for them do to them now :P) and they have suggested I pay quarterly payments, but I've never done so, have always just paid it at the end of the year when I file for the year and have never been penalized for doing so.

Again...maybe because I've had mine registered for so long and my business is so small that they just don't pay attention, especially when I do file every year on time. T_O;
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Allyson-x » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:05 pm

strawberryquincy wrote:
Allyson-x wrote:
strawberryquincy wrote:Okay guys, I just called and asked a few questions and the $400 something dollars is ONLY for large companies. If we sign up as sole proprietors there will be no additional fees other than sales tax. The guy at the DOR said we ARE allowed to use our SSN but it's better not to because it will need to be displayed and that is (of course) not good XD So no, if you fill out the business form as a sole proprietor you will NOT have to pay those extra hundreds.
I was just on hold for 10 minutes trying to call them, so I hung up when I refreshed the page and saw your post XD I was calling about the $400 fee.

So, if we use our SSN we DONT need to get an EIN?

If we use our SSN, what do you mean by "need to be displayed"?
We do not need an EIN if we use our SSN but (for those of you who went to Otakon, I'm assuming it is similar to the Affidavit we have to file) we will need to display either the EIN or the SSN at our tables/when we are asked because that is essentially our license to be there.
Ahh... Well (Nikki will probably have to answer this one) do we NEED to display it? Obviously I dont want 19,000 people walking by my table and seeing my SSN XD Can we just display this IF we are asked (by a tax rep for example, or AA staff). I just really would rather use my SSN, since Im not registered as a business and I claim my income as hobby income, I don't want to complicated my taxes anymore than they are. If we could have some sort of breakdown between using SSN / EIN and the pros/cons of each that would be really helpful, if we are given the option to use one of the other.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Bettina Marie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:06 pm

Allyson-x wrote:
strawberryquincy wrote:Okay guys, I just called and asked a few questions and the $400 something dollars is ONLY for large companies. If we sign up as sole proprietors there will be no additional fees other than sales tax. The guy at the DOR said we ARE allowed to use our SSN but it's better not to because it will need to be displayed and that is (of course) not good XD So no, if you fill out the business form as a sole proprietor you will NOT have to pay those extra hundreds.
I was just on hold for 10 minutes trying to call them, so I hung up when I refreshed the page and saw your post XD I was calling about the $400 fee.

So, if we use our SSN we DONT need to get an EIN?

If we use our SSN, what do you mean by "need to be displayed"?

It means that technically you're suppose to display your taxes/sales licence wherever you're doing business/selling as proof that you are a registered business with the state you're selling in.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by strawberryquincy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:07 pm

Nikki will need to answer, but I didn't display my form at Otakon. I kept it within an easy reach of someone needed it, but I didn't like... paste it up somewhere for all to see.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by ManifestedDreams » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:23 pm

So I just got off the phone with a lovely gentleman named Robert. I asked about a temporary license(like Maryland has) and was told that the closest they have is Seasonal filing.

When you register your business and indicate Seasonal, that is indicating you are only selling for a short period of time(say, 1 show in April) and you are only required to file during for that specific show and not the rest of the year. He also told me that if you happen to miss a filing for whatever reason, they'll send you a notice so you have a chance to correct it before incurring any fees.

So for anyone else out of state, I recommend going the seasonal filing route. You'll still have to file next year if you don't close the account, but it is a less stress option.

As for posting of your license, you need to have it visible for anyone(say, someone from the tax bureau for instance) to see if they were to walk by. Just like if you walk into a restaurant or some place that has their license framed. This is why using an EIN is preferred over an SSID. What I did for Otakon(since I used my SSID for one show) is take a small piece of paper and tape it over the number. If needed, you can uncover it for whoever but otherwise your license is out there without it displaying your sensitive information.

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Faceman » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:31 pm

While you can technically register with the MA Dept of Revenue with just your SSN and not an EIN, it's recommended by Anime Boston that you go with the EIN. It's less risk to you, and also to the convention itself.

That being said, we are taking the handling of personal data very seriously, and have worked to be in compliance with MA state law on handling personal information. If you've noticed, the form to submit is running on https, so all traffic is encrypted. Your Tax ID (whether EIN or SSN) will be encrypted in our database and access will limited to a need-only basis and monitored as well. And once the records for the year are submitted to the state and no longer needed, we'll delete them. So we don't want to give the perception that we're not equipped to handle your personal information. But we'd rather not if we can avoid it altogether.

As far as I was made aware during our discussions about this, displaying the EIN at the table was never brought up. If you had to do it at another convention or another time, remember that those laws differ by state, convention classifications and sizes, and even by years. I will bring it up though, so we can get confirmation if that has to be done.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by SailorAstera » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:35 pm

Thank you all for asking (and answering) questions that I hadn't thought of. This thread is very helpful for me.

EDIT: I do wish MA had a temp tax ID like MD though ;)
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by MidnightSiren182 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:39 pm

Part of why you guys had to do at Otakon was that the MD comptroller office does occasionally pop by Otakon is memory serves me to check on things but yea, the AA regulations between AB and other cons differ so just because you had to display that info as Ota or elsewhere, you don't necessarily have to at AB.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by strawberryquincy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:39 pm

Faceman wrote:As far as I was made aware during our discussions about this, displaying the EIN at the table was never brought up. If you had to do it at another convention or another time, remember that those laws differ by state, convention classifications and sizes, and even by years. I will bring it up though, so we can get confirmation if that has to be done.
The laws are different yes, but I called the Mass DOR and the man said that it should be displayed at AB (which is why he urged not to use the SSN) so that would definitely be a good thing to sort out, thanks :)

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Question: "Address of Actual Physical Location Being Registe

Post by KoriMichele » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:35 pm

Hey, so I've got me EIN and I'm attempting to register it with the state of Mass.

But I've come up to the question: "Address of Actual Physical Location Being Registered"

Previously in this form, I filled out the Primary Business Location (office of business) in my home state of Maine. This question about "Physical Location Being Registered," does that still mean my Studio in Maine, or does it mean the convention center where I will be making my sales in Massachusetts?

If you are an out-of-stater, how did you fill this part out?

Thanks!
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Re: Question: "Address of Actual Physical Location Being Reg

Post by Mara » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:09 pm

KoriMichele wrote:Hey, so I've got me EIN and I'm attempting to register it with the state of Mass.

But I've come up to the question: "Address of Actual Physical Location Being Registered"

Previously in this form, I filled out the Primary Business Location (office of business) in my home state of Maine. This question about "Physical Location Being Registered," does that still mean my Studio in Maine, or does it mean the convention center where I will be making my sales in Massachusetts?

If you are an out-of-stater, how did you fill this part out?

Thanks!
I'm in-state, but I gave my home address. I sell stuff on Etsy, and that's where that stuff comes from, so...

I guess I'll talk about my experience in the event that it's helpful...

When I registered for an EIN, the questionnaire gave you a chance to indicate that you were signing up for an EIN for the purposes of something like "I am opening a bank account and the bank is making me do this." I didn't notice anywhere that I was now going to be expected to pay surprise! $400 entrepreneur penalty! or anything like that. As it is, I'm a horrible businesswoman and my expenses far outpace my profit, lol. Anyhow, all that got squared away very quickly.

I registered for my MA sales tax license number-thing last night, and it didn't take long. I also became terribly afraid that this now meant I was going to fall under ADDITIONAL LIFETIME SCRUTINY! as a result. By my figuring, I'd be paying something like 50 bucks in sales tax to Massachusetts, so I fall under the "you can file online annually" category. Great!!!

When I go see our accountant next month, I am going to have a LOT of questions for certain. It's crummy to feel like you're parting with your hard-earned money when it's not like you're making thousands of dollars (I sure didn't in 2011... I brought in something in a piddly three-digit amount, donated a big chunk to charity, and I know that I spent more on start-up costs than I made back). We'll see how this goes, I guess. I'm scared about possibly doing something that results in going to white-collar prison or leaves me broke and distraught, having opened the Pandora's box that is signing up for an EIN. I am hoping that these fears are misplaced.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by pulsedemon » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:34 pm

SailorAstera wrote:EDIT: I do wish MA had a temp tax ID like MD though ;)
You and me both.

I'm not sure if this has been made entirely clear, but there's a 'show promoter' license that we, as an organization need to fill out (else we run into problems). Part of that is a section on sales tax IDs for all vendors. If you're selling anything, you're a vendor.

In the past, there was an exception built into the law that set a threshold of a minimum of 3 shows in a calendar year before a show promoter license was required. That exception was removed, so we're required to collect this information from anyone selling anything. In the past, I've collected this kind of information from everyone in the Dealers' Room, since I figured it'd be smart to do so in case of some kind of cataclysmic audit or something. Also, they'd already be taking care of that kind of thing, anyway.

I can't find any information on any "seasonal filing" at all. That was only in a search on the DoR's site. When I called them a while back to figure out if there was any kind of alternative to make it easier (as in any way similar to MD or any other state) I was told that there really isn't and that the registration is at least a permanent one, so the 'growing pains' should be largely limited to this year.

I can't say for certain that if you talk to one specific person at the MA DoR you'll get one answer and if you talk to another person you'll get another answer. Any question specifically about an EIN really should be answered by the IRS, not the MA DoR.

When I called the DoR, it was to get answers about some questions and they answered everything I asked. At the same time, I was coming to my list of questions from my own perspective as the guy that has to fill out the show promoter license paperwork. I tried to anticipate some of the questions I thought would be most obvious, but I guarantee I couldn't anticipate everything. We can try calling the DoR and ask them questions, but the best solution is probably to call them and make sure you've got answers to your own questions.

It is a system that's very different from ones that I've seen in other states. Unfortunately, that basically means that we're all caught in this arcane setup together.

Like Mara mentioned, the EIN can be used for identification purposes. That was actually the one 'hint' that the MA DoR mentioned that seemed useful. It's possible to set things up for like payroll taxes and whatnot, but if you have no payroll, you don't need to worry about that. Either way, if you've got questions, the ultimate answers will come from either the MA DoR or the IRS.
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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by ManifestedDreams » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:32 pm

So I went to try and fill the form out and got stuck on what I identified my business as(retail or artist, what sort of retail if retail? Gah). So I stopped. Well, when I went to try again, it said my application was being processed, despite not being finished. Kind of paranoid and floating in limbo now. I like AB, but I feel like I'm creating an abusive bedfellow with the Mass Dept x_x.

Just wanted to share my "OH GOD CRAP" with someone xD;

Anyone else have this happen? x_x

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by mystcloud » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:43 pm

what business code did you all choose? i'm having trouble finding one that fits, but it is a long confusing list so i might be missing it haha

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Re: Tax Information - what do you need to do?

Post by Kogarashi » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:53 pm

So which to choose, Art Dealer, Novelty, or Miscellaneous? (Yes, the code for retail trade.) Good grief.

At least the IRS part was surprisingly painless. :)

EDIT: and just noticed the "Independant artists, writers, & performers" code. That actually looks like it fits better. Yay.

Double-Edit: When I registered with the Mass DOR, there was a checkbox to click if you sell seasonally, so maybe that's what the DOR people were referring to? It did ask me when the first day I would be collecting sales tax was, and what months my business operates. :shrug:

That being said, if we're not in the first wave of artists, do you want us to wait until we're confirmed before we submit our EIN through the form on the AB website?

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