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I've been dancing for a few years. I've been filing taxes as an independent contractor. I do not receive any 1099s. All my earnings are cash, received that day. I pay a house fee (rent for being allowed to work in their building) to the establishment, tip out (fees to dj, wait staff & host) & dance/VIP fees (a percentage of all dances or VIPs paid to establishment for using their couchs or VIP areas). I do not deduct these from my taxes because I didn't adequately keep track. I will for future tax returns. I have been deducting all other expenses related to my job (work uniforms, memberships,services for presentation like hair/makeup/nails).

My question is, should I create SMLLC, LLC, S-corp or continue as a Independent Contractor?

As a dancer, I'm not normally personally liable. I'm not sure if liability coverage of business would extend to me.

The reason I've been considering opening a SMLLC, LLC, S-corp is because of discrimination, trying to recieve loans, apply for apartments or homes, and growth.

Discrimination

A lot of companies like Chase, Paypal Venmo will freeze funds from workers like me. Even though I'm not doing any illegal activities. Some hotels refuse to serve workers like my Hyatt, Airbnb, Marriott. I do not bring anyone to my hotel. I use it for sleep, exclusively, for myself, alone. I am wondering if I create SMLLC, LLC, S-corp, I might have more protection from bank freezes, blocks or returning funds to customers? Also, if I'm a legitimate business, I might not be rejected from hotels.

Loans

As an independent contractor, its hard for me to get loans because I dont have 1099s. All I have is my tax returns. My taxs returns, are normally denied to 'inadequate income'. My taxs are so high; that I use the max deductions, to make tax payments lower. The problem is, when you do that, it makes your profits look smaller than what they actually are. Ive been have to pay cash for cars or anything big I want but it takes years to save for those things. I'd like to eventually get a house & start rentals but I get denied for home loans, personal loans & business loans. Would getting a SMLLC, LLC, S-corp help with this?

Applications

I get denied apartments because I'm not able to show consistent, adequate income. I dont receive receipts of payment or 1099s. I just have bank statements & tax returns. A lot of apartments, don't know how to deal with kind of income or see it as illegitimate income. My bank statements will show, one month I'll only make, 1200 a month & the next, 6000. I've been told by apartments, bank statements dont work as proof of income because I could be transferring the same income from bank to bank. Will creating a SMLLC, LLC, S-corp help with this?

Growth

You can achieve a lot today with social media & growing your name or business. All social medias (Instagram, tictok, snapchat, twitter, etc) systematically bans, blocks and shuts down workers profiles. Normally its from people reporting accounts for being 'over sexual'. These people are people who find dancers immoral. So, they report content. (Even though its a legal profession). All my content is fully dressed, not revealing anything and nothing being insinuated. Its normally, stories, precautions, day in the life videos (showing just my face, talking to a camera). If you get enough reports, they automatically remove your account. I've seen girls become famous or make thousands from exposure or one viral video. These can be great platforms for growth & to share my experiences with others, along with cautionary tales. If I have a SMLLC, LLC, S-corp based on dancing, can they take my information down or ban me (if I'm not doing anything sexual)?

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    "So... you own a business. That's great!! What do you do?" To eliminate discrimination, that question needs an answer. Banks, landlords, etc, want at least two years of tax returns from small businessmen. Regarding "growth", anyone who reports you is reporting you, not the company. – RonJohn Jan 22 at 4:41
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    Based on how well you wrote the above question, you should be able to have a lot of options for other jobs if you ever decide that you want to do something other than dancing. – gaefan Jan 22 at 13:16
  • Would you mind stating your annual revenue (cash intake) and profit (revenue minus working expenses, rentals, tip outs, etc). (Do not subtract living expenses to calculate profit, only working expenses.) If you have a company, the profit determines how much would be left to pay yourself with. There's probably a cutoff at which it makes sense to have the extra expense (and hassle) to form a company. – TTT Jan 23 at 0:49
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    TTT - If varies extremely. I've been claiming less than 80k. I use max legal deductions. My deductions are always over what you can claim as independent contractor. There is a max you can claim. Based on your comment, I think you might be right. A business might be better, idea. Thats why, I came on form. My local tax lady, had no idea how to handle it. The office has been doing my taxes for 2yrs but getting information from them is hard. They just have me send in documents, sign & pay them. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 5:50
  • Gaefan - Thank you, I do have two degrees. One in Bachelors in Fine Arts & Bachelors & Certification in Education field. Unfortunately, thise degrees are not as rewarding emotionally or financially. Teaching was horrible, I cried a lot. My current job, if I'm uncomfortable; I walk away. I only work three, 6hr shifts a week. I have the capability to make more, in less time. I'm hoping, to have passive incomes; rental properties, digital sales, stuff like that. So, I continue my life without working 40+hrs a week making less than 300$, while being belittled by parents/staff. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 6:00
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Being self employed is always a bit more complicated for loan underwriters because you don't have the proof of income from a third party, like a W2 and pay stubs from an employer. I've heard crazy stories like a lender requesting the bank statements of tenants to prove rental income was actually paid by a tenant. So some of this has nothing to do with your profession.

With that said, almost all single member LLCs or S-Corps are just pass through entities. So you could form your LLC and issue yourself paystubs and W-2s, but the corporate income would still just flow to your tax return. But, you could also choose to have your LLC be taxed like a corporation. Doing this would allow now require you to issue yourself a W2 and paystubs from an employer, and the employer would be completely separate from your finances. However, and this is a big however, you'd have to

  • start withholding taxes from yourself and remitting those withholdings to the relevant tax authorities, on time (though you probably should be paying quarterly estimates now anyway)

  • file a tax return for the corporation and a separate one for yourself

  • to the extent the corporation earns a profit, it would be taxed before it could be paid to you via a dividend because corporations are double taxed (this is why almost all single member LLCs are just pass through entities)

  • keep the business and personal finances very separated.

So you'd have a lot more book keeping, a second tax return, a corporate bank account, and the associated costs of those things, but you'd also get a W2 and pay stubs, and a tax return with no self employment information on it, which would probably alleviate almost all of your problems with landlords and car lenders and other consumer credit.

You'd probably want to talk to an accountant in your area to better understand the costs and effort involved because I suspect both would be substantial.

A lot of the rest of your question wouldn't be helped. If people complain to Venmo about you or whatever, I can't imagine a ficticious corporate name will help much.

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  • Good answer. A few tweaks I'd make: 1.) Presumably Self Employment taxes should be paid now, so forming an S-Corp wouldn't increase the tax burden. In fact, if there's enough to take a reasonable salary and have some left, it would actually lessen the burden. Also, in theory, someone who isn't declaring as much as they make in cash, may not do so with a corporation either. 2.) Single member S-Corps can (and should?) issue a W-2. Currently that's what I'd be leaning towards. It also solves the double taxation problem. – TTT Jan 23 at 0:57
  • @TTT ya you can issue yourself a w2 as a single member, and should be paying some quarterly estimated taxes but the tax returns would still be combined and the idea that I maybe didn't convey completely is that the point is to obfuscate the fact that you 100% own the corporation. – quid Jan 23 at 4:27
  • Your comment is very informative & I appreciate the time you put into it. I agree with most & its help shed some light on how to go about it. I've tried going to an accountant. Most, unfortunately do not have experience with all cash businesses. At least in my area, the most they've beeen able to help me with is filing my taxes as an independent contractor. The business side, has befuddled them. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 5:37
  • FIctitious, might be the wrong word It is a legal job; that I'm paying taxes on. I work with the same mindset as most small businesses. I have a schedule, strategies, pay fee/taxes, trying to grow as business & person. I was hoping to figure out how to stop being double taxed, if it worked my income bracket. Right now, I save 38% of my bring home money for taxes. Which is a lot, maybe I've been misinformed & everyone pays that much. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 5:43
  • "Ficticious business name" is a term of art when dealing with DBAs and corporate names etc and wasn't directed at you. Any accountant in your area should be able to advise you, it has nothing to do with being a cash business. The only time I know cash causes a problem is for things like marijuana operations because the proceeds from the sale is federally illegal so the cash can't technically be deposited in to a bank. As long as you can freely deposit money there's nothing stopping you from getting advice from someone local to you, nothing you're asking about is out of the ordinary. – quid Jan 23 at 5:55
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One very short answer ...

Applications. I get denied apartments [etc] because I'm not able to show consistent, adequate income... Will creating a SMLLC, LLC, S-corp help with this?

Unfortunately the answer I have found is pretty much No!

My life has been in exactly the same boat as you, except my dancing is crap. The various ways I have made money have been extremely boring/uncontroversial, but like the OP erratic.

I have literally tried (in Europe, Americas, Asia) every possible corporate structure etc, and landlords and the like just say "too erratic", regardless of how much money is on hand.

My guess would be

  1. Go ahead and try it, it is not expensive to get an LLC. An LLC is all you need. Make the company name utterly innocuous, like Western Engineering LLC. Get business cards printed up ($5 at Staples, use the web site) and so on.

  2. Unfortunately, as I say, in my decades of experience with precisely the problem you outline, it just doesn't help much - you may find it helps a little in some ways with some items mentioned. :/

Unfortunately that's my take. More power to you.

I've always found that people like eg. dancers hve incredibly sharp business minds because they have to be continually on the ball juggling money and they actually understand how consumer demand works as a mental process. My guess is you'll have great success as time goes on in your various business endeavours - but yes paperwork is a bitch.

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  • Thank you, I appreciate the non judgmental answer. I figured, that coming to housing; it might not work. I was hoping to gind some answers. Its extremely hard, to progress financially without being stable & expanding your businesses. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 5:22
  • With your experience; should, I continue filing as an independent contractor? Which is basically filing taxes on my personal income. Or would being a LCC or Corp, help? Mostly, I need to know bc I'm paying 'self employment tax', plus the other taxs. I'm being taxed double, almost. I think my tax rate total is 35-38% of my claimed income. I've been reading, various books about taxs, regarding businesses. A lot of them don't pertain to my unique situation, no paper trail. These books, talk about how you can save money on taxes by being a business. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 5:31
  • I don't think, I'd qualify for S-corp because I'll be claiming less than an 80k for the next few years. The income fluctuates year to year, greatly. – Wonderingway Jan 23 at 5:32
  • 'These books, talk about how you can save money on taxes by being a business' you're already a business. What kind of business you are just changes your record keeping requirements. You don't need to qualify for S Corp, as long as you have less than 100 shareholders you you can be an S Corp. – quid Jan 23 at 6:10
  • Cheers, "With your experience; should, I continue filing as an independent contractor?" My thought @Wonderingway (1) I would recommend getting an LLC. That is cheap and easy, and it gives you some "Impressive Power". (2) As mentioned on this page, getting an actual S-Corp is quite a hassle: AND, IMO, it does not give you "more" "Impressive Power". And then finally unfortunatrely (3) the direct answer to your question is that banks, etc just "LAUGH AT" corporations! To put it that way. They simply mark you as ... self-employed! They totally realize that a self-employed person can... – Fattie Jan 23 at 15:41

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