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Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Sorry I don't post about magic routines. I always seem to tackle the contentious subjects don't I? Anyway, hope they are worthwhile subjects to you.

Today I've been in a hall to do a Birthday Party. Noticed a lot of printed literature pinned up for an entertainer I've never heard of. Mobile phone numbers only advertised. Got talking to the friend of the parent who had this entertainer. He would not accept a cheque/check, demanded cash. Apparently his booker drove to the nearest ATM machine to draw cash for him.

Now, am I of a suspicious mind, or do you sense yet another tax dodger here? I guess like us, you full-timers will have to find thousands of pounds or dollars for the taxman when the time comes around. You part-time professionals most likely will have to find hundreds of pounds/dollars too.

Since like us, you probably pay tax at 20% or maybe more, how do you feel about tax dodgers. Do you just think it's none of your business, or "they'll get caught in time", or do you actively consider doing something about it like putting all their literature in a big brown envelope and posting it to the Inland Revenue/IRS?
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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I take cash only for birthday shows, and do declare all my income.

My customers are told of this policy, when they are booking their show. They are also reminded of it during the show reminder phone call. It is not the proper time to introduce them to this policy at the show.

I chose this policy, because of birthday customers bouncing cheques. I did not experience this with customers who are businesses, so I still accept cheques for non-birthday shows.

Seems to me we've explored this subject before, regarding tax evasion / getting paid in cash.

- Donald, not the tax dodger nor the "snotty Canadian" Smile
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Cheshire Cat
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Wow, have only ever had 2 Birthday bouncy checks (cheques) in 26 years Donald. One took nearly six months to resolve, the other (would you believe they owned a stable full of racehorses?), paid days after in shame! Shows the differences once again between areas and countries.

How do you feel about paying tax and seeing others getting away as dodgers though?

Tony.
Donald Dunphy
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Of course it's unfair, I agree.

Would I rat them out? Not too sure.

Do I believe that there is something cosmic that will take care of those who are evil, sneaky, dishonest, lying, unethical, immoral, etc? You betcha! Do I believe that I am the agent for that revenge? Again, not too sure.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Emazdad
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Like Donald I take cheques from business customers, But for birthday parties the deposit is usually paid by cheque, (it's not a good practice to post cash) but I now ask for the remainder in cash on the day, before I start. (I only ask for it beforehand when I go to a party that for some reason I feel it's best to get my money first.

I used to accept cheques (with a cheque card) but found out that if a clients cheque card does not cover the full amount of the fee, and they write two cheques, then one of the cheques is not covered by the card.

Luckily I've only had a couple of cheques bounce which were more of an error rather than a deliberate attempt to rip me off, a quick phone call, resulting in an embaressed apology and the fee settled in cash sorted the problem. In over 10 years have only actually beem ripped off once. By asking for cash on the day, and having a 'pay before I start' clause on my contract, I get a bit of protection from the unexpected.

I declare all my earnings. As for the tax dodgers, yes I often feel like shopping them, but they are usually not professional enough or good enough to last long in this business, so I don't bother.

I know I should, as with benefit cheats, but like a lot of us we moan about them but stay silent. Don't ask me why, is it because at school we were conditioned that it was wrong to grass someone up.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Donald Dunphy
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Wow! I did a search under your name, and the keyword, tax. You sure say that word a lot. Smile

You also started a thread in the past about people who evade paying taxes: Magic Café thread... That Taxing issue (again).

I found several other posts from you in the last two years reflecting a similar experience / opinion about being bothered by those not paying taxes:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......t=118877

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......t=120598

And you have talked in other posts about being conscientious and paying your taxes.

This must be something that really bothers you personally, Tony. Tell us more about why you are so passionate about this topic.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Cheshire Cat
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Why so passionate Donald? Simply because I intensely dislike those who cheat the system, whether it be tax on earnings, tax on motor vehicles, those who claim benefits they are not entitled too.

Let's go one step further in my 'portfolio' of comments on tax on the Magic Café . . . yes, I would put everything into a big brown envelope and send it to the Authorities. I simply relish competition in my entertaining activities, but if this is not on a level playing field, but by people who think they can move the goalposts to suit themselves, then I usually do something about it. I came into Children's Entertainment full-time in September 1980 (had previously done two years part-time), to put food on the table for myself and wife (and subsequently children), to put a roof over our heads, to give us vacations, to give us a quality of life. If some guy thinks he (or she) can start undercutting us in our locality by avoiding Tax (yes, there I said it again - TAX), then they are in for a surprise. But if they come at us from a legitimate business stance with a top class entertainment then I'll respect and even help anyone should they need it.

Hope this clarifies, with best wishes from Tony.

TAX-TAX-TAX-TAX-TAX-TAX . . . (smiley)!
Rupert Bair
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I’m a tax dodger! The fact I don’t earn enough and I’m not old enough holds me back! I think entertainers and every one should pay their taxes, it seems that people that don’t pay taxes are always complaining about the state of the country. But I think well what about those thousands of people that committing benefit fraud and honest people are having to pay for their laziness.

Matt
Starrpower
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I'm too much of a "Nervous Nelly" to cheat on taxes.

Having said that, I have nothing against those who do hide a little in an attempt to keep their hard-earned cash. Personally, I think the government takes WAY too much of our money. And the real bitch of it is they seem to think they are entitled to it. For example, when I buy a car, I pay the taxes. When I sell that car, they want to tax it again. Why? It's already been taxed, and no new money has been generated.

I say we start a revolution! ARISE, WORKERS OF THE WORLD ...

Oops! Sorry. Got a little carried away there ...
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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HI Tony,

Yes, I like the subjects you choose to put up for comments. (Would like to know what kind of routines you do in your kids shows as well, besides your good looking marionettes).

I hope I'm not going to get into trouble with you here by my comments. Why would you assume that the entertainer you mentioned is not going to pay his taxes on his earnings, just because he doesn't accept cheques/checks? I also noticed that Donald and Emazad both only accept cash at birthday parties as well. I"m not one to accuse but we only have their word for it that they declare their cash earnings come tax pay up time. ( I know, I know they are honest guys, what Canuks and Poms aren't?) I'm just not one to assume (making an ass out of you and me) too quickly. It's bad for my health personally.

For the record I try to only accept cash myself for most shows I do. I cannot register as business in any form here with my visa situation as it is. Luckily because I have so many kids I don't have to pay very much tax at all.

JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Donald Dunphy
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Thanks Tony for the share. I know this is a passionate subject for you, and that you have wisdom and insight to share.

Perhaps your post will impact someone who might have thought to do otherwise. If it did that, then you have accomplished "your mission." Smile

BTW, David Ginn also deals with being honest, and declaring all your income, in his books. I've also heard Sammy Smith teach this in his audio cassettes. So, you are in good company.

- Donald

P.S. Who amongst us declares their tips as income?
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Harv
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I've never had a cheque bounce. Why? Because I don't accept them for payment. When booking a show I make it clear to the customer that I only accept cash and have had no problems. I also declare everything I make and all my expenses related to my business.

Harv
Starrpower
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Just because something's legal doesn't make it right. We once kept slaves in this country. How evil was it to break that law? I just can't find too much anger with people who only want to keep a reasonable portion of their own earnings.
Emazdad
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"P.S. Who amongst us declares their tips as income?"

Hi Donald, who's going to answer that question honestly on a public forum, especially one like this where our identities are not kept secret. Big brother is always watching. Smile
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Donald Dunphy
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True, Emazdad. That is a pretty private question.

But I'm sure Tony wants to know so he can send the revenue agency (is it called HM Collector of Taxes, in the U.K.?) over to your home, and Billy's, and Phillip's, etc. Smile Hehehe, just kidding, Tony!

I guess my real question is this: Have performers actually thought about declaring tips as part of their income?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Emazdad
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I know a guy who could get away with everything, he'd fall in a pile of manure and come up smelling of roses, I'd fall in a rose bush and find the cat poo.

So working on the assumption that if they were going to randomly check one entertainers accounts in each town or city, mine name would definatly be pulled out the hat I don't take chances.

I'm that honest that if someone give me an envelope with my fee in before the show, and I find they've forgotten they've paid the deposit and paid me too much I give them the extra back. I'd rather do that, than get a phone call later when they realise what they'd done accusing me of ripping them off. I could get away with saying, I never counted it, but I've got too much of a concience.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
NJJ
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I legally avoided paying tax for many years because of loophole in tax law.

However, I now claim 99% of my income. I must admit I don't claim the occasional honourium when I do a freebie and someone gives me $20 or if I get a $10 a restuarant and spend it before I get to the bank.
Starrpower
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Emazdad, you're not alone! I recently did a small strolling gig. The fee was $350. I got the check from the agency the day before the event -- in the amount of $3,500!!

Of course I called them right away. Chances are it would have been caught by an accountant at some point, but there's no way I could have slept at night knowing I had cheated someone.

The taxman, on the other hand, can go pound dirt ...
Cheshire Cat
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Ah the tips . . . well I treat this as a personal gift from a booker myself, just as though they were giving me a bottle of wine (which often happens), or once got a bottle of champers and a huge turkey from an airline company Christmas do!

I admit it's probably unfair JoJo, to assume that cash only entertainers are 'fiddling', in fact having read a recent financial news report here in Britain this weekend about cheque(check) clearing houses, I am honestly thinking of switching to cash for us at our parties, although having said that, every customer will have already paid a cheque deposit and received a printed booking form with the full fee on. They also are offered a receipt. So there is little 'fiddling' we could do even if we wanted to. So I stand corrected here, - maybe the mobile phone number ONLY, combined with cash adds up to suspicion though?

It's just that . . . you guys are probably the same . . . take Christmas for instance. You have this huge wad of notes in your hands on a Monday morning, and you for one moment think to yourself 'I'll tuck some of this under the mattress' - but then your basic honestly and common sense takes over and you go and put the lot through the books.

Tony.
Andy Wonder
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I really don't care what other entertainers do with their cash. It is none of my business. What does annoy me a little is when people assume I avoid tax by virtue of the industry I am in. Sometimes I hear people remark that kid's parties must be good for cash jobs or clients will make their cheque out to CASH with a nod & wink. This type of behavior I would put in the same category as people asking about my day job after they see my performance. Sometimes people just donˇ¦t get it that what I offer is a professional service. I guess they assume because what I do is so much fun it could not be real work.

BTW, people asking what my day job, is not something that happens so much anymore. I used to get it asked all the time when I first started out. Now they just ask if I have a day job. Funnily they always ask during daylight hours

As far as tips go if they add it into the cheque total then yes I process it like normal income. I to am often given a bottle of wine as a tip. I seldom drink so I have a cupboard full of wine given to me by clients. Tax fee wine! Although if anyone from the IRD wants to come over for a drink I will gladly pour them out a measured 19.5% from each bottle.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
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