I'm from Portland, OR and have been self-employed as a guitar tech with my own shop for 3 years, and was paid as an independent contractor working through another shop for 2 prior to that.
i have been digging myself a hole with my record keeping and tax knowledge (lack thereof) and dread doing my books and preparing taxes, so I'm behind.
one thing that makes my situation complicated is that i have income from 2 and sometimes 3 or more sources in a year-- i tour as a guitar tech and am paid as an employee by the bands i work for, mainly one band but in some years 2 or more. i have income as a sole prop in my repair shop, with all the bills, ordering, and so on to juggle-- and i sometimes also have income as a performer.
since my expenses often overlap, I'm not sure of the best way to claim deductions-- if i buy tools that i use at the shop, and also when touring, how can i best make that deduction work for me? i know there are options-- I've even heard of some people setting up as an LLC, buying their tools through the LLC, and renting them to themselves for traveling or specific jobs-- but that's very confusing to me. I'm trying to decide which book to buy-- should i get "the confident indie" or "self-employed tax solutions?"
Take a breath. I am going to simplify all this for you right now.
If I understand correctly you:
* are a guitar tech
* repair guitars in your shop
* play guitar as a performer alone
* play guitar in different bands
Those are all part of the same indie business. They do not need to be kept separate. You use related knowledge and experience in all aspects of your business. You may use the same equipment. Your clients likely overlap from one area to the next.
So keep it simple. Keep it honest by claiming all income. And keep accurate records. Which brings me to your question: Which of my books should you buy? Since you mention a lack of knowledge about taxes you need to start with Self-employed Tax Solutions. It will give you the foundation you need to understand income, deductions, taxes, and basic recordkeeping. Before you can keep records you must understand the basics.
BTW -- you say that the bands pay you as an employee. Are you sure? Typically bands that you play for irregularly pay you as a self-employed and they do not withhold taxes. If they send you any income statement it's a 1099 not a W2.