How to File Taxes as an Exotic Dancer

Tax time!! And I bet as a dancer you are freaking out about filing your taxes. Because let’s be honest, you barely kept track of how much money you actually made. You have no idea what you’d even tell the tax person to go off of, seeing as how most dancers do not receive a 1099 form. Or maybe you don’t even want to deal with the embarrassment of talking to someone about what you do and having to defend yourself for the thousandth time of why you’re a dancer.

Finding your income

Let’s find out your exact earned amount, or as close to as possible. You can do a few investigative things on your own to help find the magical number. Look at your bank statements, if you work another job, subtract each check amount for each month you danced. What is left over is your dancer earnings. Example; your bank statement that month was for $1,575. You had 2 direct deposits from your other job that month that you’ll receive a W-2 form for, or 1099, they were 575, and 379.

1575 – 575 = 1000

1000 – 379 = 621

Your monthly earnings would be $621 for dancing. Give or take you didn’t receive a cash gift from someone or etc circumstances.

Now if you solely danced, and had no other income, looking at your bank statement would be a pretty solid form of how much you made for the year. However, if you do not have a bank account for whatever reason, you can add up all the bills you paid and receipts you still have to give you an estimate.

Please note, if you did not keep a solid track record of how much you made, you will have to try and at least average out how much you made per week through memory.


I personally like to file by myself using TurboTax. It’s convenient and easy to follow the steps. You’re going to want to file under a Type-C which is for businesses.

First, you’ll fill out things about yourself, social, address, birth date. As well as if you have any dependents and simple questions on who will be claiming them.

Next will come to your business. You’ll want to input your business code as [ 711510 ]. This will not affect your taxes if that code is missing, however, it does make it easier for the IRS to detect the kind of work you do, do. Next, you will put the whole amount of money you made for the year in the section called (Additional income/ and other 1099-K cash, checks, and other income.).


After that is completed the next section brought up will be your deductions. You can deduct your travel (if you’ve kept track), your house fees, equipment, and supplies (outfits). You typically want to save receipts everytime you buy a new outfit, or shoes.

If you haven’t, again you pretty much know from memory how much you typically spend on house fees, DJ tip-outs, and other expenses per night. As well as how much each pair of shoes cost you, and what the outfit costs. Start writing it all down, and add up the total amount.

Now travel is a little bit more difficult to keep track of, that is actually one I do not mess with unless I am a hundred percent certain. Good news though, when using turbo tax business, you get a year free use of quick books. Download the app, and it will keep track of your traveling for you, just mark personal, or business after each trip. Pretty simple.

Send off

Once you have plugged in all your info, you are good to go to send to the IRS. They will notify you if you need to make changes. Most likely you will not, but just so you are aware.

Now that you have filed your taxes, you will be in a good spot to understand what you’ll need to keep track of for next year. Personally, I keep a calendar with me in my dancer bag or purse and write down what I make before I leave that night, as well as what I tipped out. You’ll want to from now on, keep receipts for everything you purchase pertaining to your business including shoes, outfits, make-up (because your job is based off your appearance you can deduct make-up), the pole you installed in your home, breast implants (again your appearance is your money maker). These receipts will help save you in case you are ever audited.

If you’ve found the above information to be helpful, share with your dancer friends. If you have any questions you can leave them here:

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