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Dancers and Singers: Tax Evasion!!???

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  • Dancers and Singers: Tax Evasion!!???

    So it begins. The systematic stripping of our culture. Indian casinos nationwide have hosted numerous contest powwows to honor their tribes, show hospitality and bring in thousands of visitors to their establishments. Though very successful and exciting, strict gaming and IRS regulations require the documentation of winners and subsequent reportings to the federal government. I have worked in casinos for many years as most of you may have. This is what I have learned: Casinos must report cash prizes and document names and social security numbers of all winners, usually by having winners fill out a W-9, an IRS form documenting name, address and SS#, for accounting purposes. However, reporting to the IRS occurs only when the prize amount is over $599, anything $600 and over will be reported to the IRS. Solution: keep prize winnings under the said amount which certainly might keep competition dancers from attending but also keeps top circuit dancers from being hunted down by IRS and FINCEN agents! Suggestion: Top prize of at least $500 with numerous places on down and consolation prizes making a wider disbursement of money payouts to each contest category, which sometimes tend to get overcrowded anyways. Contest Drums: I will do more research; there is an IRS form, the name and number I can't remember off the top of my head, that is used for multiple winners of a cash prize. For example, when a lottery ticket pool wins, each winner would be documented, making the total amount won divided into individual monetary amounts disbursed to each winner. More info on that later. Comments: I certainly encourage individuals or families to fundraise and sponsor specials for their tribal and casino powwows, which is always a big draw for dancers. At that point, the IRS has no play, interference or jurisdiction on how much is being paid or reported. These individually sponsored specials can pay out as much as they want. It is up to us to work on maintaining our cherished traditions of being hospitable and sharing. Now, with the federal government hawking the powwow circuit, we must work together to ensure the integrity of competition dancing and singing. To those of you that are the elite of competitions, be aware of this and always tuck away about 30% of winnings just in case Uncle Sam wants his cut! For those of you that know a little more or have done research, please share with everyone else so that we are all informed.

    ...that's so true....so, so true...

  • #2
    Just one additional thing to point out, though you covered the subject very well.

    When the powwow is being funded by certain government grants, funded as tax write-offs (via a grand funneled through a 501c organization), or hosted/paid for by some universities, winnings will be reported no matter how small the amount. If a write-off is being reported to the IRS by a major donor to save on their taxes, the IRS will certainly want to know to whom those monies were paid.

    Our drum sang at the Washington State University "Pah-loots-pu" Powwow and got paid cash with no forms to fill out. However, we sang at the First Nations @UW and got paid cash, but had to fill out a tax form for the State of Washington. I'm guessing that this is *probably* because the Pah-loots-pu Powwow managed to get funding from a source that didn't have to write it off?
    Hey, we're grateful to both schools in either case.
    "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
    Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service www.49deal.com

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    • #3
      Oh yeah! Those of you that are involved in the Rodeo Circuit: how does that work with prize winnings because I think that is the direction where competition dancing might be headed. In that case, I assume you could get a tax write off for buying a brand new powwow rig!?! Anyways, Coffee Man is right, the 501c3, though good-hearted, is obligated to report all monies received and distributed in order to maintain the federally recognized non-profit status. Most college or university powwows will need W-9s filled out, too. Strange that WSU did not have these readily available, but that is their problem and will come up as an exception in their annual audit! Don't get me wrong, this isn't Tax Evasion 101 class here. All of us have the option to support these events, which I do as well, but we must know the law and be responsible for our earnings. Remember: ignorance of the law is not innoccence. The more feedback, the better. Again, if you know somethink please share with everyone.

      ...that's so true....so, so true...

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      • #4
        I assume you could get a tax write off for buying a brand new powwow rig!?!
        Gotterdamerung!! I should've saved my receipts for all the fiberglass rods, spongy rubber krap and various colors of leather and Pendleton scraps I use to make drumsticks. Guess I missed the write-off for this year... LMAO
        "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
        Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service www.49deal.com

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        • #5
          If people are worried about "keeping the tradition" dont go to the big money contest powwows.

          yes its a business, they have to account for every penny. go somewhere traditional where people take their own money and goods and give it away, the government doesnt care about that.

          its always good to post 'tax evasion' hints on the internet.

          But this is what happens when there are people who sing and dance for a living wether it be by choice or need.
          There are 2 types of people in the world...
          Really stupid people who think they are smart
          and
          Really smart people who think they are smart.

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          • #6
            This may really sound off the wall ... maybe cuz I've been up 20 hours and it's been 103 degrees today ... but sometimes ... JUST SOMETIMES ... it's starting to seem to me that people who go to the big money powwows are more traditional than those who go to the preachyllittle traditional powwows.

            AGREED on the tax evasion strategy! :thumbs:
            "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
            Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service www.49deal.com

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            • #7
              "I say we scalp him, then we tattoo him, then we hang him, and then we kill him" ... just kidding... I say whatever; let people figure it out individually. Oh yeah and can anyone guess what movie the quote is from. If you get it, I'll do you taxes for you next year!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wakalapi
                This may really sound off the wall ... maybe cuz I've been up 20 hours and it's been 103 degrees today ... but sometimes ... JUST SOMETIMES ... it's starting to seem to me that people who go to the big money powwows are more traditional than those who go to the preachyllittle traditional powwows.

                AGREED on the tax evasion strategy! :thumbs:
                I don't agree with you on this one, and I know you stated,"maybe, just maybe" but lets string him up anyways, enit. J/K billyjoejimbob!

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                • #9
                  If you are a registered group the law states you have to report anything over $600 paid to a company or individual. So it's not just the big casino pow wows.

                  This year at Red Earth we were sitting where we could see the winners signing thier IRS forms as they picked up checks.
                  New to the site--Introduce Yourself

                  Find a Pow Wow Near You!

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                  • #10
                    I'm sure this isn't legal, but I know alot of people write down a bogus SS# on those forms?

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                    • #11
                      We were at a PW last weekend where the Jrs. and Teens had to submit their SS#.

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                      • #12
                        Sure we've all tried it! Scribbling non-sense for signatures and numbers. So far the most effective way. Anyways, I like big powwows, I like casino powwows, I like lil' powwows, as far as being preachy, I don't know........? I go where my family and friends go. Dang, the kids signing SS#s. That's tough, but with no income other than allowances, my kids remain exempt. None of us are in a position to judge others on how they lead their life. Should I choose to make a living on prize money, than I am accountable for tracking and any subsequent reporting that might occur. Should I choose to work M-F and hey ya hey on the weekend, then I will get a W-4 in Feb and files taxes. Living in the powwow circuit is fun and gives you a sense of freedom. It is tough, though. Tough getting from place to place, state to state, relying on your circle of friends, living off gas station chips and gatorade; but you maintain your sense of freedom and your ties with family and friends. It is a shame to see, in this day and age, our people's freedom being compromised by any federal governing entity. Does that not tug on anyone else's short & curlies?

                        ...that's so true....so, so true...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hank_Shelton
                          "I say we scalp him, then we tattoo him, then we hang him, and then we kill him" ... just kidding... I say whatever; let people figure it out individually. Oh yeah and can anyone guess what movie the quote is from. If you get it, I'll do you taxes for you next year!

                          PEES WEES BIG ADVENTURE

                          LOL
                          THIS SPACE IS FOR RENT

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                          • #14
                            Even if I did know that, I don't think I would have it in me to post it

                            ...that's so true....so, so true...

                            Comment

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