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How a Dominatrix Does Her Taxes

During tax season, Mistress Precious is subservient to her accountant husband.
During tax season, Mistress Precious is subservient to her accountant husband.
Photo by Star Foreman

Of all the painful

activities a dominatrix can take part in, there is none quite so

torturous as taxes. It is the first day of DomCon, the annual gathering

of sadists and the masochists who worship them, and a handful of novice

dominatrixes sit in one of the depressing, fluorescent-lit rooms in the

nether regions of the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. They are taking

an hour away from the spankings and beatings to learn how to please the

Internal Revenue Service.

"Is everyone here somewhat familiar with the 1040 Schedule C?" asks their teacher, Jack.

Jack,

who declines to give his last name, is a corporate tax accountant and

looks it: glasses, neat gray hair, round face with a bit of a chipmunk

aspect.

"Here," he says to the woman beside him, a statuesque,

incredibly fit blonde in a rubber bodysuit, glossy as an oil slick. He

hands her a sheaf of photocopies. "Pass these out."

"Yes, master!

Yes, sir!" she says, in a pretend-exaggerated way. Jack is a submissive,

except in tax season. And the woman, a professional dominatrix known as

Mistress Precious, is his wife.

"These are for taxes, honey," Mistress Precious says to a girl who has just walked in. "Welcome to America."

"The

No. 1 weapon in the IRS arsenal, and it is what brought down Al Capone,

is tax evasion. That's their fear factor," Jack says. "Not that you

want to fear the IRS, but they're a powerful group. It's better to work

with them than against them."

Dominatrix, however, is not a job

listed with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Psychodramatist," Jack says. "It's what you call what you do."

What

if you are simply modeling in dominatrix outfits, a woman asks, and not

necessarily punishing anyone just yet. "The lines blur," Jack admits.

"The IRS tends to look at things in black-and-white."

Since the S&M

community tends to regard things "with a lot of gray," setting up an

LLC can be a lifesaver. The smart mistress buys all her assets --

clothing, instruments of torture -- through that limited-liability

corporation.

Say you own a dungeon. Perhaps yours is not so

elaborately appointed as Mistress Precious' dungeon, which is 4,000

square feet and boasts slave baths and medieval stocks and a dentist's

chair from 1938 and overnight cage facilities.

With an LLC, if someone walks into it and gets hurt -- if a prop falls on his head, for example -- you aren't personally liable.

They can take your whips and they can take your chains. But they can't take your home.

If

it seems improbable that anyone paying to be locked in a cage overnight

would complain if they accidentally got bonked on the head, well,

better safe than sorry.

A woman in the back raises her hand. "What are the stats for people being sued in this business?"

"People

are sue-happy," Jack says. "Accidents happen. When and how often? Maybe

not so often. But in this line of business ..." His voice trails off.

He shrugs.

The solution: liability insurance. "Of course the

insurance agents are gonna ask what you do," Precious says. "Good luck

with that. It's like, 'I own a dungeon and my suspension's in there, and

if it falls on someone, they're gonna get crushed.' That's when you get

a million-dollar policy to protect the dungeon."

"Or you find somewhere to put the bodies," a woman mutters.

Also:

Report some profits so you don't get audited. "The goal of business is

to make a profit. To the IRS, if you don't make a profit in three out of

five years, they declare that a hobby. Don't always have a loss," Jack

says. "And if you always have a loss, maybe you're not charging enough?"

When

he and Mistress Precious first started dating, she wasn't charging

people enough for her dungeon. "When you factored in the different

costs, I was paying them to come in!" Precious says, incredulous.

Now, every spring, at the start of tax season, Precious piles her receipts on the dining table and Jack becomes the master.

Speaking of role reversals, the IRS can make even sadists beg for mercy.

Mistresses

who accept credit card payments, beware: The IRS now can check how much

a slave paid you. They can talk to your bank to see what you're

reporting versus what you're depositing. PayPal reports to the IRS as

well.

"The IRS is wise," Jack says. "They will measure you against

the standard of your industry. Don't get yourself into that situation."

Up next: how to deduct your home dungeon

 

Good

news for those who run a home dungeon: You can deduct a portion of it.

But it must be a separate, identifiable space in which you regularly

meet clients.

Say you live in a 100-square-foot apartment and

you're mostly tying people up in the closet, which is 20 square feet.

"That's 20 percent," Jack says. So 20 percent of the expenses

attributable to the house count toward that business space -- property

taxes, a portion of the rent, utilities.

Jack and Precious even have a separate electric meter for their dungeon.

An

elegant woman wearing a strand of pearls and a smart bob haircut has a

question. She lives in a conservative area of Alabama that is not zoned

for business. She runs her dungeon out of her home.

She'd like to

play fair with the IRS, but if any of her neighbors found out, she says,

"They'd crucify me." And not in a good way.

Jack clucks sympathetically. "It's a big risk," he agrees.

What else? Specialty clothing not normally worn on the street can be considered a business expense.

Section

179 of the tax code allows a career dominatrix to write off as an

expense 100 percent of the cost of a black latex Scarlett O'Hara corset

dress with lacing up the back, full boning and nickel eyelets.

Ditto for a new cross, or any big-ticket item worth a couple hundred dollars or more.

"And medical supplies?" a woman asks.

"Are just supplies," Jack says. That's line 22.

"Really

talk about what else you can deduct," Precious commands Jack.

Advertising. Education. Computer repair. Having your nails done, your

hair done, your personal trainer.

"If your client needs a special color of rope," Precious says. "They have requirements. If you don't do it, you lose a client."

Fetishists, by definition, are picky. Jack nods. "The IRS does not want you to lose revenue. It's a legitimate expense."

Gifts

are a gray area. Mistress websites often link to favorite online

shopping sites for their clients' gifting convenience. "Like, panties,

or whatever," explains one young woman. How would the IRS regard those

panties? Are they "tips" or "gifts"?

Now the mistresses are reminiscing about gifts they have received. A $100 pair of boots. A $50 pair of shoes. Tiffany jewelry.

"I

wouldn't report it," Jack concludes. "But that's me. Everybody has

their own threshold of how far they're willing to go or not go."

Afterward,

as everyone is putting away their notes, Precious mentions that she

spends more than $10,000 a year on just five items: lubricant, Clorox

bleach, disinfectant, condoms (for her toys; she does not have sex with

clients) and latex gloves.

Asked if those are her only expenses,

she laughs heartily. "Oh, God no," she says. "No, no, no, no, no, no. To

run a professional dungeon, it's hundreds of thousands of dollars." A

single flog can cost more than $400.

When she isn't trampling or

caning or humiliating or mummifying people in Saran wrap and dangling

them from the ceiling -- services for which clients pay her $250 an hour --

Mistress Precious serves as a DomCon board member.

"The whole

reason DomCon started is to train these girls," she says. "To teach them

how not to do it the wrong way. This is a very lucrative business. It's

not just a bunch of hookers running around."

Follow me on Twitter at @gendyalimurung , and for more arts news follow us at @LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.


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