Filing Taxes As A Freelancer – An Ultimate Freelancers Guide
Filing Taxes As A Freelancer or A Sole Proprietor
As a freelancer, taxes can be an intimidating and confusing area to navigate. But understanding the process is essential in order to make sure that you are reporting all income and paying what you owe. Filing taxes as a freelancer isn’t hard…just read on to see how.
That’s why we’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of the tax benefits of paying taxes as a freelancer. After all, knowledge is power – and this guide will arm you with all the information you need on taxes so that filing season won’t be so scary. There are procedures to follow even when you are your own boss.
From Form 1099-NECs to estimated taxes to the newly-introduced Form 1099-K, there’s lots to understand when it comes to meeting your tax obligations as a tax professional or a freelancer. With this guide by your side, however, understanding these topics don’t have to be overwhelming. So let’s get started!
Report All Freelance Income to the IRS
As a freelancer, one of your top priorities should be diligent and accurate reporting of all income you earn. Even if you don’t receive a Form 1099-NEC (which documents income from non-employer sources) from a client, the IRS still expects that you report all income earned. To do this, make sure to save copies of all invoices, contracts and payments for your records.
Generally, taxes are collected on the total amount of income you earn as a freelancer – less any expenses used in your business, and includes any payments for which you didn’t receive an official form or invoice. Your clients may be required to issue Form 1099-K if they process more than 200 transactions in a calendar year and the total amount paid is greater than $20,000.
The Internal Revenue Service Compares Freelance Income to 1099’s
Typically they are required to provide this document to both the IRS and you by January 31 of the following year. However, it is important to be proactive in tracking all payments received throughout the year so that you can accurately report all freelance earnings to the IRS.
Absolutely, but remember to only pay quarterly taxes for freelancers when necessary – usually four times per year – in order to avoid owing too much when you file your annual tax return and paying a hefty penalty. By taking these extra steps now, you can rest easy knowing that all your freelance income is being properly reported!
Do freelancers have to pay quarterly taxes?
Whether you’re a freelancer or self-employed, one thing is for sure. You’re responsible for keeping track of every penny you make, and that means you have to pay taxes on it. That’s why estimated tax payments are extremely important.
Estimated taxes are payments you make during the course of the year to cover your income tax obligation and also social security and Medicare taxes. This strategy helps ensure that your tax bill is taken care of throughout the year in order to avoid any surprises at tax time.
In order to determine how much estimated tax you will owe, you need to figure out your net income each quarter, and then you should pay quarterly tax payments. You’ll need to calculate your total expected tax liability for the current tax year and divide it into four equal payments.
Estimated Tax Payments Based on Net Profit
If you don’t pay enough estimated taxes throughout the year, you might owe underpayment penalties when April comes around – so it’s important to keep track of all income not just from 1099-NECs but also from 1099-Ks and other forms of self-employment income.
In addition, if you have freelance income and earned more than $400 in 2022, remember that the IRS still expects all income to be reported — even if no Form 1099 was filed with them – so be sure to keep accurate records for everything related to your freelance business! Keeping a separate ledger book is a good idea. You can mark down the date and amount paid by each of your clients, and when it is time to file your tax return, it will be much easier.
Track Business Expenses and Tax Deductions
As a freelancer, tracking your business expenses and tax deductions are vital to reducing the amount of taxes you are required to pay. By keeping track of receipts and clearly itemizing even the smallest expense such as office supplies, you will be able to lessen your tax burden and get back more money at tax time.
It’s important to always document every detail of your expenses. This includes everything from materials used for a project to gas money spent traveling for client meetings. To make things easier, keep a folder with all of your documents in one spot, or use an online tool like Quickbooks or an Excel spreadsheet for easy tracking and automatic record-keeping. These valuable tax deductions will help to lower your tax bill.
List All Tax Deductions to Reduce Income Taxes
Once you have a list of all your deductible expenses, it’s time to break them down into categories which can be deducted from your net income on the Form 1040 Schedule C. This includes travel costs like airfare, hotel fees, and car rentals; promotional materials like flyers, business cards, and mailers.
It also includes equipment purchases like computers and printers; professional service fees like fees paid to a tax professional; office supplies; education costs such as workshops or conferences. And any other tax deductible items such as rent that is related to running your freelance business. If you need to use your auto for your business, keep a mileage log and you can deduct the IRS allowance for business miles, and your freelance taxes will be less.
In addition, if you expect your tax bill to be more than $1,000 in taxes this year (after deductions), then you may need to make estimated payments throughout the year with Form 1040 ES—otherwise you may face penalties at tax time! The new Form 1099-K is used by freelancers who receive payment via electronically-tracked services such as credit card processors or PayPal.
Tax Professionals Can Assist In Reducing the Tax Burden
Some freelancers are not sure about their tax deduction when tax season comes around and often don’t know what the deductions are. In fact, 35% of self employed freelancers are struggling with filing taxes as a freelancer and 73% do not provide deductions.
A tax professional can advise you on the best way to file taxes and reduce your tax bill. The best option for avoiding the burden from the 1099 contractors in a tax audit should be talking to a professional tax accountant. This can be an easy deduction that self employed freelancers use. If you have a problem deciding on your quarterly tax payments, the tax advisor can help when its time to file taxes as a freelancer.
Know the Difference Between 1099-Misc and 1099-Nec Forms
You may not have known this, but as a freelancer, there are two types of taxes you need to pay—income tax and self-employment tax. And when it comes to reporting your income to the Internal Revenue Service, understanding the difference between 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC forms is key.
The 1099-MISC form is now used by employers to report payments made for reporting rent, payments made to attorneys, and types of other income. Whereas the 1099-NEC form is used specifically for nonemployee compensation, whether that be money or other types of payment.
Whether you receive a 1099-MISC or a 1099-NEC doesn’t change the fact that all income earned must be reported to the IRS—even if you don’t receive a Form 1099-NEC. It’s important to remember that you are expected to estimate quarterly taxes; if you’re expecting to owe $1,000 or more in taxes on your personal tax return throughout the course of the year due to your freelance work. Estimated taxes will likely have to be paid quarterly, and probably state income taxes too.
Furthermore, with this new way of functioning come new rules: those receiving payments for services such as those provided by freelance workers are now required by law to report payments using IRS Form 1099-K. This form allows freelancers who meet certain criteria (including earning more than a certain amount in gross receipts) track their income more accurately and provide better documentation when filing taxes.
New Requirement: Report Payments on Form 1099-K
As a freelancer, it’s important to understand the importance of reporting all income—even if you don’t receive a Form 1099-NEC. One way to do that is to report payments received via Form 1099-K.
Although not required for all freelancers, this form reports payments made by third-party payment networks—such as credit card companies and PayPal—and is compliant with the IRS’ regulations. You are required to file this form if you:
- Receive more than 200 payments totaling $20,000 or more in a single year
- Receive 200 or fewer payments but over $20,000 in gross income for the year
If you are required to file this form on your tax return, then it’s likely that you need to send quarterly taxes to both your state and the IRS by January 31st of each following year. It’s important to note that filing this form does not necessarily mean you will owe additional taxes; however, it does mean that the IRS can compare payments with your other filings and make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date.
Finally, depending on your situation, you may also have to pay estimated taxes throughout the year instead of waiting until tax time. This is payable quarterly and covers both federal taxes and state taxes when relevant. In general, estimated taxes should be paid if you expect your annual tax return owed will be greater than $1000 USD.
Consider Forming an LLC or Corporation
You may be considering forming an LLC or corporation for your own business or freelancing business. While this comes with its own set of paperwork and requirements, the plus side is that you will have a formal business entity and can open a separate bank account for business expenses and income. Plus, forming a business entity can limit your personal liability and provide tax advantages which can help you save money.
If you decide to form an LLC or corporation, you will be required to pay taxes on any net taxable income earned from the business. This means all of your freelance income will be subject to taxation, making it important that all income is reported accurately to the IRS.
The taxes paid depend on the type of business income and of entity you create—an LLC will pay self-employment taxes while a C-corporation will pay corporate tax rates. If you choose to file as a Sub-Chapter S Corporation, you will be able to reduce self employment taxes.
In some cases, estimated taxes may need to be paid as well if your net taxable income exceeds certain thresholds, depending on where your business is based. Make sure that you file these estimated quarterly taxes payments accurately and on time so that you don’t incur any penalties from the IRS. Additionally, the new Form 1099-K requires businesses with more than 200 transactions or over $20,000 in sales receipts must report this information to the IRS by January 31st each year.
When filing taxes as a freelancer, it’s important to understand all of the rules and regulations that come with paying income tax and forming an LLC or corporation in order to ensure accurate reporting of all income. Each type of entity has its own set of rules and pros and cons.
Understand the basics of freelance taxes
It’s important to understand the basics of freelance taxes, even if you have help from a tax professional or accountant. Keep in mind that as a freelancer, you are responsible for reporting all income earned—even if you didn’t receive a Form 1099-NEC. This means you will need to pay estimated taxes on your freelance income.
So, what’s required of you? Let’s take a look:
As an independent contractor, the IRS considers any self-employed income to be subject to self-employment tax. This tax is in addition to regular income taxes, and pays for Social Security and Medicare taxes. Self-employment tax is calculated on Schedule SE.
All freelance income must be reported each year on your individual income tax return (Form 1040, Schedule C). You may need to make estimated payments if your freelance net earnings will exceed $1,000 per quarter. Note that operators of certain business types (such as rideshare) may be subject to additional local taxes.
At the end of each filing year, any business (including freelancers) who have received more than $20,000 or 200 payments should expect to receive a Form 1099-K from payment processors or aggregators like PayPal and Square. Don’t worry—this just means that the IRS wants to review your yearly business activity; it doesn’t mean that you owe additional money!
Pay Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments
You may want to pay quarterly estimated taxes if the taxes you owe for the current tax year are $1,000 or more. This means you’ll make sure you pay enough tax throughout the year to avoid penalties. It’s also important to remember that all income earned is to be reported to the IRS, even if you didn’t file taxes can’t receive a Form 1099-NEC.
To help make it easier for freelancers, the IRS has recently introduced a new form: the 1099-K. This form shows your total earnings from customers using third-party payment networks (like PayPal, Square or Stripe) during the past year.
You must report these earnings when filing your federal income tax return – even if it was less than $20,000 or fewer than 200 transactions. It’s important to note that this form does not tell you how much of that income is your taxable income, – you are responsible for determining that amount yourself.
When filing your own taxes as a freelancer, there are a few forms of taxes that need to be considered:
- Federal income tax
- Self-employment tax
- State and local income tax (depending on location)
- Local and state sales tax (if applicable)
- Local and state business taxes (if applicable)
- Estimated quarterly payments (if applicable)
- Some jurisdictions may require a business license
- If you carry inventory, some jurisdictions tax that too
By making sure you understand each one of these taxes and familiarizing yourself with their rates and rules, you can better prepare yourself for filing taxes as a freelancer – and make sure you’re properly paying what you owe!
Pay the self-employment tax (Social Security and Medicare taxes)
As a freelancer, you’re responsible to pay self employment tax. This means that any income earned must be reported to the IRS—even if you did not receive a Form 1099-NEC. The self-employment tax consists of Social Security and Medicare tax and is usually 15.3% of your net income (the amount left over after you subtract any business expenses).
You are required to pay this tax each quarter, typically through estimated taxes. To be safe, make sure that you have enough saved up to cover your estimated taxes each quarter. This way, you won’t be surprised with no tax refund or a large bill at the end of the year.
We advise our freelance clients to set aside between 30% to 40% of each payment they receive during the year as a freelance tax percentage, and to put that money in a separate savings account. That way, they will have the money to pay estimated quarterly taxes when they’re due. Some prefer to use a freelance tax calculator, but either way is fine.
Additionally, it’s important to note that starting in 2020, businesses who process over 200 transactions or $20,000 in payments will be required to send out Form 1099-Ks to their contractors—so make sure that you are aware of this new law if relevant to your freelance business.
Whether you’re just getting started as a freelancer or have been freelancing for years, it’s important to stay on top of filing taxes and ensuring that you’re paying what you owe. The end of the tax season can be a stressful time, so it’s best to stay prepared and informed about all of your tax obligations as a freelancer.
By understanding the different tax forms that you’ll need for filing taxes as a freelancer you’ll have to pay, you’ll be able to make sure you’re on the right track so that you can enjoy the benefits of the freelance lifestyle without any tax-related hiccups.
So grab your tax documents and get to work – you’ve got plenty of taxes to pay, but you’re sure to be in good shape if you stay organized and informed. Filing taxes as a freelancer may appear intimidating, but if you follow our advice and put money for taxes in a savings account, maybe you can look forward to a tax refund too.