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tax strategy for self employed

estimated taxes

Estimated Taxes for the Self-Employed

People that are self-employed typically pay a self-employment tax, income tax, and are required to file quarterly. Estimated taxes are similar to the Medicare and Social Security taxes that are withheld from a person’s paycheck. The goal for the self-employed is to subtract business expenses from business income to determine estimated taxes.

If expenses are less than income, the difference becomes net profit and part of the income. The reverse is also true. If expenses are more than income, the difference is the net loss. Net earnings of more than $400 requires the filing of self-employment taxes and the individual may also have to file an income tax return.

Since there’s no employer taking Medicare and Social Security taxes from a paycheck, those that are self-employed have to estimate their tax liability. Specialized forms and worksheets will be required and it’s at this point that most individuals hire a tax professional. They will know when the client needs to file and they have the advanced software needed for the complex computations. They can also e-file.

Business Structure

When an individual launches a business, they must decide what type of business structure the enterprise will follow to ensure they’re estimating the correct level of taxation. People most commonly establish a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership or S corporation. They may also choose to operate as a limited liability company (LLC), which is a relatively new type of entity that most states deemed allowable in the 1990s.

Joint Venture

When spouses form a business venture, it’s considered a joint venture for tax purposes and the rules are slightly different. They have the option, if they’re the only employees, to elect to file taxes individually rather than as a partnership.

Penalties

Business owners will find that they’re charged a penalty if they don’t pay enough taxes through estimated tax payments if they receive other income. Those sources can include alimony, dividends and capital gains, and prizes and awards. It’s just one of the reasons why it’s easier and more efficient to hire a tax professional.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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Self-Employed Tax Strategies

The good news is being self-employed is one of the best tax strategies out there. Unlike a salaried employee, the full scope of tax credits and deductions available in the tax code are now available to you. The key, of course, is understanding the available deductions and organizing your business in a manner that allows you to maximize the write-offs.

The number one tax strategy for self-employed individuals is to keep receipts for every business expense and write them off. Practically anything can be deducted, so do it. Acceptable expenses include cell phone usage, business mileage, office supplies, home office deductions including part of mortgage or rent and so on. If you’ve filed a tax return while self-employed, you are probably already aware of this so lets move on to more specific tax strategies for self-employed individuals.

Maximizing your non-capital losses can result in major tax savings. If your expenses exceed your income for a year, you obviously will not have to pay taxes for that year. What most people don’t realize, however, is that such losses can be carried forward for seven years and deducted against future income. Alternatively, the same losses can be carried backward three years to recover past taxes paid. The end result of this situation is you can turn a bad business year into an income generator by applying the losses to taxes in other years which effectively wipes out your tax bill for those years.

Another tax strategy is to look at your side businesses. If you have one business, you’ll often have a second one that is tailored to making some money off a personal interest. While you are in it mostly because you like it, you may not realize it qualifies as a business and can help you reduce your taxes. Let’s assume you are primarily a self-employed consultant, but also write travel articles on the side. You may view the travel articles as a hobby, but it is in fact a business. If you’ve sold or even tried to sell any of your articles to a publication, all of your expenses related to travel writing can be deducted from your taxable income. This includes trips and so on. These, deductions can significantly reduce your taxable income from the consulting business. Make sure to get a grasp of your overall business efforts, even if you don’t really consider them to be a business.

Consider employing your children to save on taxes. A child under 18 that works for you does not have to pay FICA and so on. If the total wages for the year are under $4,250, they will pay no taxes and you can write off this amount as a legitimate business expense. Of course, the child needs to actually be doing a legitimate business task, but filing and similar manual tasks certainly will qualify.

Tax strategies for  the self-employed are plentiful. If you are self-employed, consider getting professional help. A good professional will save you thousands upon thousands of dollars in taxes, more than making up for their fees. Oh, you can also deduct their fees!

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more