Experts Helping Freelancers Navigate Their Taxes as April 18 Deadline Rapidly Approaches

Self-employment comes with a host of unique benefits, but one downside of this career path is filing taxes. As the tax deadline approaches, many freelancers are looking for professional help to ensure they get the most out of their tax return.


According to MadameNoire.com, freelancers and independent contractors often run into problems while filing taxes due to the complex regulations they must adhere to. Failure to comply with these self-employment tax guidelines could result in severe financial penalties, in addition to further action from the IRS.????????????????????????


Dr. Roshawanna Novellus, business strategist and founder of Novellus Financial, makes sure her clients know that every cent of their income must be accounted for when filing taxes.


“If you are self-employed, all income is subject to both income tax and self employment tax. As such, remember to add an additional 15.3 percent to all profit when estimating your tax liability,” Novellus said, adding that these rules apply to any freelance business generating over $400 per year.


Novellus also noted that independent contractors are given different filing dates and tax forms than those who work in more traditional settings. As Bustle.com reported, freelancers should make quarterly estimated tax payments on April 15, June 15, Sept. 15, and Jan. 15 since taxes aren’t automatically deduced from their paychecks.


While there are several reasons that freelancers hate filing taxes, there are a few bright spots. One specific advantage of filing a return as a freelancer is the ability to offset taxable income with business-related deductions.


For non-freelancers, moving to an income tax-free state like Florida is the only way to save thousands of dollars on a tax return. Independent contractors, however, can deduct substantial expenses such as home office costs, domain hosting, and advertising.


“Freelancers can deduct 50% of meal and entertainment expenses for work-related activities [and] can take the full deduction for insurance and education which is not allowed for those who are employees,” Novellus explained.


Above all else, Novellus strongly believes that freelancers need to commit to consistent record keeping throughout the duration of their career. Specifically, she recommends that independent contractors document all income and expenses for three-year periods to avoid potential issues with the IRS.


Finally, Novellus urges self-employed workers to be honest about their income. Since the IRS compares each freelancer’s income to industry standards, independent contractors are likely to be audited if their deductibles seem abnormally high.

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