You’re keen to get away for the holidays, whether to visit friends, family or just take a break from your usual routine. However, travel can be prohibitively expensive. How can you save on airfare, hotel, and other costs?
1. Use Apps for Last-Minute Holiday Travel Deals
Check the availability of hotels using travel apps like HotelTonight or Dosh that offer last minute travel deals, suggests Lee Huffman, travel blogger at BaldThoughts.com. These apps might offer cheaper, same-day deals on lodg...
Updated for tax year 2017
Whether you call yourself a freelancer, a solopreneur, independent contractor, part of the gig economy, or simply self-employed — it’s likely you have to file tax returns and are required to pay different types of taxes including estimated payments.
But regardless of your tax bracket, you could wind up on the wrong side of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration and possibly your state taxing authorities. That’s nowhere to be when you estab...
Working as a freelancer or independent contractor is like riding a roller coaster. One month you’re flush with cash and the next you’re wondering how you’ll pay the bills. Sometimes you wish you still received a regular paycheck.
How can you smooth out some of the financial bumps in the self-employment road?
1. Create a budget
The most basic — yet critical — task of managing your finances is to understand your income and expenses. You can use software or an ordinary spreadsheet to help.
One of your biggest expenses as a freelancer — after income and other taxes — might be health care coverage and medical costs. However, when it comes to getting covered, a lot has changed over the past few years.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
You probably know the Affordable Care Act requires all individuals to have health insurance regardless of preexisting conditions. There are a few ways to avoid this individual mandate, but for the most part, you need coverage to dodge a tax penalty even as a...
If you’re a freelancer, it’s critical to know whether you’re self-employed or an employee. The distinction has a major effect on your tax responsibilities.
You should consider tax and other factors when choosing a legal structure for your business.
Generally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers you to be self-employed if you fall into any of these categories of individuals who carry on a trade or business:
A “solo” is one person who owns an unincorporated business.
If you’re like most people who have to file annual tax returns, there’s a dizzying array of forms. Here are nine of the top Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms you might need to know about.
1. Form 1040-EZ
If your tax situation isn’t complicated, you might be able to take the “easy” route and file Form 1040-EZ. You need to meet all the requirements, such as being under 65 years old, single or married filing jointly, claiming no dependents, and with taxable income less than $100,000. Othe...
If you’re even a moderately successful freelancer, you likely know you have to file a tax return and pay taxes on your income. But, which tax forms do you need to file your taxes?
1. Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return
Most U.S. tax filers use this form even when they’re not self-employed. Whether you need to use it depends on factors such as your age, filing status, and gross income.
If you use this form, you might be able to itemize your tax deductions instead of taking the standard deduc...
The IRS considers some employee benefits to be taxable income. But, do employee expense reimbursements fall into that category?
I work for a small company, and employees don’t have corporate credit cards.
Recently my boss asked me to travel to another city for a conference. She explained I have to use my credit cards for the plane tickets, hotel, and meals, and the company would reimburse my travel expenses after the trip.
Naturally, I was a bit grumpy using my cards. Pushing my credit card b...
Updated for tax year 2017.
You own a thriving graphic design business. Perhaps you create eye-catching logos or comprehensive commercial websites. What you may not spend too much time on is thinking about filing your taxes as a freelance graphic designer.
As an independent contractor or freelancer, you might be able to lower your income (and consequently pay less tax) by claiming certain business expenses as deductions on your annual tax return. You would report that information on Schedule C...
You might be aware that your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency transactions have a possible taxable impact. However, you might not know exactly how to report them. Try our bitcoin tax calculator or read on for more guidance on cryptocurrency taxes.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a worldwide payment system where users buy virtual currency using an exchange. The Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet and can be transferred using a mobile app. No bank or other intermediary institution is involved.
By January 31st you should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each employer you worked for during the prior tax year.
Form W-2 requires employers to show the total income the employer paid to you and the total taxes they withheld. That is key information to prepare your tax return. Your employer should also provide the same information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Note: This does not apply to freelance workers or independent contractors. Your customers should each send...
Oh no! You just lost your job.
After you get over the initial shock, your mind naturally turns to thoughts of how to replace that regular income. Perhaps you’ll seek another job or maybe crank up your side gig efforts — or both.
Following the untimely departure from your job, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance program provides benefit payments to eligible workers who lost their job “through no fault of their own.”
State laws de...
Hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, and other natural disasters wreak havoc on a large scale. Homes and possessions might be damaged or lost. It’s a tragedy when people are injured or killed.
At such times, generous donors emerge to pledge or give money to charities that aid suffering victims of the disaster. As a bonus, donations to qualifying charitable agencies are tax deductible.
However, just as quickly as those contributors spring up to help, scammers al...
Having health insurance is important. In many cases, you end up paying less when you go for a doctor’s visit than you would if you didn’t have it. Your co-pay (aka the portion of the charges you cover) might be only $50 instead of hundreds of dollars. If you have a big family or pre-existing health conditions, those amounts add up quickly if you have to pay the full bill.
The difference for a hospital visit is even more significant. You could rack up a bill for many thousands of dollars if yo...
“Hello, Mr. Brown? This is Maria Santos from the IRS,” barked the authoritative voice on the phone. “It’s important that I speak with you about your 2018 income tax return right now. I need some personal information from you.”
Should this ever happen?
In short, no.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) won’t initiate contact with you via telephone. Nor do they reach out to taxpayers via emails, text messages or social media channels, especially to request your personal or financial information.