5 Tax Write-offs for Freelancers

2010 is officially over, and you know what that means–it’s almost time to prepare your taxes (cue groaning.) Tax preparation can be a daunting task, especially if you plan to do it yourself.  And for freelancers or self-employed individuals, there may be even more confusion.  Luckily, there is a lot of information available online today to help us all through the process.  Terms likes 1099s, Schedule SE, Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, will be words you soon become familiar with, if you aren’t already.

Below are 5 great tax write-off opportunities for freelancers and the self-employed.  It’s important to be aware … Read more at 2009 Taxes

2010 is officially over, and you know what that means–it’s almost time to prepare your taxes (cue groaning.) Tax preparation can be a daunting task, especially if you plan to do it yourself.  And for freelancers or self-employed individuals, there may be even more confusion.  Luckily, there is a lot of information available online today to help us all through the process.  Terms likes 1099s, Schedule SE, Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, will be words you soon become familiar with, if you aren’t already.

Below are 5 great tax write-off opportunities for freelancers and the self-employed.  It’s important to be aware of what tax write-off options are available because, as freelancers and self-employed individuals, you’re paying much more taxes than someone employed by an employer.  Freelancers and the self-employed pay not only the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, but also the employer’s share.

1.    Job Hunting Expenses and PayPal Fees: Freelancers with long-term projects are fortunate in not having to continuously search for new gigs, however, for most freelancers, we’re always on the hunt for more projects to keep the pay-flow going.  This may mean signing up with job boards where there may be a fee to join or a fee to bid on projects.  These are expenses that may be written off.  PayPal fees for accepting payment from clients for work completed may also be written off.  Just make sure you keep receipts and print off all online documentation pertaining to the expenses and fees.

2.   Health Insurance Expenses: If you are buying your own health insurance (meaning you are not part of a health plan offered by your employer or your spouse’s employer), then this is an area that is deductible. Health insurance premiums are costly so this is an area where you can see the biggest deductible from your freelance work income.

3.    Home Expenses: This particularly applies to individuals who work directly out of their home.  A portion of your utilities, cellphone (if used for business), insurance, and mortgage interest may be deducted.  The amount deductible is based on a percentage calculated from how large your office space is within your home.  You’ll need IRS Form 8829.

4.    Research and Technology Expenses: If you are working in a particular industry and have expenses related to research for that industry, such as attendance cost for a conference, a book purchase, a magazine subscription, or something else related, gather your receipts as these items that qualify for tax write-off. Technology equipment, such as the cost of a computer, a printer, and other equipment you use for work also qualify.  And don’t forget about Web site hosting fee and design and maintenance fees, these are also expenses you may write off.

5.    Travel and Transportation Expenses: Travel associated with doing business may be written-off.  Whether the expense is for airfare, hotel, car service, gas, tolls, mass transit, or car payment and insurance cost, these are all expenses you should have a tally of to determine the amount that can be written off.  Business-related travel includes any transportation required to attend a business meeting, to purchase office supplies, to attend an event, and other related-business purposes.  Business travel does not include going to and from work.

Want to know more?  Check out these 50 blogs about taxes!

Wendy Lau is a New York City-based guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on the subject of becoming a nail technician for the Guide to Career Education.

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Tips To File Your Tax

The prevailing fiscal climate has put most small business on the brink of closure. This has been as a result of a myriad of reasons ranging from intense competition from stiff competition from big corporations to a rigid tax regime that is not friendly on small operators at all. It is important for owners of small businesses to actually learn how to reign in the tax cost so that their businesses stay afloat. There are several tax tips that these small business owners ought to incorporate into their operations if they are to have a chance of surviving the prevailing economic conditions. These tips will ensure that they are in good books with the IRS.

The first tip has to do with procrastination as concerns filing of taxes. You gain nothing by delaying tax filing. If anything, you are creating problems for yourself as well as your business. The year or prevailing conditions might be really bad, but the tax collector has to get his dues despite the tough conditions. Instead of dilly dallying and risking some serious fines or a closure, just sort everything out, compile them in an orderly way and then file the tax returns in time. Those who are prone to panic attacks should ensure that they do their filling in good time to avoid return attacks just because of something that could have been avoided altogether.

Avoid thinking too much about the tough economic situation and forge on. This can serve as a serious detractor which will only get you into trouble. Despite the tough times, you will still owe some money in form of taxes. Maximize on net refunds which are as a result of the net operating losses. You might be wondering, when will my tax refund be mailed? Get down to a qualified tax accountant as these refunds tend to be quite substantial and they can help you bridge the tax gap without much hustle. Consult with a qualified accountant as he is the one who is best placed to deal with these refunds. Start appreciating depreciation and identify things that you can take away from your business without hurting the business.

Section 179 of the federal law has provisions for depreciation deductions. There is fast depreciation costs which can be used to save dollars that otherwise would have gone to the taxman. The saved monies can be used for other activities within the business which will end up cushioning the business from further ravages by the economic storms out there.

Tips on Reducing Property Taxes

It’s bad enough when you have to pay taxes at the department store, grocery store or on your personal income, but it can be extremely frustrating having to pay taxes on a property that you own, and not only that, but having to do it each and every year. Those taxes can easily reach into the thousands of dollars or more and can put a severe strain on your personal finances. However, there may be several ways to lower the property tax amount that you are paying; ways that if aren’t taken advantage of, could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce property taxes each year, here are a few tips that could gain you substantial savings.

Exemptions

Property tax exemptions may be one of the easiest and most significant ways in which to save money on your property taxes. By way of senior, homestead or homeowner, or military exemptions, you could realize extensive reductions upon your property tax bill.

In order to find out what exemptions you might be eligible for, as well as their terms and conditions, you will likely need to visit your country assessor’s office either online or in person since the ways in which exemptions are determined and applied will likely vary from state to state and even county to county. Your eligibility may also depend upon how long you’ve lived in the property for which you are applying for exemption status.

Reassessment

Depending upon when your property was last assessed and the potential change in value it has experienced since that time, it could be worth your while to request a reassessment from your assessor’s office. If you feel that your property has seen a significant decrease in value, a reassessment might substantially lower your property tax bill. However, it is important to bear in mind that a reassessment can be a double-edged sword. If an assessor finds that the value of your property has actually increased, such a move could backfire and result in higher taxes, so it is important to do your research and conduct your due diligence before requesting such a re-evaluation.

Tax Deduction

Another way to realize significant savings on your property taxes is by ensuring that you are taking advantage of your of tax deduction on your federal taxes. Since mortgage interest and property tax payments may be eligible as a deduction on federal income taxes each year, this is yet another way in which to get at least a portion of your tax money back. Similar to property tax exemptions, the amount for which you are eligible for a tax deduction for a particular tax year may depend upon how many days you have actually resided at the property. This could be an important consideration for those who have just moved into or away from a property.

Conclusion

Ways to save on property taxes and the amounts involved can range significantly depending upon your geographic location as well as your personal situation. It may therefore be important to consult your particular county assessor’s office or a tax professional to learn exactly what savings you may be eligible to receive.

Anastacio Mindiola is an accomplished attorney and business owner. His company helps home and business owners protest property taxes in Houston and the surrounding counties. For more information on how you can lower your property taxes visit https://republicpropertytax.com/.