Can you believe that Tax Day is right around the corner?
Yes, my friends: we are just about a month out from April 15th, AKA, the national tax deadline. I’m not going to lie: I used to love getting my taxes done before I started blogging full-time. I’d get them done as soon as I got my W-2 so I could claim my refund in time for spring break.
Filing your taxes when you’re self-employed can be intimidating, to say the least.
Did I get all of my 1099 forms in? Were my quarterly tax payment amounts correct? Am I getting as many tax deductions as possible? Will I owe this year? I’ve been blogging full-time for a little over three years now, and over the years, I’ve learned how to make the most of tax season.
Today, I’m teaming up with my friends at H&R Block and sharing a few self employed tax tips and tricks on how to make filing your taxes much easier!
4 Essential Self Employed Tax Tips:
1) Use H&R Block Tax Pro Go® to Do Your Taxes Virtually
I’ve been using H&R Block since high school after I got my very first job. Sure, I knew it was probably easy for me to do my own taxes back then. However, my mom used H&R Block for many years during tax season and highly recommended them to me, so I took her advice and haven’t looked back since!
Fast forward to 2020. Now that I’m self-employed, my taxes are far more complicated. Gone are the days where I can plug and chug info from a W2, and call it a day. I’m now dealing with business expenses, a different set of tax rates, and a whole lot more liability. I have to figure out how to file in the most strategic way possible, in addition to, you know, running a business.
H&R Block Tax Pro Go® has been a huge gamechanger for me. Since my work and travel schedule can change at the drop of a hat, planning meetings and calls is often difficult for me. What I love about Tax Pro Go℠ is that it’s a virtual tax prep solution that’s ideal for busy people. You can get expert tax prep without having to step foot into an office. Score!
With Tax Pro Go℠, you can choose between four different plans based on your needs — Simple, Student/Retired, Family/Investor, and Self-Employed. Once you’ve selected your plan, you’ll get matched with a tax professional, upload all of your tax documents to H&R Block’s secure platform, and they’ll take care of the rest. How easy is that? With Tax Pro Go℠, you could technically do your taxes without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Talk about a time-saver!
Use my code “84793” to get $20 off the cost of getting your taxes done with Tax Pro Go℠!
2) Save Your Receipts Digitally
You would be surprised at how many business expenses you’re able to write off. When I filed my 2016 taxes at H&R Block, it was evident that my blog was gaining traction, and I had to do a better job with keeping track of business expenses going forward. When I spoke to my tax pro, he was able to break down all of the types of expenses that could be considered write-offs, which has been so beneficial!
One thing I noticed the first few years I started blogging? I did a pretty lousy job at saving my receipts and was always in a full-blown panic when tax season rolled around. I used to keep all of my receipts in a pouch and organize them when the time came to do my taxes. I learned the hard way, but once during a move, I misplaced this pouch for months. My anxiety skyrocketed. I eventually found that pouch, but I knew I had to do better with organizing and keeping tabs of my receipts.
As soon as I get a paper receipt, I’ll scan it on my phone with an app called Scannable. It gives me a high-quality scan of any receipt, and it only takes a few seconds to upload your scan either to your phone or Evernote account. From there, I have a password-protected folder saved on the Cloud containing all of my receipts. I also make sure to save any email receipts as PDFs and upload them to that folder as well. I also plan to check out MyBlock with H&R Block, which is free and secure method from H&R Block for organizing all your important tax documents.
3) Start Tax Prep Early and Work Slowly
Before I was self-employed, I knew tax season would be a breeze. I collected my W2, went in to see my tax expert, and called it a day.
Last tax season, I had to track down a whopping 47 tax documents just to get my taxes done. Forty-Seven. Not to mention, making a spreadsheet of all of my income/expenses for my business. I underestimated how long it would take to get my taxes done, and I ended up having to request an extension. This is something I knew I wanted to avoid in the future at all costs!
As soon as January 1st rolled around, I dedicated a few hours each week to reviewing business expenses and gathering my tax documents together. Doing this over the course of a few weeks rather than all in one day has helped so much in the long run. It’s exhausting and unrealistic to expect to get all of your self-employment taxes done in a single session. Take your time, space it out over the course of a few weeks, and give yourself time to correct any possible errors.
4) Don’t Forget Charitable Donations
Did you make a clothing donation to Goodwill? Donate to a local charity? Participate in a Facebook fundraiser for an org? Make sure to keep tabs on any charitable donations you’ve made during the year, and send those over to your tax professional. You’d be surprised at how much you’ve donated in a year, and it will help you in the long run!
What about you? Do you have any self employed tax tips? Drop them in a comment below!
Photos by Tom McGovern
Thank you to H&R Block for sponsoring today’s self employed tax tips blog post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.