5 Tips For Self-Employed Taxpayers

When an individual works for themselves, he or she is considered self-employed for taxes, which means the individual is responsible for paying and filing taxes on a scheduled basis. These individuals will have some advantages and disadvantages at tax time.

Five Tips For Self-Employed Taxpayers

  1. A self-employed individual will have to pay income and self-employment tax. The self-employment tax includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. Normally these taxes are withheld from an individual’s wages, but a self-employed individual will have to pay these taxes by filing a Form 1040 Schedule SE. However, the individual does get to deduct half of this tax from his or her income on Form 1040.
  2. The earnings will need to be reported on a Schedule C or C-EZ Tax Form. This form will show whether an individual made money from a business or had a loss from the business. It will be used in addition to the Form 1040 and Schedule SE.
  3. Sometimes, a self-employed person will have to make estimated tax payments during the year. Even though some people work as an employee on other jobs with taxes withheld, it is still important to make these estimated taxes if an individual has any self-employed income. An underpayment of taxes at the end of the year could result in a penalty. Therefore, making quarterly estimated tax payments will save the individual from being penalized for underpaying.
  4. If an individual had business expenses, these will be listed and deducted from the Schedule C earnings. The expenses must have concurred during the current tax year to claim as a deduction. A business expense is one that is common and necessary for the operation of that business.
  5. Many common deductions can be overlooked, such as printing business cards and postage. Forgetting about a deduction can cause an individual to pay more taxes.

An independent contractor or sole proprietor of a business will have different tax obligations than an employee. For instance, the self-employed individual will pay more Social Security and Medicare taxes than an individual who is not self-employed. An employer will pay part of these two taxes for their employees, but a self-employed individual will be responsible for all of the taxes.

How to Estimate Self-Employment Payments

  • An individual can use the income tax return from the previous year to get an estimate for payments.
  • Look at the income and the self-employment taxes to figure the payments.
  • If this is the first year for self-employment, the taxes can be estimated based on the income that an individual plans to earn that year.
  • Adjustments can be made to the estimated payments after the first quarter if the estimate appears to be too low or too high.

Self-employed individuals need to file accurate tax returns with the proper deductions. Keeping good records throughout the year will ensure that no deduction is overlooked. At the end of the year, the taxes will be easier to file when the information is accessible along with estimated payments.

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Learn About Tax Liability

Tax liability can have you make wrong choices. However, the IRS has been helpful to some people in difficulties such as these. For example, the unemployed and people running small business will benefit from the ‘fresh start’ initiative. In fact, their installment agreement will ensure that there is easier and rational payments made.

Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner stated that the agency has a duty to work with troubled taxpayers to meet their tax liabilities. Taxpayers have to understand the penalties against defaults arising out of failure to pay taxes on time. For example, 5% of unpaid taxes will be imposed against returns filed late on a monthly basis.

» The analysis for such failures is done at a lower limit of 0.5% and upper limit of 25% each month.

Therefore, if you are unemployed or self-employed, you will have about six months delay for you to pay your taxes. This will only apply to taxes due in 2011 and only if you had requested for an extension through IRS form 4868.

This form however does not excuse you from paying due taxes.

The initiative permits the delay to run up to 15th of October. You will need to show that you have been unemployed for more than 30 days continuously in 2011 or before the 17th of April 2012. Incase of self employment, show that your business earnings has dropped for more than 25% because of the economy.

Form 1127-A can be found at the IRS website: IRS.gov, should help you apply for the program and is due in April 17th.

You should be aware of a couple of things. For example, the earning and time limits that will accrue penalties.

Another thing to be aware about is the compounding interest payable on unpaid taxes.

If you do not have a financial statement then you should know that the threshold for the part payment has been increased by the agency. The fines are lowered, the interest will still be compounding.

In such cases, the IRS will increase the time for your part payment when you owe $50,000. The time can be increased to 72 months. This extended time can only be permitted if you consent to a monthly direct–debit payment.

This agreement can be set up online. To get an approval, you will need to have filed your returns and avail your personal details.

It is necessary that you file your tax returns even if you may accrue tax liability. Try not to make decisions that are irrational. Consult with the IRS through their websites and understand their conditions to qualify for the initiative.

What Is An Advance Cash Settlement And When Is It Used

When someone suffers injury an as a result of the actions of another individual, they often file against that person for a settlement. If the court finds in favor of the injured party, the defendant is liable to pay a settlement to that injured party. This cash payment will either be a single payment, or in installments over a period of time.

Payment by installment is preferred by many people. It is easier to manage the tax on smaller amounts, and, on occasion, a structured settlement by installments may not be subject to tax.

It may be that while the trial is taking place, the plaintiff finds themselves in financial hardship. If they are injured they may be finding it hard to find a job. In this case some choose to take advantage of an advance cash settlement, taken out against whatever may be awarded in the outcome of the lawsuit. This is a low risk option for the plaintiff as, if they lose their case, they are not obligated to repay the money loaned. However, the interest rates on these settlement loans tends to be high, so taking out a loan needs careful consideration.

If a plaintiff decides that they do want to go ahead with a loan, they should inform their lawyer immediately about their plans. This is so their lawyer is not surprised when the lender contacts the lawyer to find out how the case is going. Plaintiffs need to be aware that lenders only want to make loans to plaintiffs who have a good chance of being successful in court.

Last Minute Tax Tips For Those Filing 2010 Taxes

The deadline for filing taxes for 2010 is fast approaching. Following are ten last minute tax tips that are provided courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service. These tips can make last minute tax filing a lot easier.

1. File via e-file. It is secure and simple. Most people use this form of filing as opposed to filing out a paper tax form. The IRS has estimated that this form of filing has been used almost a billion times since its inception two decades ago. Nearly seventy percent of tax payers file via e-file.

2. Check ID numbers carefully. These numbers are extremely important and it is very easy to accidentally make a mistake with any one number. A person that gets a SS number or other figure wrong will face delays in getting a tax refund.

3. When using a paper copy of the tax form, be sure everything is legible. Not everyone has great handwriting. It is important to fill out the form clearly; if the IRS cannot understand it, then  there will be problems.

4. Make sure the right figures are placed in the right places. Tax forms are not the easiest forms to understand and it is all too easy to make a mistake.

5. Sign the form. If it is a joint return, then both parties should sign, even if the form only lists income made by one party. Date the form too.

6. Double check the mailing address. It can be found on the IRS website. Make sure to write the address out clearly and properly.

7. When mailing a payment via snail mail, the check should be made out to the US Treasury. It should not be stapled to the tax form. It should include a person’s SS number and the phone number that he or she can be reached at during working hours.

8. Using electronic payment methods is not only safe but also quite simple. One can use a debit card or credit card.

9. One can file for an extension of time. This gives a person a few more days to file. However, the payment deadline will not change even if an extension is granted.

10. For more information, be sure to check out the IRS website.

Strategies for Settling Tax Debt

Every taxpayer has several options for resolving his federal tax debts. There are many tax professionals who are willing to help individuals to evaluate their options for dealing with tax debts. They will prepare financial statement for their clients based on their financial situation to determine which tax settlement strategies are most applicable for them.

Below are the five strategies to settle your tax debts.

1. Installment agreement –  This is a monthly payment plan for paying off your Internal Revenue Service. With this IRS tax debt settlement strategy, either you or your tax professional can set up an instalment agreement by filling out some paper works, over the phone or by using online payment agreement.

2. Not currently collectible –  It means that the taxpayer has no ability to pay his tax debts. After the Internal Revenue Service received the evidence that you have no ability to pay, it will declare that you are “currently not collectible”. After declaration, the IRS shall stop all collection activities including levies and garnishment.

3. Partial payment installment agreement –  This is an IRS tax debt settlement strategy that contains a fairly new debt management program. Through this, you will have a long term payment plan to pay off the Internal Revenue Service at a reduced dollar amount.

4. Filing a bankruptcy – As a tax payer, you can be eligible for discharge under Chapter 7 (which provides full discharge of your allowable debts and which is most likely applicable when you have no real state or when you have modest income) or under Chapter 13 (where you will be provided with a payment plan to repay some of your debts, with the remainder of debts discharged) of the Bankruptcy Code. However, not all tax debts are capable of being discharged in bankruptcy.

5. Filing an offer-in-compromise –  It is one of the best ways to settle your tax debts for even less than the amount you owe. There are 3 options for this IRS tax debt settlement strategy: lump sum payment, monthly payment for over 24months or less, or monthly payments over the remaining statute of limitations. If you choose the lump sum payment plan, you must submit at least 20% down payment or must start making monthly payments if you choose any of the two monthly payment options.

There are several tax settlement strategies you can choose from. However, there are certain requirements for each option that you have to comply first before you become eligible.