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FAQ

Am I eligible for the Make Work Pay $400 tax credit if all of my income came from 1099-Misc as an independent contractor and not W-2?
Net income from self-employment, reported on Line 31 of Schedule C or Line 3 of Schedule C-EZ, can be used for the Making Work Pay credit (it goes on line 2b of the worksheet in the instructions). If your 1099-MISC is required to be reported on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ, then that income, less any deductions that you take related to the generation of that income, would be used.You must take all appropriate deductions against that income, however. Schedule C returns with no deductions taken against income are audit candidates.
Is postage an expense or asset?
If the postage expenditure is for stamps or a postage machine technically it would be an asset since it will benefit the future. If it is for a letter or parcel being mailed immediately it is an expense as the service (transmitting the communication) has been consumed. From a practical standpoint it would most likely be considered an expense.
Was it wrong of my employer to send me a 1099-MISC for business trip expenses?
A2A.If you are an employee, then the employer was wrong.Employee business expenses are reimbursed by employers under two types of plans - accountable and non-accountable. Any reimbursement plan that does not meet the requirements for an accountable plan is, by definition, non-accountable.An accountable plan must meet the following requirements:The expenses must have been paid or incurred by the employee while performing services as an employee for the employer.The employee must adequately account for the expenses to the employer within a reasonable time after the expenses are paid or incurred. This is usually implemented through the filing of an expense report.If the employee receives reimbursement for the expenses in excess of the amount paid or incurred, the employee must return the excess within a responsible period of time - this allows for accountable plans in which the employee draws a travel advance.If your expenses were reimbursed under an accountable plan, the employer does not need to give you any tax form. If your expenses were reimbursed under a non-accountable plan, the employer is required to include them in your wages reported on Form W-2 (and make the appropriate income and payroll tax deductions). In no event should the reimbursements be reported on Form 1099-MISC.Contrary to some of the other answers, and assuming that you were reimbursed under a non-accountable plan, it is not correct to report this on Schedule C - this is not self-employment income. The correct way to report this is to file IRS Form 8919, Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages with your return. On Form 8919, you use Reason Code H, indicating that the amount reported on Form 1099-MISC should have been included with your wages, and figure your share of the SS and Medicate taxes that should have been withheld. You can also fill out IRS Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses to determine whether you have sufficient expenses to deduct on Schedule A, keeping in mind that as an employee your can only deduct the expenses to the extent that they exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.
What is the legal amount of money someone can have that runs a business without getting in trouble by IRS?
As several others have said, there is no limit on a “legal amount of money” someone can earn from a business without getting into trouble with the IRS—at least, as long as the business owner complies with the Internal Revenue Code, pays their corporate taxes or self-employment taxes, and files the appropriate returns.There is a Treasury rule that requires banks and business owners to scrutinise large amounts of cash; the purpose of this is probably more to prevent organised crime than specifically for tax collection. Form 8300 and Reporting Cash Payments of Over 10000.If you’re looking for the amount you can earn through self-employment and not have to pay Social Security tax or file a Schedule SE, it’s $ 400 per year. If you have a “regularly conducted business,” you have to file a Schedule C; the test for this is whether the activity is systematic.Use Schedule C (Form 1040) to report income or (loss) from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor. An activity qualifies as a business if your primary purpose for engaging in the activity is for income or profit and you are involved in the activity with continuity and regularity. For example, a sporadic activity or a hobby does not qualify as a business. To report income from a nonbusiness activity, see the instructions for Form 1040, line 21, or Form 1040NR, line 21.2017 Instructions for Schedule C (2017)
I have a full time job but I'm doing a one-off freelance design project. How do I correctly file this income on my tax return?
I assume that:You are a US citizen or resident alien.You are performing this service in the US.You are not considered to be an employee of the entity for which you are performing this service.With those assumptions: You file Schedule C with your tax return, claiming the gross income from the freelance project and taking any deductions related to the generation of that income - such as supplies that you purchased specifically for that project. The instructions for Schedule C can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i....If your net income from the project is $400 or more, you must also file Schedule SE and pay an additional tax on the net income. The instructions for Schedule SE can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i....I also recommend that you take a look at IRS Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p.... IRS Publication 535, Business Expenses (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p...) and IRS Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p...), may also be useful to you.If this sounds like overkill for a small freelance project - well, maybe it is, but I expect that as you progress in your career more of these little projects will be coming your way, and it's a good idea to learn as much as you can now so that you can plan ahead for what may come your way in the future.
If I hire an independent contractor, can I deduct the taxes from the payment?
Yes the $3,000 is deductible business expense. If you are a Sole Proprietorship, as you meet the $400 net income filing threshold, you will need to file a separate Schedule C (or Schedule C-EZ) for the business and claim the income and expense on that. See Income Taxation of Sole ProprietorshipIf you have a LLC, S Corporation, or C Corp, claim the business expense and income accordingly.And yeah you need to issue Form 1099-MISC to the independent contractor you hired. Regarding what 1099-MISC is, how and when to file it, IRS instructions, etc., check here: Form 1099 MISC Rules & Regulations
If you have experience with both, can you say which you think is worse: having an episiotomy or a C-section?
I actually have had both. Most women who have had both have what’s called a “V-BAC”, or Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. I had it the other way around. The first delivery, which was vaginal, went so badly (due to a big baby, a small mommy, and the complications thereof) that my second child was delivered by scheduled c-section.I mention this, because a woman who has had a c-section first might have a very different experience from mine, which is more rare.The episiotomy I had was a “medio-lateral”, meaning halfway between vertical and horizontal. My doctor chose to do that instead of a “fourth-degree”, which is when the episiotomy cuts through the anus. I was grateful for that. However, the wound was very painful—I broke a couple of stitches along the way—and it took about 5 months before I could sit comfortably on both cheeks. Yeah.By contrast, the c-section was a breeze. I was so afraid of having the staples removed, but I hardly felt that. They sent me home with a non-narcotic pain reliever, which I may have taken a couple of. I took Tylenol for a couple of days after that and that was it. Yes, I was sore, but it was easy and the pain was really minimal compared with the first one.Here’s something that a lot of people don’t realize: the “bikini cut”, where they make the incision down low, ostensibly so you can still wear a bikini, is only on the outside. The uterus is cut vertically, with the muscle fiber grain. There’s a lot of healing going on inside after that c-section, so if you have one, give it at least 6 weeks of not lifting anything heavier than the baby, and getting lots of rest. And of course, follow your doctor’s instructions. :)
Turbotax file LLC (WA state) tax EIN/UBN?
When you own a single-member LLC, the IRS doesn't require that taxes be filed by the LLC; the IRS requires taxes to be filed by the member on his/her own personal return. Therefore, the IRS doesn't ask for any sort of identifying number for the LLC. That's true even if you do have an EIN in the name of the LLC - the 2012 Instructions for Schedule C (2012) clearly state that the only EIN that should appear on Schedule C is one issued to you in your own name as a sole proprietor.You do not need to include any additional information on your personal return.
How do independent contractors file their taxes?
Generally speaking, you treat yourself as your “employers” do, which is that you are not their “employee”, you are a “independent contractor”, in other words, a separate one man/woman business (unless you have partners) in “business” for yourself.Basically, this generally means that instead of giving you wages and salary as a “employee” and then a W-2 at the end of the year (which number you carry onto the “wages and salaries” top line of your 1040 tax return), your “employer” will give your “contracting business” a 1099 form with the same number as everything they paid to you.Unlike salaries, this “income” number is the “gross revenues” of your “business”, which is all laid out on Schedule C of your tax return. Since you are a “business”, you are also able (unlike an employee) to deduct the expenses of your business: rent for office space or home use, vehicles, tools, materials, advertising, etc. and report only the “below the line” results (profit or loss) on the corresponding line of the 1040 return.Unfortunately, however, you are also liable for “social security/medicare self-employment tax”, because your “employer” did not pay its one-half “employer share” (about 7.5% of salary/wages), so you have to pay that separately on an additional form with your tax return and pay that in the “taxes you owe” section on the second page of the 1040. (Obviously, that portion is about double of what you would have had deducted if you were a real W-2 employee not a 1099 “independent contractor. Often it’s a larger number than the actual income taxes owing).