Earnings Tax Fundamentals for the Gig Economic system

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We reside within the post-recession financial system. Together with extra skepticism over the way forward for the financial system, many have purchased into the gig financial system—the place individuals take particular person contract jobs fairly than working for a bigger firm. Some would possibly name it the American dream however in case you don’t plan accurately, it may flip into one thing of a nightmare.

The Information

A research by authors from Princeton and Harvard Universities discovered that the variety of freelancers grew from 10.1% in February of 2005 to 15.eight% in late 2015. Laptop jobs maintain essentially the most freelancers however customer support, medical, and writing industries appeal to many as effectively. Freelancers beware—you could be setting your self up for monetary turmoil in case you don’t consider your self as a enterprise proprietor. It has to do with taxes.


As a freelancer, it’s important to pay taxes simply as you’ll in case you labored for a bigger firm however with one necessary caveat. You’re liable for all the taxes. What you could not know is that when you find yourself an worker, your employer pays half of your whole Social Safety and Medicare taxes. Thus, as an worker of another person’s enterprise, you paid 6.2% of your wage (as much as the taxable most) for Social Safety tax, and a 1.45% Medicare tax, (mixed whole, 7.65%.)  Your employer was required to match these funds. Thus, your whole contribution for Social Safety and Medicare (your cost plus the employer’s) was 15.three%. And, after all, you additionally had cash withheld out of your paycheck for revenue taxes calculated based mostly on the knowledge you offered your employer on a W-Four kind. As a freelancer, it’s important to pay each components of the Social Safety and Medicare taxes. As an alternative of paying the federal government your revenue tax plus 7.65% (mixed Social Safety and Medicare tax), you pay revenue tax plus 15.three% (minus any deductions or credit) That 15.three% is named a self-employment tax.

Figuring out the overall quantity of revenue tax, Social Safety and Medicare taxes you may owe for the 12 months is not simple. You need to consider your revenue, your tax bracket, deductions, and credit. If your enterprise is comparatively steady, merely take a look at final 12 months’s tax return and take numbers from there. Or, a really tough estimate is to take 35% of each greenback you make, put it in a separate account and use it to pay taxes. If you’re required to pay state and metropolis revenue taxes, do not forget to calculate their value for the 12 months, too.

Tip: When figuring out the charges you cost your prospects, do not forget about these additional taxes you may owe. Too many freelancers don’t cost sufficient for his or her providers as a result of they don’t take taxes under consideration.

Estimated Taxes

The IRS isn’t going to let you maintain onto the cash you owe them till tax time. Usually, if you’ll owe greater than $1,000 in taxes on the finish of the 12 months, it’s important to make quarterly estimated tax funds. Should you file as a company, your threshold is $500 however most freelancers ought to take note of the $1,000 quantity. 

How A lot Ought to I Pay?

Should you owe estimated taxes, how are you aware how a lot to pay? Should you use tax preparation software program like TurboTax, it’s going to let you know what it believes your estimated taxes will probably be based mostly in your earlier 12 months’s tax return. The IRS additionally has kinds and worksheets that can assist you. Purpose for 100% of your earlier 12 months’s taxes or 110% if you’ll earn greater than $150,000.

Estimated taxes are due quarterly—April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 of the next 12 months. There are exceptions to those dates however you’ll nearly definitely have an accountant advising you of these dates if that was the case. Make certain you pay your estimated taxes on time. Should you do not, the IRS will cost you a penalty.

Should you don’t wish to pay your taxes in Four quarterly installments, there are just a few different methods. First, in case you obtain a refund in your taxes, apply it to your estimated taxes. Second, in case you or your partner are employed by different corporations, you’ll be able to ask your employer to withhold extra taxes out of your paycheck every week. (You may have to file a brand new W4 and fill in line 6 to point the extra quantity you wish to be withheld.) To provide you with the quantity to withhold, divide your estimated tax by the variety of paychecks you’ll obtain and have them with out that quantity. For instance, in case you plan to have a tax legal responsibility of $7,000 however you receives a commission from an employer as soon as monthly, have them withhold an additional $583.34 from every paycheck.

Study extra about estimated taxes on the IRS web site.

The beauty of proudly owning a enterprise is that your bills are deductible. Practically each buy you make that straight goes to the operation of your enterprise will cut back your taxable revenue. All the things from workplace provides to mileage, to the usage of a house workplace, will land you deductions and cut back your tax burden. Beware—you don’t wish to exaggerate or take deductions you’ll be able to’t show. Should you’re audited, the IRS will ask for receipts and substantiation of your entire deductions. Study extra right here.


First, let’s watch out with that phrase. An worker is any person in your payroll. You need to withhold taxes and even pay a part of their tax burden. Bear in mind the self-employment tax above? You need to pay it. When doable, freelancers favor to rent contractors (different freelancers) as a result of the employer doesn’t have to fret in regards to the taxes. All of it falls on the contractor.

You don’t get to decide on. How you utilize that particular person determines in the event that they’re a contractor or worker. For instance, do you management what the employee does and the way they carry out their job? If the reply is sure, they’re an worker of your organization. Earlier than hiring assist examine this on the IRS web site.

Should you rent a contractor, they usually make greater than $600 per 12 months, it’s important to file kind 1099 reporting their wages. In the event that they’re an worker, you file a W-2 kind.

Backside Line

If all of this appears somewhat overwhelming, you most likely want an accountant. The truth is, if your enterprise is making effectively into the five-figures, you want an accountant anyway. Articles like these are nice for common training however solely an accountant can take a look at the specifics of your enterprise and set you up for achievement.

© 2016 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Will not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed with out written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

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