I decided to write a few tax tips for the freelance writer because I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information when I first started. I am not a tax professional, and you should consult one for better information than I have, but here are some tips that have helped me in the past.
- Take a home office deduction. If you're like me, you have a space in your home or apartment where you were and it serves as your office. This square footage is considered your home office and may qualify for a deduction.
- Deduct all supplies. If I buy pens, notepads, paper and toner, it will all go on my taxes. I deduct water bottles I buy, plants or anything I've used to furnish my home office and make it a good work station.
- Invest in a decent tax software. I use TurboTax, but I will say that you likely do not need the most expensive versions. I buy Home & Business and each time I think I should have just gotten the Deluxe version and been fine. Even so, it makes doing taxes a breeze.
- Keep track of receipts. I practically use a shoe box, but if you're very disciplined there's Evernote, a free note-taking app, which lets you take photos of receipts and place them in a notebook. The technology is there for anyone who wants to use it.
- Don't worry about an audit. If you're off by a few dollars, don't panic. I was off because I forgot to add revenue from a publication who didn't send me a 1099, so the IRS sent me a note to pay $45. I did and that was that. No home visit, no panic, no scare tactics.
Enjoy tax season and remember to relax!