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Summer is the time of year when some people dive into entrepreneurship. Whether it’s a summer job, a part-time gig, a side-hustle or a small business, your new found business venture may result in your being classified as self-employed. If that’s you or someone you know, here are a few tips to help navigate your tax situation.

Know If You’re Self-Employed

If your income is from a business or service, it is considered self-employment income.  For example, working as an independent contractor in sales, being a social media sensation, babysitting, housecleaning, gardening, and even being a freelance promoter will be considered to be self-employment income. Your self-employment income is reported on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. However, you will be able to reduce the income you make by deducting the related business expenses, such as supplies, auto mileage, and cost of goods sold.

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Withholding and Estimated Taxes

If you’re an employee, your employer withholds tax from your paychecks. As an employee, you will complete Form W-4 to submit to your employer. This form is used to determine how much should be withheld from your paycheck.

If you are self-employed, you may have to pay estimated taxes directly to the IRS on set dates during the year. You are expected to pay estimated taxes if you expect to owe $1,000 or more annually.

All Income Must Be Reported

Although you can earn a certain amount of income each year without having to pay taxes or file a tax return, if you are required to file a tax return, all income you receive from any source should be reported on your return. That includes income from side jobs, self-employment, barter exchanges, and any sort of fellowship for which you perform services. If the net income after subtracting expenses is $400 or more, you are required to file a tax return and pay self-employment taxes, which will be included as a part of your personal income tax return on Form 1040.

Woman using a calculator.
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Barter Income

Sometimes you aren’t paid in cash and instead, you receive services or goods in exchange for your self-employment work. That’s called bartering, and you must report the fair market value of the goods and services you receive. For example, if you spend the summer tutoring your neighbors’ children and you receive a credit for the restaurant they own or a bicycle from the bicycle shop they own, then the value of what you received is considered self-employment income to you.

Young woman tutoring a boy.
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Filing A Tax Return

If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax return, you’ll still need to file a tax return if your income exceeds the minimum gross income filing requirements or if your self-employment income is $400 or more. Even if you aren’t required to file a tax return, you’ll still want to file if income taxes have been withheld from any income you had since you may get that money back. Filing could also generate a tax refund if you’re eligible for any of the refundable tax credits like the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Don’t worry about knowing these tax rules. You can easily track your business income, expenses, mileage, and figure out your estimated taxes year-round with QuickBooks Self-Employed. At tax time, your information can easily be exported from QuickBooks Self-Employed to your TurboTax Premium tax return making tax filing effortless. TurboTax helps uncover industry-specific tax deductions saving you money on your taxes.

No matter what moves you made last year, TurboTax will make them count on your taxes. Whether you want to do your taxes yourself or have a TurboTax expert file for you, we’ll make sure you get every dollar you deserve and your biggest possible refund – guaranteed.

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