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Your Tax Situation as a Freelance Writer

Believe it or not, many freelance writers have asked me whether or not they have to pay taxes on their income. Although I cannot speak for those in other countries, if you live in the United States you most definitely need to pay taxes on any income you earn as a freelance writer. As you can imagine, this is not something that you want to forget. If you do the IRS is not going to be kind when they catch on.

My best advice is this: hire a certified public accountant to help you with your tax situation. Before I ever started my career as a freelance writer I hired an accountant to go over every last detail with me. She answered all my questions, while also showing me how to pay quarterly taxes on both the state and federal level. This may sound easy enough, but there is definitely a lot of paperwork involved.

At the beginning of every year, usually in February or March, I visit my CPA to file my final return. This is when I learn if I owe additional money, or if I will be receiving a refund check. This is all based on how much money is paid in quarterly taxes throughout the year. Simply put, this is not something I would be able to do on my own. There are entirely too many forms and too much information gather. Even though I have to pay a few hundred dollars for this service, it is well worth it. You cannot afford to make any mistakes on your final return. For this reason I am more than happy to pay a professional to ensure that my return is 100 percent accurate, and that I take advantage of all possible deductions, etc.

Since I am not a CPA I am going to stop here. If you are just starting your freelance writing career I strongly urge you to make an appointment with a professional. This will help to ensure that you understand your tax situation, and that you are setup to pay the proper amount as the year goes by. 

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6 Comments »Freelance WritingNovember 19th, 2008

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