When you work as a freelance writer or an independent contractor, the 1099-misc tax form is your best friend. In order to file your taxes at the end of the year, you will need to fill out this form for every company that you earned a substantial amount of income from throughout the year. The companies are required to send you this form by January 31st of the following tax filing year. Even if they do not send it, you are still required to report your income to the IRS.

Report All Income

If you work a substantial amount of the year as a freelancer, then the IRS will classify you as self-employed. When reporting your income, make sure you fill out any sections required for self-employed filers. If you do freelance work on the side and you have another job that brings you the bulk of your income, then report your independent contracting income as other income. There is a bit of a difference in tax deductions when it comes to just how much you rely on your freelance income.

Advantages of This Form

If you identify your employment status as self-employed, then you are liable to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes. However, there are advantages to filing the 1099-misc form. For example, you have more freedom with your tax deductions. If you are working on a laptop, then it is much easier to get a deduction on your computer than it is for other workers who have to have itemized receipts for their deductions.

Use TurboTax

TurboTax is a tax filing website that is pretty easy to use. It imports information from the IRS onto a form so that you can just fill out a few numbers here and there and complete your taxes. It walks you through everything step by step so that you don’t get lost. If you want to make doing your taxes as easy as possible, then utilize the resources that TurboTax has to offer you.

If you do not want to use TurboTax, then you can use the 1040-ES form to do your tax calculations. Sometimes technology is not reliable, so make sure to double check your work on both TurboTax and the written form. You do not want to have to go through a tax audit if you accidentally file the wrong numbers.

Filing a 1099-misc form is meant to be relatively easy so long as all of the companies you have earned a substantial amount of income from send you their form copies at the end of the year. If you do not get a form from the companies, it is still your responsibility to keep track of your income and jot it down on the form. If you made income from a company, then put that income down, regardless of whether or not they sent you the exact amount of money that you earned. You are allowed to estimate and indicate that on the tax form.