Many would consider being a freelancer a dream job. You don’t need to commute, you can work when you want, and there is generally a lot of freedom. But when tax season comes around, freelancers will remember the one thing that isn’t so fun about their work style. If you’re a freelancer, you already know the dread of doing your own taxes. Nobody is happy during tax season, but the act of doing your taxes is much harder as a freelancer. Here are a few tips to help you pay your taxes as a freelancer.

Number 1) Consult with a professional.

A freelancer should always work with an accountant. Good accountants can be expensive, but investing in a freelancer will ultimately save you time and money. It’s best not to use tax services such as TurboTax to do your taxes. If you choose to use a tax service, you run the risk of making a serious mistakes. If you don’t know tax law and are unfamiliar with how your tax returns should look, it’s much better to have a professional help you along the way. Another benefit to getting a professional to help you is that these people often know how you can save money on taxes in your profession.


Number 2) Be aware of what you need to pay and how much.

When tax season is approaching, you should get a basic understanding of the taxes that you need to pay. You are responsible for your self-employment tax. This consists of Medicare and Social Security taxes. If you had a full time job, this would get deducted from your paycheck, but this is not the case when you are a freelancer.


Number 3) Make sure your tax preparer understands how you conduct your business.

If you want a professional to help you to get all of the deductions and credits you deserve, you need someone who understands the ins and outs of your business. When you first meet your accountant, explain what your work days are like. State what you do, what you buy, and how your work benefits from these activities and purchases. An accountant who isn’t fully familiar with your business may give you fewer deductions than you deserve to take.


Number 5) Know what expenses to write off.

According to the IRS, you can deduct any business expenses that are “ordinary and necessary” within your industry. Essentially, this refers to expense people in your industry commonly have to make. Your accountant should be able to tell you which expenses you can write off, but you can also find this information through professional associations.


Number 6) If you owe back taxes, figure out your options.

Owing back taxes can be a stressful situation, but you shouldn’t feel bad about it. With penalties and compound interest, you can often be faced with charges upon charges. You should figure out how the IRS is calculating these charges. Sometimes, if you haven’t filed a return, the IRS can make estimates that are way off.


If you haven’t filed a return, do so now. The statute of limitations on unpaid taxes will not help you unless you file. If you owe $50,000 or less in individual income tax, interest and penalties combined, you can qualify for an Online Payment Plan with low interest rates. If you own tens of thousands of dollars, the IRS may negotiate with you. If this is the case, you will want your tax professional to help you broker a deal.


Filing your taxes as a freelancer can be overwhelming. However, if you get a professional to help you out and you follow these tips, the process can be easier to navigate.