If you are an independent contractor or run your own business, there are a few basic things to know when it comes to your federal tax return. Here are six tips you should know about income from self-employment:
• Self-employment income can include income you received for part-time work. This is in addition to income from your regular job.
• You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040.
What Can I Deduct?
To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.
There are literally hundreds of ways you can use tax deductions to decrease your overall tax burden. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know these deductions exist, missing out on thousands of dollars in potential savings each year.
First, it’s important to actually remember to file your tax return – you have until April 15 to do so or you’ll face a late filing penalty. You may also miss out on the opportunity to receive a refund. In 2009, the IRS got to keep more than $917 million in refunds, since nearly 1 million taxpayers didn’t file their tax returns.