Tax Planning for Freelancers

Small Business Bookkeepers Near Me Kennett Square PA - Tax Planning for Freelancers

Are you looking for a guide for tax planning for freelancers? As a freelancer or gig worker, understanding your tax obligations is crucial for your financial success. The gig economy is thriving, with approximately 73.3 million freelancers reported working in the USA in 2023 and that number is only estimated to rise. You aren’t alone in searching for tax planning for freelancers. There are many freelancers looking for the same advice.

Let Cyron & Company help you by highlighting the key ideas you should know about planning for tax season, with a special focus on Pennsylvania tax laws that you should be aware of.


Understanding IRS Regulations for Freelancers

Freelancers typically operate as sole proprietors or independent contractors, so it is essential to understand how your income is classified for tax purposes. Income earned as a freelancer is generally reported on Schedule C (Form 1040) as part of your individual tax return. 

The IRS has specific rules and classifications for freelance work. Freelancers, as self-employed individuals, are subject to a 15.3% self-employment tax. This tax includes both the employer and employee portions of FICA taxes. Understanding these regulations is crucial for accurately reporting your freelance income and maximizing tax benefits.

Tax planning for freelancers involves understanding how payments are reported. Freelancers must provide clients with a W-9 form with their Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number. If annual freelancer payments exceed $600, clients must issue a Form 1099-NEC. This form must be filed with the IRS to report payments.


Record Keeping and Documentation

A key tip for tax planning for freelancers is to maintain thorough and organized records for tax compliance and audit readiness. You’ll want to keep track of all income, expenses, invoices, and receipts related to your freelance work. Consider using accounting software like Quickbooks or spreadsheets to record transactions and generate reports. This will help you maintain good record-keeping. 

In addition, you will want to retain copies of contracts, agreements and correspondence with clients. Keeping track of all work-related documents will not only help you with tax preparation but will also provide valuable documentation if an IRS audit should arise. 


Estimated Taxes and Self-Employment Taxes

Unlike traditional employees who have taxes withheld from their paychecks, freelancers are responsible for paying estimated taxes quarterly. These estimated tax payments cover income tax as well as self-employment tax, which includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. Failing to pay estimated taxes or underestimating your tax liability can result in penalties and interest charges. 

One of the most important IRS rules in tax planning for freelancers relates to estimated quarterly income tax payments. Freelancers generally pay taxes quarterly instead of having payroll taxes withheld. These payments are due each year by April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. The IRS provides guidelines and worksheets to help freelancers calculate their estimated tax payments accurately.


Claiming Freelance Business Deductions

A major benefit of tax planning for freelancers is the ability to deduct legitimate business expenses. These deductions can reduce your taxable income. In some cases, you may be able to deduct a portion or all of your business costs related to:  

  • Home office or rented space
  • Business equipment and supplies (computer, phone, and internet all apply)
  • Marketing
  • Professional services
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • Continuing education


Tax Planning for Freelancers in Pennsylvania

Freelancers in Pennsylvania must understand state-specific rules when planning for tax season as well. This goes for working for companies in the state of Pennsylvania as well as companies in other states. 

Pennsylvania imposes a flat income tax rate on most types of income, including income earned by freelancers, as of 2024 this rate was 3.07%. If you’re living and working as a freelancer in the Pennsylvania area, be sure that you report your income on your state tax return (PA-40). Some municipalities in Pennsylvania levy local income taxes on residents and nonresidents who work within their jurisdiction. You may be subject to local taxes, depending on where you perform your freelance work. 

Other states and municipalities may charge taxes as well, so be sure to keep track of the addresses of the companies and people you are freelancing for to ensure you can file the correct paperwork. You may be required to file state tax returns in multiple states, depending on the line of freelance work that you do. 


Cyron & Company Can Help with Tax Planning for Freelancers

Tax planning for freelancers involves understanding IRS regulations, managing payments and forms, making estimated quarterly tax payments, claiming business deductions, and adhering to state-specific rules. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need some guidance, the top-notch team at Cyron & Company can help you develop a custom tax savings plan. 

Schedule a free consultation with one of the tax experts at Cyron & Company and ensure that you will be ready for this tax season and prepared for the future. Stay informed and plan ahead with professionals at your side you can rely on, and you can navigate tax season with confidence. 

We Have The Tools & Team To Help You Succeed

For over 20 years, Cyron & Company has offered small businesses and individuals in and around Kennett Square, Pa., a comprehensive suite of customizable accounting and tax services, including outsourced accounting and CFO Services; tax planning and preparation; financial statement reviews and compilations; business startups and planning; and QuickBooks® online consulting and training.

Cyron & Company is known for a unique client-based approach. This clear focus allows the team to let client specifications guide the service process. Whether it’s an in-person meeting or a video conference, this team is the accessible and adaptable partner you need to best meet your financial needs. Contact us today.