This is a truncated version of the EFA Chicagoland Chapter News. If you would like to read the full e-newsletter, visit the archive, where you can also subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox monthly.
It’s that most joyous time of the year again: tax time! As if pandemic life wasn’t already fun enough, new tax forms, the epic drama of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and stimulus payments make this year’s tax season even more, uh, well … ”special.”
Luckily, the EFA has your back. It will present Money Management as a Freelancer: How to Organize Your Finances and Prepare for the New Tax Forms on March 4. The event is free, but for EFA members only—and registration is limited. However, a recording will be available for download by members after it airs.
While the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center is always a good go-to site for information about self-employed taxes, we gathered several articles and guides to help arm you with enough information to keep out of trouble (we hope).
- Tax Season is Upon Us. Here’s What’s New for Your 2020 Return
- New Tax Laws to Ease Burdens on Independent Artists, Other Freelance Workers
- It’s IRS 1099 Time, Beware New Gig Form 1099-NEC
- New IRS Form Helps Freelancers Determine Eligibility for Sick Leave and Family Leave Credits
The following may help you decide what changes do (or don’t) apply to you:
- Tax Season 2021 is Open and Comes With A Lot of Issues
- Unemployment Benefits for the Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, and Gig-Economy Workers: Part 1, Part 2
- Stimulus Checks and Your Taxes: What You Need to Know When You File Your 2020 Tax Return
- What to do if Your Tax Return is Flagged by the IRS
- Remember: If you’ve already filed but missed something, you can always file an amended return.
Deductions & Credits
Other ideas to save on your taxes include:
- 9 COVID-Related Deductions and Credits That Could Lower Your Freelance Taxes
- 10 Last-Minute Tax Moves to Reduce Your Financial Hit on April 15 (written for solo doctors, though applicable to many sole-proprietors)
- 8 Deductions Taxpayers Need to Know if They’re Self-Employed or Have a Side Gig
- Guide to Self-Employed Tax Deductions and Benefits
- 4 Tax Breaks for the Self-Employed (Including Gig Workers)
While the PPP loan program has been a bit of a debacle, especially for small businesses, there are some promising developments:
- The Second Round of PPP Loans Are Available to Freelancers for First-Time Applicants—and They Can Be Forgiven on Your Taxes
- PPP Loans: Biden Administration Changes Rules to Help Reach the Smallest Businesses
CPA vs. Software
Is it better to do it yourself or use a CPA? That is the question.
- Should You Pay for Premium Tax Services?
- How To Find a Great CPA
- Unwrapping the Mystery of Doing Your Own Taxes With Software
- Best Tax Software 2021
- Find a CPA or verify their license at the American Institute of CPAs (Illinoisans, also see the Illinois CPA Society).
Unfortunately, if Congress passes the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, our freelancing days may be numbered. Despite assurances from Sen. Chuck Schumer, it’s imperative that we contact our congressional representatives to let them know how disastrous this law would be for us if it becomes law as written.
If you need help finding the words for your own letter, EFA Board Member Joy Drohan offered hers as a template in a recent EFA Discussion List thread. You can access the letter here
For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.