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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.

MIND CANDY

  • Veg Out. My fellow Illinoisans, you now have the right to garden. HB 633, which took effect Jan. 1, established the Vegetable Garden Protection Act. It provides for the right to cultivate a vegetable garden as long as you’re in compliance with local ordinances, which can now no longer effectively forbid such gardens.
  • Not (Just) Yours. Keith Hall, president and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed (which has a very impressive list of member benefits), reminds us in a Hamden Journal article that “not all the money belongs to you” in regards to paying quarterly taxes.
  • Remote Cities. A recent survey looked at remote work conditions in the world’s 74 most populated cities. Brisbane, Australia, was ranked as the top city for quality of life, climate and environment, and costs and safety. Only one North American city—Ottawa, Canada—ranked in the top 10. Chicago was 69th.

FREELANCE NEWS

3G Networks Shutting Down This Year

To make room for more advanced tech, such as 5G, several mobile phone carriers will shut down their 3G networks over the course of the year. If you have an older phone, it’s time to upgrade—or you may find yourself unable to make or take calls, text, or to even call 911.

The schedule for the shutdowns is as follows:

  • AT&T. By the end of February
  • Sprint. March 31; also shutting down its 4G network by June 30
  • T-Mobile. By July 1
  • Verizon. By Dec. 31

According to the FCC, “this will affect 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE or HD Voice).”

The FCC further warns that the shutdowns may affect “certain medical devices, tablets, smartwatches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems, and other connected products [that] may be using 3G network services.”

US Tax Law Changes May Affect 2021 SE Taxes

Those of us who are self-employed (SE) should be aware of several federal tax law changes for the 2021 tax year that may affect our taxes, write Rocky Mengle and Joy Taylor in Kiplinger’s:

  • The threshold on the 20% deduction for pass-through income was increased for the 2021 tax year, up to $329,800 for joint filers and $164,900 for all other taxpayers.
  • Pandemic-related sick or family leave tax credits for SEs were extended to cover leave from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2021. See Form 7202 to calculate your credits.
  • Additionally, the number of days for which SEs can claim a credit for family leave was increased from 50 to 60, and the 10-day limit on the maximum number of days you can claim the credit was reset to begin again on Jan. 1, 2021.
  • The deduction for business meals increased from 50% to 100% for 2021 and 2022.
  • SE taxes can no longer be deferred.
  • The $250,000 cap on deductible business losses ($500,000 for joint filers) is back.

Also check out Mengle and Kevin McCormally’s article on the “Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions and Credits for the Self-Employed“ to make sure you’re not missing out on any deductions or credits.

ASBPE 2022­–23 Diversity Fellowship Open for Applications

The American Society of Business Publication Editors’ 2022–23 Diversity Fellowship, which provides expenses-paid participation to a series of ASBPE conference, training, and virtual networking events, is now open for applications.

The fellowship is designed to aid development a more diverse corps of journalists and leaders within business-to-business specialty publications, as well as to enhance overall awareness of career opportunities in the sector.

Applicants for the fellowship must be a person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, someone with a disability, or otherwise from an underserved ethnic community.

Visit ASBPE.org for more information. Applications are due by Tuesday, Feb. 22.

PODCASTS TO PONDER

By Amy Spungen

  • Deliberate Freelancer. Host Melanie Padgett Powers offers “A Real Talk About Mental Health—and Languishing” as we freelancers head into 2022 amid an unrelenting pandemic. (Jan. 27, episode 126)
  • The Writer’s Co-op. Hosts Jenni Gritters and Wudan Yan respond to questions during a “Q&A: Ask Us Anything” that covers topics from how to talk about freelancing with people who don’t take it seriously to advice they used to give but no longer buy into. (Jan. 10, episode 6)
  • The Editing Podcast. Always entertaining, hosts Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle suggest “5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Editing or Proofreading Business” to give it a new-year polish. (Jan. 6, episode 81)

CALENDAR

For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.