Tips to Stave Off Freelancers’ Tax Day Dread

Tips to survive tax season.

Tax season is definitely one of the downsides of the freedom/responsibility equation of the freelance life. For help dealing with the added complexities freelance income induces, we went straight to the source, enlisting the help of four accountants accustomed to working with freelancers.

Among the advice we received is that organization is key, whether you’re going it along or hiring an accountant. And if you are hiring an accountant, having all your information sorted and enumerated could make a huge difference in cost:

Expect to pay $200 to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of your tax return. [Accountant Andrew] Poulos tells us he charges a freelancer with 10 or fewer 1099s and fairly organized records between $325 and $375.

What makes the price go up? [CPA Howard] Samuels echoes the importance of organization. His firm supplies clients with a spreadsheet that has the various deductions and expenses set up in a template. You would fill this out before you go, ideally. Alternatively, you can bring your box of receipts and piles of invoices and let the accountant sort it out — but this method will be far more expensive because, well, time is money.

For more tips, read: Getting Through Tax Season as a First-Time Freelancer

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