I was DREADING getting my taxes done this year. It was my first time filing as completely self-employed and I knew every form, expense, and intricate detail of my financial life was going to be really important to note. Organization was key.
Luckily, I found the perfect accountant for me to not only get everything done correctly, but help me learn a lot about being in business for myself and handling the money correctly. Here are 5 really important things I learned from my accountant this year when I filed my taxes:
- The maximum amount of student loan interest you can claim is $2,500.00. Ouch. Too bad the rest of those payments didn’t help me out. Cause I sent PLENTY of money that way. Oh well. As long as you can claim it, make sure you have your form for proof! P.S. I’m sure this is not just for those of us who are self-employed but it was pretty relevant for me!
- When traveling for business, you are allotted $52.00 per day for meals. This is good for those of us who don’t actually spend that much on food everyday when we travel. But if you do, you want to be more careful so you’re not overdoing it on food when you don’t need to. Regardless, make sure you hang on to your receipts so you can figure it out later or as you go.
- As an independent contractor, I can file for an SS4 with the IRS instead of giving my social security number out to clients. Hello?? Why didn’t I know this? That’s f*cking fantastic! You never know when the wrong person is going to get ahold of your personal information. File for an SS4 and send your new and existing clients your updated tax form.
- If you want to start paying the IRS quarterly so you’re not hit with a big debt on Apr 15 every year, they determine those payments on what you made the previous year. Make sure you’re realistic with yourself if that quarterly suggested payment is good for you. If you’re making more money than you were making last year, you want to probably pay a little more quarterly to be more kind to yourself come tax season.
- You can find brilliant accountants through personal referrals and they will do as good of a job if not better than the big brands that want to charge you 3-4 times more. Don’t go cheap on getting your taxes done, but do your research with friends, colleagues, and family of who they trust. You just might find an opportunity to support another self-employed professional charging a totally reasonable price.