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supaidaaman

Piece of crap tax time

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I swear I get royally f'd worse every year.

 

I didnt buy office supplies or anything that I could remotely use as a deduction for my freelance work. I barely did any freelance work because im full-time on my main job...but it still ends up rocking me. I dont even think I can write off my internet payments...

 

Plus im married now...so I was hoping for some magic (here is 1 bajillion dollars) refund. Even with my wife making next to nothing I still end up owing :*(

 

:angry:

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I did some light freelance (<$1k) last year and it swiped all but $30 of what would have normally been a decent return. I expect it to be better this year but something's telling me not to hold my breath.

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I swear I get royally f'd worse every year.

 

I didnt buy office supplies or anything that I could remotely use as a deduction for my freelance work. I barely did any freelance work because im full-time on my main job...but it still ends up rocking me. I dont even think I can write off my internet payments...

 

Plus im married now...so I was hoping for some magic (here is 1 bajillion dollars) refund. Even with my wife making next to nothing I still end up owing :*(

 

:angry:

 

Why wouldn't you be able to write off internet payments?

Do you have a website? Do you use email or a web browser to communicate and/or send files back and forth to clients.

I bet you do. ;)

Do you have a computer at home/home office. Did you buy any computer peripherals, parts, software, subscriptions?

I bet you have. ;)

 

Me thinks maybe you need a better accountant, maybe more specialized for our field.

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Why wouldn't you be able to write off internet payments?

Do you have a website? Do you use email or a web browser to communicate and/or send files back and forth to clients.

I bet you do. ;)

Do you have a computer at home/home office. Did you buy any computer peripherals, parts, software, subscriptions?

I bet you have. ;)

 

Me thinks maybe you need a better accountant, maybe more specialized for our field.

 

I agree. You can write off things like cable TV, industry mags, etc. as well. As far as the freelance work goes, you just have to be disciplined about putting away 30% or so of the proceeds of each job to take care of the taxes that aren't being withheld like they are in your paycheck. You're really not getting screwed any worse than you already are in your paycheck, you just notice it more since it happens after you have the money in your pocket.

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I agree. You can write off things like cable TV, industry mags, etc. as well...

 

Bingo. Hell, I've written off two plasma TVs, a percentage of rent/mortgage payments (dependant on how much of your living area is being used as an office), movie tickets, iphone, even the cost of my accountant from the previous year. Seriously, if it has a screen or has anything at all to do with moving pictures and you work in television, you can write it off as research (in Canada anyway. I doubt it's any different in the states).

 

Also worth mentioning, I wind up paying much less taxes now as a freelancer than I did as an employee when considering %Earned vs. %Taxed. Not sure why it'd be different for you :huh: but I'd wager it has something to do with the accountant. A good accountant will flat out tell you what you can definitely get away with writing off and what you shouldn't write off in order to avoid raising any flags. Mine told me I could probably get away with putting video games as a write off, but it wouldn't really be worth the money saved if I have to go through an audit because of it. If he isn't willing to find surefire loopholes, go find another accountant.

Edited by beau+++

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I've always said that your employer, instead of withholding your taxes and sending them off to the government, should issue you a standardized statement with your paycheck. That statement should tell you how much money you need to mail off to the government within two weeks. This would force people to pay attention to how much we pay in taxes, and presumably demand more fiscal responsibility with the money we send to Washington. It might also break them of the idea that they're so lucky if they get a big "refund" after filing.

 

One a related note, one problem with employer-provided health insurance plans is that it further insulates the customer from their health care spending. Any time this stuff happens behind the scenes, it invites trouble and detaches the individual from the money they're being charged (and how well that money is put to work).

 

Cf

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I've always said that your employer, instead of withholding your taxes and sending them off to the government, should issue you a standardized statement with your paycheck. That statement should tell you how much money you need to mail off to the government within two weeks. This would force people to pay attention to how much we pay in taxes, and presumably demand more fiscal responsibility with the money we send to Washington. It might also break them of the idea that they're so lucky if they get a big "refund" after filing.

 

One a related note, one problem with employer-provided health insurance plans is that it further insulates the customer from their health care spending. Any time this stuff happens behind the scenes, it invites trouble and detaches the individual from the money they're being charged (and how well that money is put to work).

 

Cf

 

Agreed.

 

But isn't it great that H&R Block will put whatever money the government let's us have back on a visa gift card?! BOOYEAH!

I mean it's not like it was our money to begin with, right? <_<

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Clint, are you suggesting we pay for our insurance out of pocket? That'd be fun. Honey the $30,000 surgery bill is in! Oh good, at last we have full control of our expenses!

 

Heh. I think there's a difference between paying for insurance and paying for medical care out of pocket. PLenty of freelancers pay for INSURANCE out of pocket and I know I never had to pay $30,000 in premiums.

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I'm saying that if you are aware of how much you have to pay in taxes or insurance premiums each month, if the number is set in front of you and you have to pay it instead of having it silently withdrawn from your paycheck before you ever see it, you're going to be a lot more picky about how much you have to spend on either. That would help keep people involved in what our tax & spend politicians are doing. It would also make the customer more picky about where his/her health insurance comes from. Insulating people from their tax burden or their insurance payments makes it possible for both to drift steadily upward with no accountability to the people paying them.

 

This is why two of the first solutions to the health care "crisis" should be making insurance premiums tax deductible and allowing for purchase of health insurance across state lines. Right now buying health insurance out of state is forbidden, yet the politicians claim the interstate commerce clause as their authority to nationalize it! Get the states to standardize their insurance requirements and allow people to shop around, and it will drive costs down. Making premiums tax deductible can help people afford coverage, and it will also allow others to get out of a crappy but tax deductible employer-provided plan in search of something better or cheaper. Competition works.

 

If the goal of the health care "reform" juggernaut in Congress right now was lowering costs, those two options should be first and foremost. Instead, they're not even allowed mention. By the same token, the last thing the government wants is for people to be reminded, every pay period, how much money they're sending to the government. Why? Because the payer will demand that the payee do more with less.

 

One simple anecdotal example I ran into with this pertains to motorcycle insurance. In the 1980s, high performance sportbikes were being blacklisted left and right. Those of us riding them were being denied coverage, much like someone with a pre-existing health risk. As that segment of the motorcycle insurance market was being slowly ignored, companies emerged with coverage for such bikes. Soon there were lots of companies competing with each other to insure the motorcycles, the blacklists were lifted, and now it's a lucrative market. Let the customers influence the market, and things find a way to work.

 

Cf

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