How to File Self Employment Taxes (Understanding the Forms & Process)

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If you’re self-employed, it is important to remember that your tax situation will be different from those who just have an employer, meaning that you will need to use some different forms to file your taxes. But don’t fret: TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and your business and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers, saving you money for your business.

To help get you prepared for this tax season, here are the forms you may need to file if you are self-employed.

Forms You May Receive

Form 1099-MISC: If you are a worker earning a salary or wage, your employer reports your annual earnings on Form W-2. However, if you are an independent contractor, freelancer or self-employed you will receive a Form 1099-MISC from each client that pays you at least $600 during the tax year.  There are various forms of 1099s that report everything from income from self-employment earnings (1099-MISC), interest and dividends (1099-INT, 1099-DIV), government payments (1099-G), and more.

Form 1099-K: If you earned income as a freelancer working in the on-demand economy like Uber or Lyft you may see this form. Form 1099-K reports income processed through third-party networks, such as PayPal. A payment processor must report income to the IRS using Form 1099-K if your gross payments:

  • Exceed $20,000, and
  • Exceed 200 transactions within the tax year

So, there would be no Form 1099-K reporting requirement if you made $5,000 on the side selling your handmade items on Etsy. However, you are still responsible for reporting that amount to the IRS by including it as self-employed income.

1095 A, B or C: Depending on your health insurance coverage, you may receive one of these three forms detailing your health insurance. You do not need 1095-B or 1095-C to file your taxes, they are just for your records. If you purchased your health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will receive Form 1095-A, which is just like entering a W-2 in TurboTax. You may also be able to automatically upload your 1095-A pdf in TurboTax to eliminate data entry.

Forms You May File

Form 1040: The IRS Form 1040 is one of the official documents that U.S. taxpayers can use to file their annual income tax return. The form is divided into sections where you can report your income and deductions to determine the amount of tax refund you can expect to receive or figure out your tax liability.

Schedule C/C-EZ: There are two forms to report self-employment income. You file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040. You may use Schedule C-EZ if you had expenses less than $5,000 and meet other conditions. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and your business and put the information on the correct forms based on your answers.

Schedule SE: The Schedule SE is used to calculate and report your taxable self-employment income. This form allows you to report your Social Security and Medicare taxes. The Schedule SE should be filed with your Form 1040.  TurboTax automatically figures out your self-employment income for you based on your net income from your business.

Don’t worry about knowing how to fill out these forms. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and your business and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your entries. You can also use QuickBooks Self-Employed to track your business income, expenses, and mileage year round and easily export your information to your TurboTax Self-Employed tax return.

If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live Self-Employed CPA or Enrolled Agent with an average 15 years-experience to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live Self-Employed CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can also review, sign, and file your tax return.

One response to “How to File Self Employment Taxes (Understanding the Forms & Process)”

  1. I want to enter my tax information by using the tax forms? Why can’t I pull up the forms? I am using TurboTax Self employed. The standard questions does not allow me to enter deductions such as business mileage, home office expenses. Help!!

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