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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Taxes and Freelancers


Estimated Taxes: Another Deadline Coming Up
by Julian Block

On April 15, most freelance writers filed their 1040 forms for 2004, and many made their first estimated tax payment for 2005.  And before they know it, another deadline is just around the corner.
[Read article]

Business Expenses Must Be "Ordinary" and "Necessary"
by Julian Block

According to Internal Revenue Code Section 162, business expenses are deductible only if they pass a two-step test. The first requirement is that the outlays are "ordinary. The other one is that they are necessary." Given that loosely worded language, gray areas abound and many deduction disputes need to be covered in Internal Revenue Service rulings or resolved by the United States Tax Court.
[Read article]

Important Tax Changes for 2005
by Julian Block

There have been lots of changes in the tax rules. Many are mandated by indexing, that is, annual upward adjustments to provide relief from inflation, as measured by increases in the Consumer Price Index. What follows are the highlights of several changes that might help or hurt you.
[Read article]

Postponing the Inevitable
by Julian Block

Friday, April 15, is the deadline for filing Form 1040. Miss it and you could get nicked for a sizable, nondeductible penalty.
[Read article]


Pay On Time To Avoid Penalties
by Julian Block

Stay on top of the deadlines for filing federal returns and the due dates for making payments. Overlook one and you might incur a sizable, nondeductible penalty.
[Read Complete Article]

Self-employment Taxes Increase Again
by Julian Block

There has been an increase for 2005 in the maximum amount of wages subject to FICA (short for Federal Insurance Contribution Act) taxes, better known as Social Security taxes. About 9.9 million workers will be hit with a higher tab of as much as $130.20 because of an increase in the wage base for the 6.20 percent rate for the Social Security benefits tax. The base went from $87,900 for 2004 to $90,000 for 2005.
[Read Complete Article]

Filing Time Fantasies
by Julian Block

Most myths are fairly short lived. Some, though, just refuse to die.

Take, for example, the one that makes the rounds every filing season about how to lessen the likelihood of an audit. According to that fable, the IRS programs its computers to go after late filers, not early filers.
[Read Complete Article]

The Right Way to Write Off Your Sojurns
by Julian Block

Some reminders for freelancers on the right way to write off trips to writers' conferences and other kinds of deductible travel without raising questions by the IRS.

The tax code imposes tight restrictions on deductions for travel that combines business with pleasure. Nevertheless, the IRS blesses some of these travel costs. Here are several reminders on frequently-missed breaks for vacationers.  
[Read Complete Article

Home Equity Loans: Money Under Your Nose
by Julian Block

In this time of constant change, there are still two things that stay the same: The tax collectors want more of your hard-earned money. And you want to keep more of it for the things you need. So it pays to consider the tax consequences beforehand as you make those everyday financial decisions, whether it be to go ahead with that much-needed facelift for your kitchen or for yourself.
[Read Complete Article]

Forgiving and Forgetting
by Julian Block

My experience as an attorney who provides advice on taxes for freelance writers is that they frequently learn the expensive way that the IRS slaps stiff penalties on tardy taxpayers who miss the deadlines for filing returns or making payments. To get the feds to waive a penalty, you have to convince them that the delay was "due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect."
[Read Complete Article]

IRS Rules on Lost Records Stretch Only So Far
by Julian Block

As a general rule, the IRS okays deductions by writers for business travel and entertainment expenses only if those outlays are substantiated by diaries or other "adequate records." But the IRS does make some exceptions.
[Read Complete Article]

How Long To Keep Financial Records
by Julian Block

Just because you received a refund does not mean you can forget about an audit. Hang on to receipts, canceled checks, and whatever else might help support income, deductions, exemptions and other items on your return.
[Read Complete Article]

Profit VS Pleasure: IRS Rules Strict on Losses
by Julian Block

Those obliging folks at the IRS allow write-offs to ease the pain for losses you suffer in ventures entered into to make "profits." But long-standing rules disallow deductions for losses incurred in pursuing "hobbies."
[Read Complete Article]

Award Winning Writers Are Losers Under the Tax Laws
by Julian Block

As part of its unending quest for tax fairness, Congress keeps overhauling the Internal Revenue Code. One of the sneakier consequences of those efforts was evisceration of a long-standing break for outstanding American writers, photographers and artists who receive prizes and awards that honor their accomplishments.
[Read Complete Article]

Medical Insurance Deductions for Self-Employed Individuals
by Julian Block

Freelance writers, photographers, artists and other self-employed individuals qualify for a valuable tax break on what they spend for medical insurance.
[Read Complete Article]









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