Filing taxes--at end of calendar year or fiscal year?
Thread poster: Sara Senft

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 29, 2008

As 2008 closes, I am thinking more and more about when I will need to file my taxes. Do I need to file them with my regular tax return? Is the timing based on something else?

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:43
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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"File my taxes" vs. "my regular tax return" Dec 30, 2008

Sara,
I am not sure what you mean by filing your taxes, if you mention it separately from your tax return. To me, it means the same thing.
If you live in the US, filing personal income taxes (that is, filling out the tax forms and send them in with your payment check) has to be done by April 15 of the next year, unless you request an extension - so any income you earned, any expenses, deductions etc. that happened in 2008 (calendar year, Dec 31 is the last day) would be included in that. If you are a company, than things may be different.
Also, there is the issue of estimated taxes that you pay throughout the year and then get an adjustment (pay some more or get a return) when you file your return with the finalized numbers.
A professional tax accountant can help you with this. Making a mistake can be costly, so if things are not clear for you, please hire a professional, at least for the first year. Perhaps next year you could do the filing yourself if things look similar.


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The distinction Dec 30, 2008

I used those terms in a (somewhat) interchangeable way.

I know the basics of filing a tax return..I've done it since I was 17. (I'm in my late 20s now.)

I also have a non-freelance job.

I'm not a corporation, so does that mean I would include my freelance income on my "regular" return?



Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Sara,
I am not sure what you mean by filing your taxes, if you mention it separately from your tax return. To me, it means the same thing.
If you live in the US, filing personal income taxes (that is, filling out the tax forms and send them in with your payment check) has to be done by April 15 of the next year, unless you request an extension - so any income you earned, any expenses, deductions etc. that happened in 2008 (calendar year, Dec 31 is the last day) would be included in that. If you are a company, than things may be different.
Also, there is the issue of estimated taxes that you pay throughout the year and then get an adjustment (pay some more or get a return) when you file your return with the finalized numbers.
A professional tax accountant can help you with this. Making a mistake can be costly, so if things are not clear for you, please hire a professional, at least for the first year. Perhaps next year you could do the filing yourself if things look similar.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
This is all you need to know Dec 30, 2008

Do I need to file them with my regular tax return? YES

Is the timing based on something else? NO


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RichardDeegan
Local time: 12:43
Spanish to English
Schedule C if not a corp Dec 30, 2008

On Schedule C of Form 1040

[Edited at 2008-12-30 03:46 GMT]


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Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:43
Member (2006)
French to English
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What Richard said... Dec 30, 2008

Since you are not a corporation (and I assume you're a sole proprietor) you attach a Schedule C to your return for your freelance income and determine your allowable deductions (and report the taxable income on your 1040). In addition, you will likely need to pay taxes on a quarterly basis - I do, but I'm not sure how that works if you're also working a "day" job). You should definitely talk to a tax adviser - don't try to tackle it alone. The issues are very straightforward for an accountant, but if you prepare your returns alone you could miss something and cost yourself money.

Laura


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:43
Member (2008)
Russian to English
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See an accountant Dec 30, 2008

I'll back the other people who have told you to do that. Not only could you perhaps fail to take advantage of some deduction, but you could possibly subject yourself to a fine for failure to do something. These fines could easily be more than an accountant's fee.

One thing you should do, if you haven't done so already, is organize your records of revenues and expenses.


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Another Schedule Jan 2, 2009

RichardDeegan wrote: Schedule C of Form 1040

You will also need to file Schedule SE after completing Schedule C. All this will filter back over to your Form 1040, see the complete instructions for 1040 as well as for the individual Schedules.

It might help you to browse through the publications at
http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html

There's lots of handy information you can download, all at your fingertips.

[Edited at 2009-01-02 09:21 GMT]


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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:43
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
tax prep software Jan 2, 2009

The common tax prep software (TaxCut, TurboTax) will ask all the right questions and fill out all the right forms for self-employment income, and provide enough additional information to help you figure out what business expenses, etc. you can deduct. I have a very DIY mentality, so this has been quite adequate for my needs, rather than using an accountant.

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