Taxes 2009 in USA
Thread poster: Svetlana Nash
Svetlana Nash
United States
Local time: 14:58
English to Russian
+ ...
Feb 14, 2010

Hello colleagues!

My question is primarily for interpreters/translators who reside in the U.S.
I am not a registered self-employed translator. I did a few gigs in 2009 for which I was paid via Paypal and I also received a few bank checks. Now it's that time of the year - how do I go about reporting my earnings since I do not have any tax forms from my clients?

Thank you for your advice!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Line 12, Form 1040 Feb 14, 2010

Business income, from Schedule C, there you can deduct expenses first. You need no tax forms from your clients, but you do need to report the income. It will be subject to self-employment tax.

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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Not necessary to be "registered" Feb 14, 2010

Hello Svetlana,

As a freelance translator, you are self-employed. I'm in the same situation. To file our taxes, we use the Home & Business version of TurboTax (there are also other tax programs you could use, but I'm not familiar with them). The important thing is for you to have kept careful records of (1) all the payments you've received and (2) all of your expenses and already paid taxes.

The software will walk you through the whole process, with very well thought out questions. Another solution would be to have your tax preparation done by an accountant. If you decide to go that route, make sure you ask ahead of time what records, exactly, the accountant will need to see, so you can take everything you'll need to the appointment.

About tax forms from clients: the only time a client is obligated to provide you with a tax form is if (1) the client is located in the US and (2) you were paid over a certain amount by that client. Otherwise, you'll simply need to report your earnings directly to the IRS.


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Svetlana Nash
United States
Local time: 14:58
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Feb 14, 2010

Yolanda Broad wrote:

Hello Svetlana,

As a freelance translator, you are self-employed. I'm in the same situation. To file our taxes, we use the Home & Business version of TurboTax (there are also other tax programs you could use, but I'm not familiar with them). The important thing is for you to have kept careful records of (1) all the payments you've received and (2) all of your expenses and already paid taxes.

The software will walk you through the whole process, with very well thought out questions. Another solution would be to have your tax preparation done by an accountant. If you decide to go that route, make sure you ask ahead of time what records, exactly, the accountant will need to see, so you can take everything you'll need to the appointment.

About tax forms from clients: the only time a client is obligated to provide you with a tax form is if (1) the client is located in the US and (2) you were paid over a certain amount by that client. Otherwise, you'll simply need to report your earnings directly to the IRS.


Thank you for your prompt reply, Yolanda!
I've never used TurboTax Home&Business. Does it allow to file jointly if married and at the same time report your earnings from a W-2 and from other sources?

Thank you!


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Tax filing status Feb 15, 2010

Hello Svetlana,

Yes, any tax filing program, including the basic one provided free by the IRS, should allow to to file using whatever tax status you fit into (single, married, unmarried head of household, etc.); to report various sources of income (W-2, interest, capital gains, etc.), you should purchase a program, rather than use the free IRS one, which, as I understand it, only allows reporting of W-2 income up to a certain cutoff (my husband and I have been well above that maximum for longer than there has been software available for filing taxes).

Whatever solution you adopt, be prepared to spend a considerable chunk of time working on those taxes: it isn't something that can be done in half an hour!!!

Yolanda


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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
English to Dutch
+ ...
US tax software Feb 15, 2010

does everything but the dishes.

I've been filing our joint returns (wife works outside the house, I'm a freelance translator/interpreter working from my home office) for many years using a software package (I prefer H&R's tax software, but that is a personal preference, people say the other tax package is as good). You need the Home + business version, which includes the federal tax forms for W2s and your freelance income plus one state (if you lived in more states during the year, you have to pay extra for an additional state).

I assume you work in the US, so every US company that you worked for in 2009 and that paid you more than $600 is supposed to send you a "1099" form, the form on which they show (and tell the IRS) how much (little) they paid you and what they withheld, usually no withholding for freelance translators.

The tax software is self-explanatory, it asks you questions, you fill in the numbers and that's it. It even allows you to file your taxes over the Internet.

If you've never filed a US tax return, I'd suggest you go to one of the many tax services that spring up this time of year. Let them do it this year, next year you can do it yourself, just put the return prepared by a person next to your computer while you go through the software.

It's really not that hard, or scary, just lots of forms, but the tax software helps you through it.


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Svetlana Nash
United States
Local time: 14:58
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What about the state taxes? Feb 15, 2010

Do I need to report my earnings from self-employment on the state forms as well?

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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Taxes forms vary depending on the state Feb 15, 2010

Hello Svetlana,

You need to find out from the state where you are living what they require. If you get tax preparation software, the software for your state will let you know what you need to do. Remember what Benno Groeneveld has told you:

US tax software does everything but the dishes.




Yolanda


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Svetlana Nash
United States
Local time: 14:58
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Feb 15, 2010

Thank you for your advice and support!

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