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FAQ

How do I make a one time estimated payment to the IRS, for a large stock sale capital gain? Estimated payments seem geared to equal quarterly payments.
You can make an estimated tax payment to the IRS at any time. The IRS will gladly take your money whenever you are willing to send it.The four estimated payment schedule dates are deadlines by which you are required to pay a certain portion of your taxes or risk being liable for penalties. They are not the only times at which the IRS will accept payments. There is no penalty for paying your tax ahead of when it is due. The IRS will not blow a gasket if you make more than four estimated tax payments for a single tax year.You may make an estimated tax payment at any time by mailing a check or money order accompanied by Form 1040-ES (it doesn’t matter which of the four vouchers you use) to the address in the Form 1040-ES instructions, or by any of the other several methods mentioned in the Form 1040-ES instructions. Make sure you use the correct form for the appropriate tax year.Form 1040 ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
How does a 1099 differ from a W-2 when filing taxes?
Specifically, those are the forms used by employers to report payroll to the the Internal Revenue Service.The difference is that a W2 form is used to report the amount paid to an employee of the company. Employees get numerous benefits, but also the employer is required to withhold estimated income taxes. (These can be adjusted by the employee using a W4 form.) Thus, a W2 employee is likely to get paid less because of the other benefits he receives, and less again because the paycheck he receives will already have estimated taxes taken out.A “1099” worker is not an employee. Rather, they are a contractor. A contractor gets no benefits - no vacation, no sick leave, no holidays, no retirement, no health plan, no saving plan, etc., etc., etc. As a result, a 1099 contractor usually gets much higher pay, since they are typically paid by the hour and only for the hours they actually work. Moreover, the employer does NOT withhold estimated taxes, so the paycheck will appear to be even higher.Another difference is that 1099 workers are required to pay a “self-employment tax”. This corresponds to the amount that the employer would normally pay in taxes towards an employee’s social security account. Since the 1099 worker is “self-employed”, he must pay that tax himself. This tax is 6.2% of the pay up to $128,000. As with other taxes, this will not be withheld by the employer, but must be estimated and paid each quarter by the worker or they will be fined for underpayment of estimated taxes.Finally, only employees get “Unemployment Insurance”. If an employee loses his job, the state will pay him weekly benefit until he finds a new job - up to 26 weeks, but sometimes longer. 1099 workers get no such benefit.As a result, the 1099 worker’s equivalent pay rate should be approximately 33% higher than that of the employee doing the same work. The exact figure depends on the benefits.
What is the best way to do my self-employment taxes myself?
To calculate your self employment taxes try checking out: The Self Employment Tax CalculatorHere are a few things you need to know about self-employed taxes:The employer-equivalent part of one’s self-employment tax can be deducted when you’re trying to compute for your adjusted gross income, although this will only affect your income tax and not your self-employment tax.Filing a Form 1040 Schedule C could qualify you for an Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC.Part of the Small Business Jobs Act states that you can deduct a percentage of your income for health insurance purposes. These deductions can be computed using the instructions on your Form 1040 and Schedule SE as guide.You are required to pay self-employed tax if you earned $400 and above. If you’re a church worker, your church employee income should be at least $108.28 before you are required to file self-employed tax.To pay self-employed taxes, you are required to have a Social Security Number and an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.As for the computation of the tax itself, you may refer to the information given on your Form 1040.Paying taxes gives you that status of being a reliable, credible and responsible freelancer. It’s not just about following the law. It’s also about having integrity, something that a freelancer must have if you want to succeed and excel without the guidance of a traditional boss.
How do you itemize deductions on taxes?
You will need to use Schedule A. It is divided in a number of categories.Medical and dental expenses: over 10% of your AGI or 7.5 % if you are 65 or olderTaxes you paid: state and local (either income taxes or general sale taxes), real estate taxes personal property taxes, and other taxesHome mortgage interests, mortgage insurance premium, investment interestsGifts to charityJob expenses such as unreimbursed employee expenses, tax preparation fees, safe deposit box..Follow the instructions for Schedule A.
How do I show capital loss in my tax returns after having lost $7000 in the stock market in 2015?
I'm not an accountant and can only contribute general knowledge about investments.  The only way to know whether the losses will exceed standard deductions is to try them both and find out.First of all, you can only deduct the loss (it's called a "capital loss") if you actually sold the stock in 2015.  If you still own the shares that you lost money on, the loss does you no good (it's only a loss if you sell it for a loss).If you did sell it, you can use it in the following ways:To offset stocks that you sold for a profit (aka, capital gains) in 2015To offset up to $3000 in ordinary income (from a job, interest, etc) that you earned in 2015If you have any losses left over, you can use it up in future years.You will likely have to use Form 1040 and Schedule D to claim the loss.  You should have a brokerage or mutual fund year-end statement that will prthe information you will need for your taxes. 
Where can I find a self-employment tax calculator?
To calculate your self employment taxes try checking out: The Self Employment Tax CalculatorHere are a few things you need to know about self-employed taxes:The employer-equivalent part of one’s self-employment tax can be deducted when you’re trying to compute for your adjusted gross income, although this will only affect your income tax and not your self-employment tax.Filing a Form 1040 Schedule C could qualify you for an Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC.Part of the Small Business Jobs Act states that you can deduct a percentage of your income for health insurance purposes. These deductions can be computed using the instructions on your Form 1040 and Schedule SE as guide.You are required to pay self-employed tax if you earned $400 and above. If you’re a church worker, your church employee income should be at least $108.28 before you are required to file self-employed tax.To pay self-employed taxes, you are required to have a Social Security Number and an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.As for the computation of the tax itself, you may refer to the information given on your Form 1040.Paying taxes gives you that status of being a reliable, credible and responsible freelancer. It’s not just about following the law. It’s also about having integrity, something that a freelancer must have if you want to succeed and excel without the guidance of a traditional boss.
Can I claim a mileage deduction and toll costs when I travel between my home office and work site?
Source: IRS Commuting RuleThe answer depends on your situation. If your home office qualifies for the deduction under the IRS rules, then the drive should be deductible because you’re driving between two offices (which is always deductible).It also depends on your employment status. You should be able to take the mileage deduction in either case but if you’re W2, your mileage would fall under the miscellaneous itemized deductions. You can only write these off if they exceed 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income.So, I’d say talk to a tax pro before making any decisions.Home Office Deduction: Home Office Deduction 101Business Mileage Deduction: Mileage Deduction 101How To Calculate Your AGI: Adjusted Gross Income: What It IS & How To Calculate Yours
Do I need to file taxes if I am an unmarried dependent student who made under $5000 in 2015?
First consult Filing Requirements 2 | Internal Revenue Service where it tells you:An unmarried dependent student must file a tax return if his or her earned or unearned income exceeds certain limits. To find these limits, refer to Dependents under Who Must File, in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.This gives you a strong clue that the answer is to be found in Pub 501, the 2021 version of which tells you:A person who is a dependent may still have to file a return. It depends on his or her earned income, unearned income, and gross income. For details, see Table 2. A dependent must also file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies.So trudge over to Table 2. You’ll see:Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind?No. You must file a return if any of the following apply.1. Your unearned income was more than $1,050.2. Your earned income was more than $6,350.3. Your gross income was more than the larger of—a. $1,050, orb. Your earned income (up to $6,000) plus $350.Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply.1. Your unearned income was more than $2,600 ($4,150 if 65 or older and blind).2. Your earned income was more than $7,900 ($9,450 if 65 or older and blind).3. Your gross income was more than the larger of—a. $2,600 ($4,150 if 65 or older and blind), orb. Your earned income (up to $6,000) plus $1,900 ($3,450 if 65 or older and blind).So, assuming that you only made $5,000 and this was earned income, you don’t meet the filing requirement.Whew! You’re done, aren’t you?Not quite. Remember, a dependent must file if one of the situations in Table 3 applies. Guess where I’m going to next?If any of the six conditions listed below applied to you for 2021. you must file a return.You owe any special taxes, including any of the following.a. Alternative minimum tax. (See Form 6251.)b. Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. (See Pub. 590-A, Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs); Pub. 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs); and Pub. 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.) But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself.c. Social security or Medicare tax on tips you didn't report to your employer (see Pub. 531) or on wages you received from an employer who didn't withhold these taxes (see Form 8919).d. Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional taxes on health savings accounts. (See Pub. 531, Pub. 969, and the Form 1040 instructions for line 62.)e. Household employment taxes. But if you are filing a return only because you owe these taxes, you can file Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself.f. Recapture taxes. (See the Form 1040 instructions for lines 44, 60b, and 62.)2. You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions.3. You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions.)4. You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions.)5. Advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent who enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You should have received Form(s) 1095-A showing the amount of the advance payments, if any.6. Advance payments of the health coverage tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent. You or whoever enrolled you should have received Form(s) 1099-H showing the amount of the advance payments.Okay, you’ve decided you don’t meet any of these. Time to relax and pop open a nice craft beer …Hold on. You remember that I said before that I was citing to the 2021 version of these documents. You have to figure out a way to check on the 2021 requirements and see if they differ.Now you start to reach for that beer again …But you’re not completely done.If you had income taxes withheld and you don’t owe any taxes, you are eligible for a refund. But guess what you have to do to get the refund? That’s right, file a return.You may now have an understanding of why people find it useful to hire tax preparers, who see these questions all the time and have software and experience to streamline this process.And there’s plenty of additional factors that could affect this analysis.
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