Ask a.k.a: tax & business expense bare bones

Question: I didn’t expect the financial details to be the most difficult part of my writing business, but they definitely are! How often do you do your state and federal taxes? What tips do you have for keeping your home/business expenses separate? – Leah

When I started freelancing, the financial aspects were the most intimidating, but it’s not impossible to figure out. I promise.

For taxes, I pay my estimated state and federal taxes each quarter without fail. For every invoice payment, I set aside at least 30% to cover my taxes. I also consider those funds absolutely “untouchable” so that I never have to worry about being unable to cover my taxes. Those are my basics. Anything more than that, and I would suggest contacting your accountant—or at least someone much better at math. One resource I like for general info is June Walker – she focuses on “indies” and has a website packed with simple explanations.

In terms of keeping home/businesses expenses separate, I try to be extra strict about that. It makes year-end taxes so much easier. The best way I know to keep expenses separate is by using different accounts. I have a business checking account with its own debit card as well as a business credit card. This helps me keep all of my business receipts and statements in one place.

Again, I will reiterate that I’m not a financial expert. These are simple things that have helped me stay financially organized.

Readers, what about you? What resources do you recommend? I’d love for you to chime in!

(To post a comment, you’ll have to click on the title of the post and then you’ll get a screen with just that post and a comment box. Sorry for the confusion some of you have experienced!)

2 thoughts on “Ask a.k.a: tax & business expense bare bones

  1. Very helpful. Thank you! I can see how things could get easily “wonky” and that is a technical term. The 30% rule is fabulous.

  2. Thank you, Jesaka! Excellent advice.

    I need to get a separate business credit card. I’m leaning toward filing twice a year, but I may reconsider and go to quarterly. I have a call set up with my accountant to get his advice.

    The one thing that has really helped me is creating a big excel spreadsheet with all my invoices, amounts due and payments received. I’ve also decided to have all payments with all clients due 30 days past invoice. And I’m going to try to get into a more consistent pattern of WHEN I invoice.

Comments are closed.