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Freelancer Taxed Income Question (HELP!!!)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JD, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. JD

    JD Member

    From January of '07 through October of '07, I was a stringer for the Elk Grove Citizen newspaper, near Sacramento, CA. I received checks for my work (obviously), but the money was not taxed. I was under the impression that since it was a freelance gig, that taxes were not an issue (I'm young and dumb I guess). But now, I received my 1099 tax form, and have to pay taxes on it since I did not do as such during the past year.

    I'm confused. What do I do?
  2. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Pay the taxes.

    I'll elaborate... It's been said on this site hundreds of times, but it bears repeating: DO NOT FUCK AROUND WITH THE IRS.
  3. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    The short answer is, pay your taxes on it.

    If you get TurboTax or a similar program, it should be able to handle this. You'll file it along with your usual 1040 form by April 15. The only trouble you might be in is if it's a significant amount, in which case the IRS might've wanted you to pay quarterlies on it. But I'm guessing that's not the case.
  4. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Sorry, JD, it is indeed income.

    So first, be happy that you're earning your way in the world as a writer.

    Then, heave a heavy sigh, and look for the box on your tax form for reporting income other than W-2 wages.

    I'm not sure where you'll find this, because I don't know which form you're using. But trust me, it's there.

    Sadly, you'll have to factor it into your return and pay taxes on it.
  5. JD

    JD Member

    Ok....well, as a stringer, I earned just about $3500 from Jan-Oct. I'm wondering how much I have to pay? Also, is it possible to have the fees deducted from my tax refund?
  6. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    It's income, boyo, so you have to do the math on the form before we think about refunds. Here's an example.

    Let's say you earned $20,000 in wages, and $5000 was withheld to cover your taxes.

    But you also earned $3500 in 1099 taxable income (freelance, contractor, etc.)

    That means your total income from the year was $23,500, on which you've paid $5000 in taxes.

    You go to the tax table in the back of your tax booklet and find that the tax on income of $23,000 is $5285.

    That means you owe Uncle Sugar $285.

    Could swing the other way, though, depending on how much you earned at your straight job.
  7. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Your taxes will depend on your total income ... different earnings put you into different tax brackets:

    For a single person in 2007 wages, the brackets are ...

    * 10%: from $0 to $7,825
    * 15%: from $7,826 to $31,850
    * 25%: from $31,851 to $77,100
    * 28%: from $77,101 to $160,850
    * 33%: from $160,851 to $349,700
    * 35%: $349,701 and above

    So let's say you made $30,000 last year total, including your freelance work. You'd be in the 15% bracket... expect to pay roughly $450 on the income.
  8. JD

    JD Member

    Thank you very much. I understand now somewhat haha.
  9. JD

    JD Member

    Ok another question....

    So, after everything is sorted out, if possible, could the fees I owe from my stringer gig be paid for by deducting the money out of my tax refund?
  10. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    Freelance income is generally reported on Schedule C. It's a supplement to the usual federal 1040 form for profit or losses from a business.

    However, you can probably apply lots o' work-related deductions to that income provided you kept receipts.
  11. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Keeping it simple: yes.
  12. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I mean this as nicely as possible: It seems like you may be over your head with the taxes (in terms of doing them yourself).

    It may be best to spend a few bucks and hire an accountant and sleep better at night.
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