How to Use Turbo Tax as an Freelance Writer

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With the home and business edition of the TurboTax program, a freelance writer or anyone else who is self-employed can easily track his business-related expenses and income for the year. The nicest thing about the TurboTax program is that it allows you to import your tax information from other programs, including the previous year's TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Things You'll Need

  • TurboTax home and business edition
  • QuickBooks
  • Expense receipts for the year
  • Income statements

How to use TurboTax as a freelance writer

Begin by collecting all of your tax information in one spot. You will need all of your income reports including 1099s from any employers as well as a good estimation of your expenses for the year.

Enter your income information as prompted by TurboTax. When this is complete the program will prompt you to decide whether you want to take standard deductions or itemized deductions. If you choose to itemize your deductions, you may include deductions for home office space, computer programs and other expenses related to the practice of being a freelance writer. One deduction many people forget is the fees that they pay to receive their payments through PayPal. If you are paid for being a freelance writer via PayPal, this is a deductible expense.

Follow the TurboTax tutorial regarding what standard deductions may be available to you. For example, many people use their vehicle in the course of doing their job when they are self-employed. The TurboTax program will help you determine what percentage of your car's usage is attributable to your job and therefore deductible from your taxes.

Be sure to tell TurboTax to consider all necessary forms for self-employed individuals. When you tell TurboTax that you are self-employed as a freelance writer, the program will suggest common deductions including postage and depreciation for your equipment such as computers. TurboTax is also able to calculate the depreciation and will make suggestions regarding whether the depreciation should be taken all in one year or spread over several years.

File your forms for free via the TurboTax program. The 2009 TurboTax home and business edition offers free e-filing for multiple federal income tax forms and at least one state income tax form.

Tips & Warnings

  • Despite the warnings from some television ads that a box doesn't provide support or help with your income tax, tax assistance is available by calling the IRS or the TurboTax helpline.

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