Benefits of Using a Tax Filing Service
Being self-employed means you sometimes wear multiple hats. You can be the boss, the accountant, and at tax-time, you can be your own tax preparer. Sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be. Online tax filing programs designed for self-employment can help you easily manage your business and personal taxes without requiring you to study the ins-and-outs of tax rules.
Filing Taxes Online vs. In-Person Tax Prep
You have options for filing your taxes. You can go to a tax office and work with a tax professional, file your return online with a DIY-product, or go the old-fashioned route by completing paper forms. The last method is rarely used anymore, so let’s toss that one aside. Below, I’ve outlined a few advantages of filing your taxes online vs. in-person.
Complete your taxes on your own schedule – Your time is valuable. When you’re taking care of your business, your schedule can be hectic and your day full. By filing your taxes online vs. in-person with a tax professional, you can complete your return when it works best for you. Of course, you don’t have to complete your filing in one session with online products. You can start the process, take a break, and come back to it later if needed.
Gain insight to your business finances – Completing your return with an online program means you can see the impact various credits and deductions can have on your taxes without having to know the technical background or do the calculations. Getting this insight can help you build awareness of the tax benefits that can improve your bottom line in the future.
Save on tax prep costs – By filing self-employed taxes online, you can save money; filing in-person with a tax professional is more expensive. If your self-employment income is from a side gig, you might be looking for accurate, yet more affordable tax preparation. In this case, it may be better to file your own taxes online and save a bit of money instead of paying for a tax professional.
What You Can Expect When Filing Self-Employed Taxes Online
Being self-employed means you have a different source of income and different tax forms to complete compared to a worker with only traditional W-2 income. Below are a few features you will find with most online filing programs designed for self-employed taxes.
Reporting self-employment income – Whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or even someone who drives for a company like Uber or Lyft, you’ll need to report your business income and expenses using Schedule C and Schedule SE. If you’re an independent contractor, the company you work for will report your income on Form 1099-MISC or Form 1099-K.
Calculating self-employment taxes – When you work as a W-2 employee, the employer withholds part of your pay for Social Security and Medicare taxes. As a 1099 worker, you’ll need to account for these taxes on your own and report them on a Schedule-SE.
Maximizing business tax credits and deductions – When you work for yourself, you can receive certain credits and take tax deductions related to your business activities. Most online filing software you can choose from to file your taxes will include these types of deductions and help you calculate things like the depreciation of any property, such as vehicles or any other equipment, you may use for your business.
Using H&R Block’s Self-Employed Online Filing Program
The H&R Block’s Self-Employed Online program will go beyond and help you identify deductions. It will also help you identify deductions common for your type of business. If you had startup costs as part of a new business, the H&R Block program will help maximize your deductions and write off your expenses.
Need additional help? Block offers assistance in a couple of different ways, so you can choose what fits your situation best. For an additional fee, you can chat with one of the tax pros in real time and even share your screen with them. Or, if you want a tax pro to check your return in the end to make sure you’ve done everything right, you can purchase an option called Tax Pro Review.
Stride App Integration – One of the easiest ways to keep track of your receipts and your mileage as an independent worker is to record them in the Stride App. When tax time rolls around, the integration between Stride and H&R Block allows you to automatically import all of your expenses with just one click. Aside from helping you focus on your business, it helps ensure that you don’t miss out on any business deductions available to you.
If you’re ready to tackle your taxes, see how H&R Block’s Self-Employed Online filing product can help. It’s a simple and easy-to-use program designed especially for self-employed taxpayers like you.
As part of our partnership with H&R Block, Mike Slack, JD, EA and senior tax research analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block will be providing insight on various topics throughout tax season.