Friday, September 14, 2007

Tax day

Exactly four times a year I wonder if I made the right choice quitting my full time job to become a full time freelancer.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in paying taxes. There'd be no social security or police without them, whether you think that's a good thing or bad. Public broadcasting wouldn't have gotten started, although public radio/TV stations are rapidly moving away from government dollars as a primary source of support.

But filling out tax forms is one of my least favorite things in the world. Unfortunately, if you're self employed, you have to do this 4 times a year. Granted, if you don't move around too often, you only really have to figure out your taxes once a year and then just send in a check every few months. But since we moved from NJ to NY shortly after the last estimated tax payment was due, we're pretty much done paying taxes to NJ and have to begin paying them to NY.

I just did up a quick estimate of how much I need to pay every four months and I'm sending off a check. I'm pretty certain I missed some deductions, but I haven't found an accountant yet, and I've decided it's not worth the time it would take to read up on NY state tax law to save a few bucks. That, plus it makes my brain hurt.

Anyway, someone remind me to find an accountant before the next payment is due on January 15th.

1 comment:

Davis Freeberg said...

It's totally worth the time to get the deductions right. It's a pain, but think of it as a writing assignment that uses Excel instead of Word (and pays you a lot more per hour ;)

As a freelance writer, you should be writing off everything. Anything that is spent on a potential story is fair game. When you wrote that you had been hanging out at that hippy co-worker commune I was worried, but when you said you thought twice and figured out a way to get NPR to pay you for it, my Capitalist heart swelled three sizes larger.

If you can figure out how to get paid for things that you want to do, then you are already ahead of the game. With those benefits comes great risk and it's important to make sure that Uncle Sam gives you the discounts that are typically only reserved for our fine upstanding corporate citizens.

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