What to Know About Independent Contractor Taxes

tax deductions forms

 

As the tax filing date approaches, the Contractors Insurance Blog shares information about tax requirements for independent contractors.  The blog says:

Independent Contractor Taxes

As a normal employee, you will have your income tax automatically deducted from your regular checks, as well as social security taxes and fees for any benefits you receive. Independent contractor taxes are different.

As an independent contractor you will need to estimate the amount of tax money you owe, put it away each pay, and pay out quarterly to the federal government. You will then account for what you have paid at tax time every year and either receive a refund for over-payment, or be responsible for under paying (sometimes with a small penalty).

Higher Tax Rate

Independent contractors pay a higher tax rate than normal employees. This is because in the case of a regular salaried or waged worker, the employer pays a portion of the social security and Medicare benefits owed to the government. Since the independent contractor works for themselves, they must pay both the employer’s and the employee’s portion of this tax. This is colloquially known as the independent contractor tax or self-employment tax.

The only way to avoid paying this extra tax is to become a regular employee and cease operating as an independent contractor. It is, unfortunately, part of the cost of doing business. In the end, the government doesn’t see it as more taxes—their cut is the same; it’s just coming from one person instead of being split between a person and a company.

Forms

The forms for independent contractors are similar to, but not quite the same as, those completed and received by a regular employee. Instead of a W-4 form, independent contractors complete a W-9 for each job for which they are contracted. Then, at the end of the year, they receive a Form 1099-MISC to report the payments they’ve received.

Read the full story at  What to Know About Independent Contractor Taxes

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