Missing documents? Mega-busy calendar? If you’re like many freelancers you have more than enough on your plate to keep you busy all day every day, without the added burden of tax preparation. However, the IRS doesn’t take kindly to missed tax filing deadlines, which is why you need to file your taxes by the April 18 deadline, or file an extension now to avoid paying fines and penalties later.
Here’s what to do if you can’t file your freelance return on time:
In addition, don’t forget to file any appropriate state and local extensions. For example, in New York City, you need to file a New York State extension and, if self-employed, in New York City you need to file an extension for the NYC Unincorporated Business Tax if you are subject to this filing.
Missing information or need corrected information, here’s what to do.
If you are missing information or need updated or corrected forms in order to file your taxes, these tips from the IRS can also help you take care of them so you can get your taxes filed on time (or with an extension if necessary):
If you receive an incorrect Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits, you should contact the issuing state agency to request a revised Form 1099-G . If you cannot get it in time to file by April 18, you should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income you did receive.
Another potentially missing or incorrect piece of information may be related to advance child tax credit or economic impact payments. You must have the total amounts of advance child tax credit payments you received and the remainder of your child tax credit and the amount of your third Economic Impact Payment to claim a recovery rebate credit.
This information will be available in your online account or if you received these documents: Letter 6419, 2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit Payments, and Letter 6475, (Delete: add in your) 2021 Economic Impact Payment. Add these for the total payment amounts. This will help you file an accurate return. If you have lost or misplaced these letters, you can check your online account.
Married spouses who received joint payments will need to log into their own online account or review their own letter for their portion of the total payment. If filing a 2021 return as married filing jointly, you should add the payments together to provide the total amount.
Don’t wait and pay fines and penalties! File an extension if you can’t finish your freelance taxes by April 18.
While there are many different reasons why you may not be able to file your freelance taxes on time, it is critical to file for an extension if you are not going to be able to make the April 18 deadline and make an estimated payment to offset your tax liabilities.
This is the first step in avoiding paying more tax and penalties in the long run. Then do your due diligence to obtain any missing tax documents so you can ensure that you meet the extension deadline well in advance.
Jonathan Medows is a certified public accountant licensed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is also a recognized expert in taxation for freelancers and the self-employed—often tapped for his expert knowledge and perspective on self-employment taxation by national and regional publications such as The New York Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes taxation blog, WebCPA, CPA Practice Advisor, and others. You can read some of Jonathan’s press coverage here.
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