• 19 May 2024
Taxes for Tutors – Part 3: Filing as a Freelancer

Taxes for Tutors – Part 3: Filing as a Freelancer

Jan 28, 2018

Freelance tutors need to be on top of forms and payments when it comes to preparing their taxes. In the third of our series on Taxes for Tutors, we guide you through the relatively simple process of filing your taxes come Tax Day.

If you’ve followed our series on Taxes for Tutors, you have a good idea of what, as a freelance tutor, you need to know about paying taxes (Part 1: First Steps & 1099s), and your eligible deductions to maximize your tax return (Part 2: Making the Most of Deductions).

Filing your taxes is a relatively simple process as long as you’ve followed the necessary steps well ahead of April 15.

1. Filing Your Annual Return

When it comes to time to file, you’ll need to determine which IRS forms apply to your tutoring business, and file them with the IRS before April 15.

If your tutoring business-related expenses for the year exceed $5,000, use Schedule C to report your income or losses. The IRS provides instructions to complete the form, too.

If your business expenses for the year don’t exceed $5,000, use Schedule C-EZ instead.

In either case, all self-employed workers must also complete and file a Schedule SE (Form 1040) to calculate any Medicare and Social Security taxes owed for the year (see instructions for this form here).

2. Filing Your Quarterly Returns

In order to avoid a large sum owing to the IRS on Tax Day (and any penalty fees), freelance tutors are required to pay their estimated withholding taxes in quarterly payments to the IRS (more on that in Part 1).

You should use Form 1040-ES to calculate how much money you should pay by each quarterly deadline:

  • April 15
  • June 15
  • September 15
  • January 15 (the following year)

If this is your first time filing taxes as a freelance tutor, you’ll still need to estimate how much you anticipate earning from your tutoring business for the coming tax year, and use that number to estimate your quarterly payments.

For more information, check out the IRS’ resource for independent contractors.

3. Getting Help

If you’re diligent with making your quarterly payments, you shouldn’t have much to do come April 15, except to file your annual tax return using the appropriate forms.

Filing your taxes can get complicated for independent contractors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with deductions and forms, it’s a great idea to consider hiring an accountant.

Next in this series, we explore options to set aside some of your income for retirement and savings.

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