What to Keep Track of as an Independent Contractor

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Spreadsheets are a great way to track both your income and expenses as an independent contractor. The free version is quite impressive, even compared to some paid accounting apps. It includes billing, live bank details, income and expense tracking, and employees. It even has the ability to track multiple businesses (like one or two “side jobs”) and personal finance on the same account. Everlance does pretty much everything a freelancer like you`d need, but we want to refine the mileage tracking feature. It also allows you to manage your workflows and track all relevant customer-related data. One of the most important features is that you can send and receive important documents that need to be signed. One may also wonder, what should I keep an eye on for a 1099? The IRS allows independent contractors to deduct indirect and direct work-related expenses. Indirect expenses are not directly related to work, but are incurred as part of the execution of works, public service companies e.B. Direct expenses are costs that are directly related to the execution of work, such as. B, telephone services, postage, consumables and other necessary work items or services.

Homeworkers are allowed to take advantage of the home office deduction if the primary place of work is done at home. If travel is also part of your job, keep track of mileage, hotel, and other travel-related expenses. Other possible deductions include health insurance costs, retirement accounts, and fees for professional services such as lawyers or accountants. But what`s most important are the security features. While fully staffing your business with independent contractors may seem tempting, it comes with challenges and obligations. The growing gig economy is increasingly regulated to protect these workers. It`s important to understand the costs, benefits, and obligations of hiring freelancers, especially if you want to use an independent contractor`s time tracking tool. Many countries already have laws about time tracking or employee monitoring in their books. It`s also worth noting that time tracking for remote teams is often included. More recently, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided to make the recording of working time compulsory for workers in all Member States. It is difficult to say whether the decision applies to independent contractors, as the details are left to each nation. Employers should seek new and relevant legislation in the coming months.

Excel offers an Excel 1099 template if you want something that is already done! If you want a more sophisticated option to organize your bills and track expenses, you can also check out a program like Freshbooks, Intuit, Zoho, or Quickbooks. Keep in mind that most of these programs are paid. However, these costs could be considered business expenses! Zoho Books does a lot, but doesn`t adapt to large companies like some of the most popular accounting software packages. This should work well for both independent entrepreneurs and supporting actors. So, what are the best apps for independent contractors? The best CRMs also allow you to track your expenses and send invoices directly through the app. This limits the need to have ten different apps cluttering up your phone. Excel also offers an Excel 1099 template to help new independent entrepreneurs or small business owners move to digital expense tracking. Online software or application such as QuickBooks, Intuit, or Zoho automatically collects and stores data without employer or employee intervention. “As an independent consultant who charges 100% of my revenue from time, BeeBole is one of the most important tools I have to track projects and invoice clients efficiently. Our clients appreciate the details and love the fact that we can track different areas of the same project and stay within the estimated hours for those projects. BeeBole has just the right mix of full features and a simple direct user interface that doesn`t take your time.

Zoho Books includes accounting requirements such as bank reconciliations, billing, expense tracking, timesheets, projects, recurring transactions, and sales approvals. Invoice management requires an upgrade to the standard version for $15 per month or $180 per year. As a freelancer, you know what it`s like to be your own accountant. Recording hours, tracking miles and staying with customers is your responsibility. All you have to do is take a quick photo of your receipt and it will be automatically connected to the system. You can also track your billable hours through the app to get more accurate invoices. Perhaps the best way to track your business income and expenses as an independent contractor is to use spreadsheets. In addition, it is beneficial when filling out 1099 various forms. Travel is another category that is very much in question, but it`s still a great way to keep more of your money next year. Hotels, airfares and 50% of meals can be amortized for business trips. You can even extend your trip for fun, as long as the number of days spent on business is longer than the number of days spent just for fun.

Local travel is discussed in more detail under car costs. Keep in mind that trips and deductions related to your vehicle are items that can be verified or verified by the IRS – so it may be helpful to track your trip on your calendar and use a mileage calculator app (and take a screenshot of the calculation for your records), for example, can be useful in supporting tax deductions. It is a good idea for all independent contractors to use accounting software. You could be a new independent contractor with just a few clients or an established contractor with over 50 clients – either way, you`ll benefit from the features offered by accounting apps. Accounting apps can be used in addition to the help of a CPA or even instead of a CPA if you want to do your taxes yourself. Traditional employers deduct employee taxes monthly and pay them to the IRS, but not for independent contractors. As a result, independent contractors must pay taxes quarterly – April, June, September and January – if their tax payable is more than $1,000 during the year. The easiest way to do this is to store a portion of each payment you receive for contract work in a separate tax account or use money management software that allows you to track estimated tax payments. The IRS offers Form 1040-ES to help independent contractors calculate and execute estimated tax payments. Zoho offers a range of emails, CRMs, a custom app engine, and an accounting package.

The accounting site, Zoho Books, is free in the basic version, which should be enough for most independent contractors. Sticking to such a system will simplify your expense tracking process and make it much easier to produce your quarterly tax estimates. Being a self-employed entrepreneur or self-employed brings a lot of freedom in relation to work, the role of the workplace and overall flexibility. However, unlike a full-time employee, you also have to deduct your taxes below 1099 labor costs. While this may seem like a daunting task, it`s easier to follow a structured, streamlined approach to tracking expenses and becoming aware of the amortization of estimated taxes. You may have never stopped wondering if your company`s timesheets are actually compliant with the law. First, note that it is not technically legal to plan independent contractors. You can negotiate quotes and make agreements on schedule and deadlines, but you can`t dictate a contractor`s working hours. It is, of course, allowed to pay freelancers by the hour and track that time.

However, how time is tracked can also be regulated. Open Excel or Google Sheets to start tracking expenses. PayPal is great for tracking how much you bring in and how much you spend. You can use it to buy hardware and corporate hardware, but also to bill customers. Independent contractor accounting software works like other accounting software by downloading the app, creating an account, and starting to enter your data. The app does the calculations for you. It will also suggest categories for the organization and store everything related to accounting in one place. Most accounting apps integrate with other apps such as mobile banking, customer relationship management (CRM), and mileage tracking. Independent contractors are responsible for paying their own self-employment tax, which includes social security and health insurance.

Self-employment tax is only paid on the annual tax return, which is made in April using the self-employment tax form. One of the advantages is that half of the cost of self-employment on Form 1040 is deductible. There may be unexpected expenses or accidents while running a business or even as an independent contractor. Business insurance protects you against such losses, which is also part of the 1099 tax deductions. An independent contract may also require travel abroad or to different cities to meet customers or attend industry conferences. On a business trip, your meals, airline tickets, or transportation and accommodation costs are vulnerable to a 50% depreciation as business expenses. Accounting software for independent contractors is accounting software for independent contractors rather than large companies. The software can be an application used on your phone or tablet, or an application that is downloaded to your computer. .