Do I really need an accountant, or can I handle filing my LLC taxes on my own?
October 2, 2012 4:45 PM Subscribe
How important is it for me to get an accountant now that I'm earning most of my income as a freelancer? Can I handle taxes on my own?
posted by croutonsupafreak to work & money (22 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I file jointly, and until this year both got all our pay through employment wages. I've downloaded state and federal tax forms and filled them out by pen.
Starting this year, I'm getting most of my income as a freelancer. I have a business bank account and I track business-related spending and revenue carefully. My expenses are pretty minimal -- office rent, supplies, a couple of coffee/lunch meetings with clients. I also attended a conference, which involved registration, travel, lodging and food costs. I ride a bike to get around most of the time, and my occasional vehicle transportation costs are so minimal that I'm not bothering to track them (probably less than 50 miles of work-related driving this year).
Outside of business expenses, my husband and I make some charitable donations and take a mortgage deduction. All of his income is traditional wages, and I have some non-contract wages from temp/on-the-side gigs here and there.
Every freelance writer I know has an accountant, and spends hundreds of dollars or more per year getting tax returns taken care of. But after reading documentation on the IRS website it seems like filing my own taxes as a freelancer won't really be all that overwhelming.
Is there some secret amazing deduction that's not laid out in IRS instructions that only accountants know how to find? Taking an hour or two of my time every three months to handle quarterly taxes and a half day once a year to fill out the full deal seems a lot less stressful than finding a trustworthy accountant and surrendering control of a situation I think I have a pretty good handle on. Am I missing something?