Oh, sure, I could be like all those other bloggers and give you links to other bloggers who give you links to tax consultants who give you links to the IRS website. But I won’t do that to you.
In fact, if you’re like most freelancers, you’ve got your hands in more cookies jars than that furry blue muppet on Sesame Street, so giving you specific advice on one industry or another might be limiting.
I, for example, am a Freelance Writer Secret Shopper Social Media Consultant Blogger Landlord Reverend of the Universal Life Church.
Not kidding. My business cards are ginormous.
So, if you’re like me, the smartest tax move involves hiring a professional.
Of course, if you’re really a freelancer, you’re probably one of those fiercely independent types, so I expect you to ignore that little gem of wisdom. I sure did. I did my own taxes, or at least I let H&R Block’s TaxCut Online software tell me to plug in a bunch of numbers.
That’s how I discovered something very interesting. According the categorical brilliance of the Internal Revenue Service, here’s the “business activity code” for freelance writers:
#711510: Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation > Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries > Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
Yes, you read that correctly. Freelance writers—along with independent theatrical costume designers and art restorers—are part of the spectator sport industry, which actually explains the excruciating pain of my first major rewrite. I should have been wearing an athletic supporter and cup.
So there it is folks, my tax advice for freelancing writing landlord reverends in 2009: buy a jock strap. You’re gonna need it. 😉