The Joys of Self Employment

Working from home is a blessing, and honestly I am not so sure “anyone” can do it, even though I have said that in the past. The reason I am starting to believe that not everyone can do it is because it’s extremely difficult to step away from work when it’s family time if your office is in your home. All too often I have to shut down my computer because I will be tempted to come in and do some work during family time. I am just that into my work and addicted to making money.

Being self employed has it’s ups and downs. For sure, trying to collect payments from clients really can stink some times. Especially when you see the bill due dates and yet these people still have not paid you. I am lucky to work with amazing people directly but some of the firms I have worked with take forever and a day to submit payment. Sure sometimes things happen making payment delayed and I totally understand that but when a big firm was scheduled to pay me on “x” date and still has yet to pay me nor communicate what is up to me? Well that’s a fail in my book.

Juggling my kids new schedule this school year alongside my work has actually proved to be quite easy. Although the few hours I get here and there may seem like nothing to you all who work a forty hour week in a workplace somewhere, you would be shocked as to what I can get done in just one hour of silence in my office, or with music blasting in the background. I can write many blog posts, articles and even complete a ton of invoicing in just one hour.

With the youngest being in pre-K four days a week, I find that I get one full day without kids as he spends two mornings a week with his Dad, I also get four days a week with that few hours of afternoon silence to work. I have stopped working weekends as much, because I was burning myself out. Although I am blessed to do what I love and am passionate about for work, everyone has their own limits and needs a break.

So while my breaks usually involve returning to Mama duty from my home office, I do try to take weekends to recoup from a fun filled week of being self employed. I believe that being self employed gives you more confidence in your own self, after all, I am pretty confident in myself and my skills.  I wouldn’t trade the juggling that I call a really well rounded schedule for anything in the world, not even an office position in a nice friendly workplace.

Becoming a Registered Tax Return Preparer

This time of year I start to daydream about the idea of getting a tax preparer certification because it’s so difficult to find a good accountant who will take the time to sit down with you and fully listen to what you do for work. Being a professional blogger and a virtual assistant means I have to claim income from two areas but combine the data into one. This includes product reviews. You see all year long everyone says how lucky I am get to all these fabulous products and opportunities to travel but they forget one little piece of information; I pay taxes on it all and claim it on my Schedule C every single year.

Nothing in life is free and that goes to the idea of becoming a tax preparer. I would love nothing more than to start looking into taking an irs exam to be part of those who do tax preparation for others. If I were to get a certification to become a registered tax return preparer then I would not only be able to fully complete my own self employment taxes each year but I could offer my services to locals who may need a bit of help this time of year but can’t afford the big corporate rates.

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It’s Almost Tax Time, Are you Prepared?

Ever year I create an Excel spreadsheet that lists out the products I receive here on my blog. The spreadsheet documents date of review, person/company I received product from, product name and suggested retail price of this product or the value based on what the person who provided said item states it is worth.

It’s funny because I create this spreadsheet every single year and every year I tell myself I will keep up with it as products come in but then life happens and I get so busy between client work and blogging that I just don’t take the extra step to insert product into the spreadsheet. This means come November and December you will find me huddled in the office all hours of the night trying to go back through emails, review category on blog and such to ensure I have all of the products I received this tax year listed on the spreadsheet to submit to an accountant.

It seems being self employed and being a blogger has some fabulous advantages but come end of year you almost forget the advantages such as ability to adjust schedule based on children events, and the ability to work while the children are sleeping. The disadvantages of being self employed are that if you don’t pay quarterly taxes you may have to pay in at end of year and if you receive too many high priced products or a total of thousands of dollars of products then at end of year you have to add that as income.

So I am getting prepared for end of year because there is a lot of paperwork and reports to go through to ensure I have the most accurate information to file taxes. Are you ready for end of year?

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Tax Time Is Nearing – Protect Your Identity

The time is nearing where you all will get your things ready for filing of your 2010 taxes. Whether you are self employed or an employee of a company one thing is for sure that you need to file taxes every year. In NH we do not have state taxes, which is cool, but I have found that many other states do have state taxes as well as income taxes.

One thing to be certain of this year is to be sure you are protecting your identity, do you put your social security card online where it is not secure, do not email your social security number and take all necessary steps to ensure you are doing all you can for identity theft protection?

There are many services out there to help you with protecting your identity, which in turn protects you as an individual. We all have our own individual social security numbers for a reason and they are linked to our income, our birth and everything to do with who we are as an individual. The one program I have heard about is Identity Hawk but personally haven’t looked into it further than just surfing the web.

I am curious, do you all know how to protect your identity when filing taxes online, working online and such? What measures do you take to ensure you are protecting your identity the best you can?

My Least Favorite Thing To Do

I can’t believe we are over half way through the year 2010, time flies when you are having fun, right? Or building a business and blog and family, but anyways … as the year flies by I find myself wanting to make sure that all my accounting records are up to date so that at end of year when I have to file that tax return I am ready to do it fast and accurately. Nothing is worse than the end of year coming along and not having all your business records in an organized order.

I love to stay organized so I use a software program to keep attract of all my business income whether from this blog or my actual DBA Brandy Ellen’s Business Solutions, a virtual assistant business. It is important to have help with tax returns if you don’t understand them even if you are simply filing a personal tax return. There are many financial planning and accountant places that can offer you their services to assist you in making sure that tax return is filed correctly and on time every year.

Whether you are in the United States or another country there are accountants in New Hampshire, Connecticut and even accountants in sydney. It’s all a matter of seeking out the right accountant for your needs. So tell me, do you use an accountant and how do you like using them to keep your financial parts of business in order?

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