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QuickBooks Self-Employed annual tax guide

Learn how to file your taxes in QuickBooks Self-Employed.

Another year is behind us, which means it’s time to get ready for taxes. We put together a to-do list for self-employed, freelancers, and independent contractors to make the prep work simpler for you. You can Download and save this PDF for easy tax prep.

Important: The normal quarterly estimated tax deadline has been extended. The Treasury recently announced tax changes and updates in response to COVID-19. This includes extending the Quarter 1 deadline for Tax Year 2020. Quarterly estimated taxes are now due on July 15, 2020. Here's the latest information on tax deadlines and updates related to COVID-19.


December-January to-do's

The Tax Checklist helps you prepare all of your self-employed income, expenses, and deductions for tax filling. It'll be ready for you in mid-January, but until then, here's what you can do to prep your taxes.

Complete the Tax Checklist

  • Review transactions and connect your bank accounts. Connect your bank to download expenses, then give uncategorized transactions a category, if needed. If you have any unreviewed transactions from the year, mark them as business or personal.
  • Double-check your tax profile before you file. This is to ensure that your estimated taxes are accurate. You should review it every year or if you go through a life event like getting married or having a child.
  • Review your mileage. It can be one of the biggest tax write-offs. If you tracked any miles outside of QuickBooks, be sure to add them now.
  • To claim mileage, the IRS requires certain info about your vehicle. Your vehicle info needs to be up-to-date to claim vehicle expenses. Check and update your QuickBooks vehicle profile as needed in your account settings.
  • Double-check your recorded business assets. Assets aren’t like standard expenses. They usually last a long time (more than a year), tend to be larger purchases ($200+), and are used exclusively for your business. Examples of business assets are manufacturing equipment, cash registers, computers, and tools. Ensure that you categorized your business assets as business assets in QuickBooks.
  • Import or add missing transactions. Even if you accounted for every expense and source of income throughout the year, check if there are missing transactions. Then, add them to QuickBooks Self-Employed. If you paid cash for any business expenses or assets, add them manually.

January-April to-do's

Create a file of all your tax documents

  • Collect physical tax documents, receipts, registration info, and other forms you need for tax filing.
  • Prepare your return as early as possible. Do as much as you can, when you can. If you file with TurboTax, you can start to file your return as you wait for your forms to arrive.
  • If you expect a 1099 form from a client or employer, the business has until January 31st to e-file the form. Check with your employer to ensure your contact info is up-to-date with your mailing address and email address.

Run year-end reports

Run financial reports after you categorized and reviewed your 2019 data. The most important reports of your tax file are the Tax Summary, Tax Details, Mileage, and Receipts reports.

  • Keep reports handy to use while you prepare your return. File them away with your tax documents in case you need them in the future. Since many tax documents are now digital, you can keep a digital file along with printed copies.
  • If you have an accountant who files your return, you can email them your reports:
    • Learn how to email a report using a web browser.
    • On the mobile app, select the report and enter your accountant’s email address.
    • If your accountant uses QuickBooks Online Accountant, you can invite them to your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via Settings ⚙ .

Special notes for our Tax Bundle customers

QuickBooks tallies up the totals of your healthcare, assets, and actual vehicle expenses throughout the year. Use the Tax Summary or Tax Details reports to get these totals. TurboTax or your tax pro can use these totals as references.

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