Get ready to file your taxes with QuickBooks Self-Employed.
As the fiscal year comes to an end, it's time to file your taxes. Here's our general guide for self-employed individuals, freelancers, and independent contractors to help you prepare. You can also download this guide as a PDF.
Note: If you aren't able to complete your federal tax return by the official deadline (around April 15th), here's how to file for an IRS extension.
What to do from December to January
- Connect your accounts to online banking to automatically download all of your sales and expenses into QuickBooks Self-Employed.
- Review and categorize all of your transactions so they're ready for your Schedule C.
- Update your tax profile. This ensures your federal estimated tax payments calculations are accurate. Tip: You should update your tax profile every year, or whenever you have a life event like getting married or having a child.
- Review your business mileage. If you tracked miles outside of QuickBooks, add them by the end of the year. Mileage can be one of the biggest tax write-offs.
- Review and update your vehicle info. This lets you know if you can claim any vehicle expenses.
- Review your business assets. Assets aren’t typical expenses. Make sure you categorized your business assets accurately in QuickBooks Self-Employed.
- Import or add any missing transactions. It's always good to double-check if there's anything obviously missing. Also, manually add any sales or expenses you recorded outside of QuickBooks.
- Complete the tax checklist when it's available in mid-January. We'll send you a notification when it's ready. This helps you review any outstanding self-employed income, expenses, and deductions.
What to do from January to April
Start your tax return as early as possible. Do as much as you can when you can. You can start your return early and add more info as more forms arrive.
Prepare your tax documents
- Start collecting physical tax forms and receipts you may need for tax filing. TurboTax and other tax-prep programs tell you exactly which documents you need. QuickBooks Self-Employed helps prepare reports and forms like your Schedule C for filing.
- If you expect to get a 1099 form from a client or employer, check-in with them. Make sure your contact info, especially your mailing and email address, is up-to-date. If they use QuickBooks Online, you can fill out your W-9 and send it to them online. They have until January 31st to file your 1099 with the IRS.
Get your year-end reports
QuickBooks tracks your healthcare, asset, and actual vehicle expenses throughout the year. Use the Tax Summary, Tax Details, and other reports to get these totals.
- After you finish the tax checklist in QuickBooks, you can run financial reports.
- Keep reports handy when you prepare your return. File them away with your tax documents in case you need them again in the future.
- If someone files your tax return for you, you can email your reports to them. If your accountant uses QuickBooks Online Accountant, you can give them access to your QuickBooks Self-Employed account.
Send your tax data to TurboTax
- Review and enter everything in QuickBooks before you send your info to TurboTax Self-Employed. You can only send your tax info to TurboTax once. If you have new or missing info to add later on, it won't transfer automatically. But you can still enter it manually in QuickBooks and TurboTax.
- If you upgraded to the Tax Bundle, make sure you use the same account to sign in to TurboTax and QuickBooks Self-Employed. Your bundle subscription covers the filing fees. We don't want you to pay twice.
- See what QuickBooks can't export. QuickBooks doesn’t export certain deductions to TurboTax. TurboTax or your tax preparer can help decide which deductions you need to enter.