What Papers Do I Need to Do My Freelance Taxes?

Whether you’re doing taxes for artists, taxes for writers, taxes for photographers or taxes for any other self-employed tax type, this list of papers of your freelance income and freelance expenses will provide a good basis for what you need to do your taxes. Due to individual circumstances, you may have others you need as well.

Freelance Income:

  1. For freelance income, a record and total of all money received. This record can be a list of all checks, cash and credit card money received. You should have invoices for the money that was received. 1099’s that you have received may not include all the money you received so don’t just use the 1099’s you’ve gotten.
  2. Some people mistakenly believe that unless you have a 1099, you don’t have to include the money in your gross receipts. All money received for work done must be included regardless of amount.
  3. It is useful to compare your record of what you received from clients with what the 1099’s say. If there is a difference in the amounts, you should resolve the difference before your taxes are filed.
  4. W-2’s for any wage income
  5. 1099’s and 1098’s for interest, dividends, and pension distributions.
  6. Names of any stocks or bonds sold, dates bought and sold, total paid for the property and total received.
  7. If equipment or property used in business, name of equipment or property, dates bought and sold, total paid for the property and total received.

Freelance Expenses:

  1. You should have a receipt or a bill for every freelance expense you take on your tax return. A credit card entry does not count as a receipt. Credit card statements indicate payment.
  2. You should have a check or credit card entry for every receipt (except for those paid with cash).
  3. Expenses should be totaled in the categories that you use on your tax return. On www.freelancetaxation.com, please see a selection of lists for different professions.
  4. You should have a date book for the year. This is useful to show appointment during the year that correlate to your travel and entertainment expenses as well as showing activities of your professional life.
  5. There should be entries on your restaurant receipts for business entertainment for the date, the name of the restaurant, the cost, the name of the person you were with and the purpose of the meetings. For business meals costing less than $75 for which you do not have a receipt, you need the above information written in your date book.
  6. You should keep a log of your total mileage for the year and for the business trips including mileage, location and purpose of the trip.
  7. You should have the list of taxes paid for the previous year and the estimates paid for the tax year for which the return is being done. The list should be check by check with each having to whom written, a date, an amount, and the purpose. Your state may issue a 1099 for the previous year’s taxable refund as well as what it calculates you have paid for state estimates; these records are useful to have.
  8. You should have what you paid for health insurance, unreimbursed medical expenses, and medical transportation.
  9. You should have 1099’s for mortgage interest and real estate taxes.
  10. You should have records for both cash and non-cash charitable contributions.
  11. Child care expenses along with the child care provider name, address and employer identification number should be provided.