A 2020 Guide to Taxes for Independent Contractors

Independent contractors play a significant role in the U.S. economy, at least for now. From your cab driver to your food delivery person, you interface with independent contractors every day. You might even be an independent contractor. Even I’m an independent contractor!

Unlike employees, independent contractors remit tax payments on their own. I’ll say that at least two more times in this article because it’s just that important. Here’s how you pay taxes as an independent contractor.


Overview: What is an independent contractor?

Independent contractors are one-person businesses that provide goods and services to clients for a fee. People and companies engage independent contractors for a specific work purpose, relying on their expertise to complete the work.

Whereas employers can have significant control over their employees’ work processes, a business cannot dictate how and what its independent contractors do to achieve the business’s desired result.

The U.S. government has been

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Vice-presidential debate: Kamala Harris, Mike Pence debate pandemic, Donald Trump’s taxes and the U.S. economy

Vice-President Mike Pence and his Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will face off in a vice-presidential debate at 9 p.m. ET in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief, will moderate.

Harris, Pence and Page will use Plexiglas shields as a COVID-19 precaution, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates. The shields were requested by the Biden-Harris campaign, while Pence’s team initially objected to them.

Pence has spent time in close proximity to President Donald Trump, who is recovering from coronavirus at the White House. Kamala Harris and Mike Pence both have tested negative for COVID-19, according to their teams.

Ultimately, the debate is a chance for voters to decide whether Pence and Harris are ready to step into the presidency at a moment’s notice.

Over the course of 90 minutes, Harris and Pence will debate in nine segments of approximately 10 minutes each.

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How Short Sales and Foreclosures Affect Your Taxes

Whenever you sell a home, you need to calculate your capital gains to determine whether you owe any tax. If you engage in a short sale or your mortgage lender forecloses on your home, the Internal Revenue Service treats it just like a sale. Foreclosures and short sales may also require you to recognize ordinary income if the lender cancels any of your outstanding mortgage balance and you’re ineligible for an exclusion.

Short Sales and Foreclosures

Both short sales and foreclosures are usually the result of a borrower’s inability to continue making mortgage payments.

A short sale is where your mortgage lender allows you to sell the home for less than your outstanding loan balance and cancels your obligation to repay the remainder of the loan.

With a foreclosure, the mortgage lender will take possession of the home if it doesn’t receive scheduled mortgage payments over an extended period

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Here’s what owning a second home means for your taxes

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  • If you’re considering buying a second home, there are a few pros and cons to weigh when it comes to your taxes. 
  • Homeowners can deduct up to $10,000 total of property taxes per year on federal income taxes, including taxes on a second home.
  • If you don’t rent out your second home, it’s taxed much like a primary residence, with mortgage interest and property taxes deductible. 
  • If you’re planning to rent out your second home for part of the year for income, however, your taxes will be much different, with more deductions available, and income tax due on any rental income. 
  • Policygenius can help you compare homeowner’s insurance policies to
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NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017

President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for president and in his first year in the White House, according to a report Sunday in The New York Times.

Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.

The details of the tax filings complicate Trump’s description of himself as a shrewd and patriotic businessman, revealing instead a series of financial losses and income from abroad that could come into conflict with his responsibilities as president. The president’s financial disclosures indicated he earned at least $434.9 million in 2018, but the tax filings reported a $47.4 million loss.

The tax filings also illustrate how a reputed billionaire could pay little to nothing in taxes, while someone in the middle class

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What taxes will our kids owe when they inherit our vacation home?

Q. My husband and I own a second residence in New Jersey. Our home has increased substantially in value since purchasing in 1980. Is there anyway our heirs can avoid any New Jersey taxes upon our deaths? Does the exit tax apply to inherited real estate?

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— Planning

A. There are two potential New Jersey taxes for you to be aware of: the inheritance tax and capital gains tax.

New Jersey’s inheritance tax is levied on certain inheritances based on the relationship of the deceased to the heirs.

“If your property is going directly to your children who are ‘Class A’ beneficiaries,” you would avoid the New Jersey inheritance tax,” said Jonathan Donenfeld, a certified public accountant with JLD Tax & Accounting in Jersey City. “If the property was left to siblings of the owner or non-Class A beneficiaries, then it could be subject to the inheritance tax,

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