Tax Season for Self-Employed Folks in Seattle: A Handy List with Links

 

Hello!  Tax season has a lot of hoops to jump through.  Most of them don't take much time, it's just a matter of finding your rhythm and know what to do, when. 

This handy list has got you covered!  I do skip over some of the finer navigational directions...the objective is to give you the basic list of stuff to do and links. Most agencies have very helpful people to call if you need assistance.  Wishing you an easy-breezy tax season.

Click on the chart above to download the PDF!


1. December - Order 1099s ....if needed

Takes about 2 minutes to order
Free
These are due to the IRS and to Independent Contractors by January 31

If you paid any independent contractor for services...over $600, you need to fill out a 1099-MISC form for them.  Think: designer, photographer, bookkeeper.  It will arrive with a 1096 form also.  Don't worry!  This is just like a cover page for faxes...it just asks you for the basic summary of what you're sending.

Click here to go to Order Forms on IRS.gov.  Look through the chart to find 1099-MISCs.  Be sure to put the quantity that you want in the column for last year.  (2016)

2. December - Renew City of Seattle Business License

About 15 minutes
Costs $55 if you plan to make under $20K, 
     $110 if you make over $20K
Due:  December 31

Seattle uses a portal called FileLocal for registering/renewing licenses.

3. January - Report to the State

About 1 minute...if you have the numbers
Needed:  Gross Sales by category*, UBI number, and payment method (if required)
Due:  January 31

The state wants to know about your business activity.  This means knowing your Gross Sales in each category of doing business:  Services, Retailing, Wholesaling, Manufacturing, and Royalties (to name the biggest ones).  Another way to think of Gross Sales...is Total Payments or Total Deposits.  This figure is before any deductions or taxes.  This form is quick to fill out.  You do NOT need to know your business expenses.  The state is there to help you!  Call 1-800-647-7706.  Or check out this page especially for annual filers.

*Note:  if you purchased materials at wholesale prices, you'll need a total of all of those costs (before sales tax)....to take that deduction.

Go to DOR.WA.gov.  Look at upper right corner to Logon.  You need to register an account if you haven't already done so.  For that, you'll need a PAC code.  Call them at 1-800-647-7706, or look on any paper forms they have mailed to you.

4. January - Report to the City of Seattle

About 5-10 minutes...if you have the numbers
Needed:  Gross Sales by category
Due:  January 31

This is similar to reporting to the state (above).  You need Gross Sales by category...and the city has fewer than the state.  The city only collects B&O taxes, if you earn over $100K.  But you still need to fill out the form.  

Go to the City of Seattle's FileLocal Portal.  If you applied for your business license online, then you already have an account.  If not, you may need to set up an account first.  If you need help, call 206.684.8484.

5. April - Report to King County

1 minute, if No Change
Needed:  Value of "Personal Property"
Free, if value is under $7500
Due April 30th

The county taxes us on property (as opposed to sales or profit).  For business, "personal property" refers to equipment and supplies used for your business. If you've set up an account already + nothing has changed, you may simply email the county at Personal.Property@kingcounty.gov and say "NO CHANGE".  Include your name, contact, and UBI.  

Please contact the county for more information if:  your personal property is over $7500, if you need to set up an account, your business owns real estate, if you have any questions.  Click here to read about Personal Property Tax.  

To set up a new account, click here.  Scroll down to Personal Property section.

6. April - Report to IRS + Income Taxes

From one hour to ten....to more!
Needed:  Gross Sales, Expenses by Category, Payment method

The IRS taxes you on income.  In this case, your business profit is considered your income.  For this, the formula is to start with your Gross Sales figure, and then subtract all of your business expenses.  The answer is what you get taxed on.  To see how it works, I recommend printing out a Schedule C form.  It's only 2 pages, and friendlier than you might think.

That's the basic idea.  To back up your numbers, the IRS wants you to have proof, and may require you to fill out additional forms.... It is too detailed to cover here.  Options for filing:  TurboTax or other online programs, hire an accountant, or download and use paper forms.  

To read more on IRS.gov, click here for the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center.

Note:  These Due Dates May Also Apply to You

Estimated Quarterly Tax Payments (IRS) - If you are sending these in, one is due on January 15th, with another on April 15th.  To read more about these, click here.

LLC Renewal (State) - This is due on the anniversary month of when you set it up.  An LLC is set up through the Secretary of State...but to renew it, you go through the Business Licensing Services (BLS).  Click here to renew your LLC.

Reports to the DOR* (State) - Some businesses are required to make quarterly reports to the DOR instead of annual.  If this is you, then April 30th is the due date for your second report.  Click here to go to DOR.WA.gov.

*Department of Revenue

Now it's time to celebrate!  

Pop some bubbly, or take a long weekend.  You deserve it.  

: )  Jenny