If you use or have checked out QuickBooks self-employed, you’ve probably seen the taxes tab. It shows your annual profit, the taxes you’re projected to owe, your quarterly estimated tax payments, and even a Schedule C. Is that everything you need?
QuickBooks Tax Estimates Are Based on What You Put In
The QuickBooks tax estimates may or may not be accurate because they depend entirely on the numbers you put in. This is more than just entering the right numbers (which are probably right if you use automatic imports). You need to make sure everything is in the right category as well.
Some expenses are fully deductible, such as rent for a separate office, while others may not be, such as a cellphone line you use for both business and personal purposes. If you enter vehicle expenses, you need to make sure they’re not covered by the standard mileage deduction if you’re claiming that. Meals are another example where the rules are complicated on when they’re deductible and those that are are only 50% deductible.
In short, you need to know what you’re doing. If you know how to complete your own tax return, you can use QuickBooks self-employed as a tool to complete your return throughout the year. If you don’t know how to do your own taxes, you may not have everything categorized properly, which means you can’t just plug the QuickBooks reports into your tax preparation software.
Do You Need an Accountant to Do Your Taxes When You Use QuickBooks Self-Employed?
The answer to this question depends on a few things.
- Do you just not want to deal with it?
- Do you want to take the time it will take to learn how to do it?
- Will you be disciplined about keeping things up-to-date during the year?
- How confident are you in your understanding of tax law and your ability to complete your tax return accurately?
Depending on your level of comfort and how you feel about doing things yourself, your accountant can help you with:
- An initial consultation to explain how things work and to set up QuickBooks.
- Ongoing help either doing everything for you, checking things every month or quarter, or being available for questions.
- Getting your QuickBooks file tax ready and using it to file your return.
If you think you might need help, it’s better to plan ahead and get things right the first time by meeting with an accountant early in the year than to pay busy season rush rates to have an accountant try to fix things on April 15th.