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IRS Sex workers taxes

Special options available to help taxpayers who missed the April deadline; people encouraged to file, pay by June 14 to avoid larger penalties and interest

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers who owe unpaid taxes and missed the April 18 tax deadline to file their 2022 federal income tax return and pay any tax due by Wednesday, June 14, to avoid a larger late-filing penalty.
Penalties and interest can grow quickly. The IRS reminded taxpayers about important payment programs that can help as well as the availability of special first-time penalty abatement relief for those who qualify.
Normally the late-filing penalty for each month — or part of a month that a return is late — is 5% of the unpaid tax, up to a maximum of 25 percent. The late-filing penalty will stop accruing once the taxpayer files.
But, by law, if a return is more than 60 days late, the minimum late-filing penalty, also known as a Failure to File penalty, is either $435 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means the penalty will equal the tax due if the taxpayer owes $435 or less. If they owe more than $435, the minimum penalty will be $435.
The IRS must receive the return by June 14; returns mailed on that date normally won’t avoid the larger penalty. For that reason, the IRS recommends taxpayers file electronically by June 14.
In addition, taxpayers can limit late-payment penalties and interest charges by paying their tax electronically. The fastest and easiest way to do that is with IRS Direct Pay, a free service available only on IRS.gov. Several other electronic payment options are also available. Visit IRS.gov/payments for details.
Late-payment penalties and interest will stop accruing as soon as the tax is paid. The taxpayer need not figure any of these charges. Instead, the IRS will bill them for any amount due.
Taxpayers can review information on the Failure to File and the Failure to Pay penalties by visiting IRS.gov/penalties.
There are many important provisions that can help taxpayers in these situations.

Penalty relief for some
Taxpayers who have filed and paid on time and have not been assessed any penalties for the past three years often qualify to have the penalty abated. See the First-Time Penalty Abatement page on IRS.gov. A taxpayer who does not qualify for this relief may still qualify for penalty relief if their failure to file or pay on time was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.
Anyone who receives a penalty notice from the IRS should read it carefully and follow its instructions for requesting relief. See Penalty Relief on IRS.gov for the types of penalty relief and how to make the request.
In addition to penalties, interest will be charged on any tax not paid by the April 18 due date and any subsequent penalties. Interest stops accruing as soon as the balance due is paid in full. By law, interest abatement is not an option for reasonable cause or as first-time relief.
Options if unable to pay what’s owed
Many taxpayers mistakenly delay filing because they are unable to pay what they owe. Often, these taxpayers qualify for one of the payment options available from the IRS.
Individual taxpayer’s online payment plan options include:
• Short-term payment plans – for taxpayers who have a total balance less than $100,000 in combined tax, penalties and interest. This plan gives them an extra 180 days to pay the balance in full.
• Long-term payment plan (also called an installment agreement) – for taxpayers who have a total balance less than $50,000 in combined tax, penalties and interest. They can make monthly payments for up to 72 months. Taxpayers are encouraged to set up plan payments using direct debit (automatic bank withdraw), which eliminates the need to send a payment each month, saving postage costs, and reducing the chance of default. The IRS requires direct debit for balances between $25,000 and $50,000.
• Offer in Compromise — Some struggling taxpayers may qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an offer in compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.
Some automatically get more time to file
Some taxpayers get more time to file, even if they didn’t request an extension. These special deadlines affect penalty and interest calculations for those who qualify, such as members of the military serving in combat zones, taxpayers living outside the U.S. and those living in declared disaster areas.
Disaster areas
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in a federally declared disaster area when at least one area qualifies for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance program. Ordinarily, this means that taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get disaster tax relief. For details on all available relief, visit the Around the Nation page on IRS.gov.
Those serving in combat zones
Military service members and eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax returns and pay any tax due. A complete list of designated combat zone localities is in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, available on IRS.gov.
Combat zone extensions also give affected taxpayers more time for a variety of other tax-related actions. Various circumstances affect the exact length of the extension available to taxpayers. Details, including examples illustrating how these extensions are calculated, are in the Extensions of Deadlines section in Publication 3.
Taxpayers, military on duty living outside the United States
U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico are granted an automatic two-month extension, until June 15, 2023, to file their 2022 tax returns and pay any tax due.
The special June 15 deadline also applies to members of the military on duty outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico who do not qualify for the longer combat zone extension. Affected taxpayers should attach a statement to their return explaining which of these situations apply. For more information about the special tax rules for U.S. taxpayers abroad, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, on IRS.gov.
When to check withholding
To protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year, taxpayers should check their withholding every year. For help determining the right amount to withhold, use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov.

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IRS Sex workers taxes

Tax tips for gig economy entrepreneurs and workers

In recent years, the gig economy has changed how people do business and provide services. Taxpayers must report their gig economy earnings on a tax return – whether they earned that money through a part-time, temporary or side gig. The IRS’ Gig Economy Tax Center provides information and resources to help this group of entrepreneurs and workers understand and meet their federal tax obligations.
Here are key things for individuals involved in the gig economy to remember as they get ready to file in 2023.
Gig economy income is taxable
• Taxpayers must report all income on their tax return unless excluded by law, whether they receive an information return such as a 1099 or not.
• Individuals involved in the gig economy may also be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments to pay income tax and self-employment tax, which includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. The last estimated tax payment for 2022 is due Jan. 17, 2023.
Workers report income according to their worker classification
Gig economy workers who perform services, such as driving a car for booked rides, running errands and other on demand work, must be correctly classified. Classification helps the taxpayer determine how to properly report their income.
• If they are employees, they report their wages from the Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
• If they are an independent contractor, they report their income on a Schedule C, Form 1040, Profit or Loss from Business – Sole Proprietorship.
The business or the platform determines whether the individual providing the services is an employee or independent contractor. The business owners can use the worker classification page on IRS.gov for guidance on properly classifying employees and independent contractors.
Expenses related to gig economy income may be deductible
Individuals involved in the gig economy may be able to deduct expenses related to their gig income, depending on tax limits and rules.
• Taxpayers may be able to lower the amount of tax they owe by deducting certain expenses.
• It is important for taxpayers to keep records of their business expenses.
Pay the right amount of taxes throughout the year
An employer typically withholds income taxes from their employees’ pay to help cover taxes their employees owe.
Individuals involved in the gig economy have two ways to cover their taxes due:
• If they have another job where they are considered an employee, they can submit a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate to their employer to have more taxes withheld from their paycheck to cover the tax owed from their gig economy activity.
• They can make quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year.
More information:
Publication 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income
Publication 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee

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IRS Sex workers taxes

Taxpayers: File when ready, don’t wait until October 17 to file a 2021 tax return

For people who requested an IRS extension to file, the October 17, 2022, deadline may seem far away, but it’s coming up fast. Taxpayers who haven’t filed, whether they requested an extension or not, should file a complete and accurate return as soon as possible. For people who have all their paperwork in hand, filing sooner and filing electronically could help them avoid possible processing delays later.
Here are some resources and information to help taxpayers avoid getting caught up in a last-minute filing rush.
Resources for people preparing their tax return
• IRS.gov The IRS webpage has tools and resources to help taxpayers and answer FAQs.
• Online Account Access individual account information to get info from the most recently filed tax return, including adjusted gross income, Economic Impact Payments and advance child tax credit payments.
• Interactive Tax Assistant Taxpayers can enter their info to get answers for their specific tax situation. This tool can determine if an individual must file a tax return, their filing status, if they can claim a dependent, if an income type is taxable, and their eligibility to claim a credit or deduct certain expenses.
• Tax professionals Tax pros can also help taxpayers prepare their tax returns. Authorized IRS e-file providers are qualified to prepare, transmit and process e-filed returns. Taxpayers should choose a tax preparer wisely. The IRS online directory can help people find a local tax pro.
Taxpayers can file electronically for the fastest turnaround.
E-filing is fast, accurate and secure. When taxpayers choose direct deposit, their refund goes directly into their bank account. The IRS processes most e-filed returns and issues direct deposit refunds in less than 21 days.
• IRS Free File Eligible individuals can use the IRS Free File program to prepare and file their 2021 federal tax return for free. Taxpayers can choose the brand-name tax preparation software company that is best for them. Some companies even offer free state tax return preparation. Those who earned more than $73,000 have the option to use IRS Free File Fillable Forms.
• MilTax online software MilTax online software is also available for members of the military and certain veterans, regardless of income. This software is offered through the Department of Defense.
• Commercial software The software uses a question-and-answer format that makes doing taxes easier. The return is signed electronically and transmitted through IRS-approved electronic channels.
An extension to file a tax return is not an extension to pay taxes.
Taxpayers who owe taxes can review all payment options online. The IRS has options for people who can’t pay their taxes, including applying for a payment plan on IRS.gov. Here are some other things to know:
• Generally, there’s no penalty for not filing a return if due a refund, but there’s also no statute of limitations for assessing and collecting taxes due if no return has been filed.
• Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the April due date and will accrue until paid in full. Penalties will accrue for each month tax remains unpaid until maxed out at 25% of the unpaid tax.
• Submitting a tax return and paying the amount owed as soon as possible can help taxpayers avoid further interest and penalties.

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IRS Sex workers taxes

It’s important for taxpayers to know the difference between standard and itemized deductions

It’s important for taxpayers to know the difference between standard and itemized deductions
Taxpayers have two options when completing a tax return, take the standard deduction or itemize their deductions. Most taxpayers use the option that gives them the lowest overall tax.
Due to all the tax law changes in the recent years, including increases to the standard deduction, people who itemized in the past might want to switch to the standard deduction.
Here are some details about the two options.
Standard deduction
The standard deduction amount increases slightly every year and varies by filing status. The standard deduction amount depends on the taxpayer’s filing status, whether they are 65 or older or blind, and whether another taxpayer can claim them as a dependent. Taxpayers who are age 65 or older on the last day of the year and don’t itemize deductions are entitled to a higher standard deduction.
Most filers who use Form 1040 can find their standard deduction on the first page of the form. The standard deduction for most filers of Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors, is on page 4 of that form.
Not all taxpayers can take a standard deduction, which is discussed in the Instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR. Those taxpayers include:
• A married individual filing as married filing separately whose spouse itemizes deductions—if one spouse itemizes on a separate return, both must itemize.
• An individual who files a tax return for a period of less than 12 months. This is uncommon and could be due to a change in their annual accounting period.
• An individual who was a nonresident alien or a dual-status alien during the year. However, nonresident aliens who are married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien can take the standard deduction in certain situations.
Itemized deductions
Taxpayers choose to itemize deductions by filing Schedule A, Form 1040, Itemized Deductions. Itemized deductions that taxpayers may claim include:
• State and local income or sales taxes
• Real estate and personal property taxes
• Home mortgage interest
• Mortgage insurance premiums on a home mortgage
• Personal casualty and theft losses from a federally declared disaster
• Gifts to a qualified charity
• Unreimbursed medical and dental expenses that exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income
Some itemized deductions, such as the deduction for taxes, may be limited. Taxpayers should review the instructions for Schedule A Form 1040 for more information on limitations.

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Sex workers

Some important things all taxpayers should do before the tax year ends

The IRS reminds taxpayers there are things they should do before the current tax year ends on Dec.31.
Donate to charity
Taxpayers may be able to deduct donations to tax-exempt organizations on their tax return. As people are deciding where to make their donations, the IRS has a tool that may help. Tax Exempt Organization Search on IRS.gov allows users to search for charities. It provides information about an organization’s federal tax status and filings.
The law now permits taxpayers to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions they made to certain qualifying charitable organizations even if they don’t itemize their deductions. Taxpayers, including married individuals filing separate returns, can claim a deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions to qualifying charities during 2021. The maximum deduction is $600 for married individuals filing joint returns.
Most cash donations made to charity qualify for the deduction. However, there are some exceptions. Cash contributions include those made by check, credit card or debit card as well as unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with volunteer services to a qualifying charitable organization.
Check Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
An ITIN only needs to be renewed if it has expired and is needed on a U.S. federal tax return.
If an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number was not included on a U.S. federal tax return at least once for tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020, the ITIN will expire on Dec. 31, 2021.
As a reminder, ITINs with middle digits 70 through 88 have expired. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 90 through 99, if assigned before 2013, have expired. Individuals who previously submitted a renewal application that was approved, do not need to renew again.
Find information about retirement plans
IRS.gov has end-of-year tax information about retirement plans. This includes resources for individuals about retirement planning, contributions and withdrawals.
Contribute salary deferral
Taxpayers can make a salary deferral to a retirement plan. This helps maximize the tax credit available for eligible contributions. Taxpayers should make sure their total salary deferral contributions do not exceed the
$19,500 limit for 2021.
Get banked and set up direct deposit
Direct deposit gives taxpayers access to their refund faster than a paper check. Those without a bank account can learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.
Veterans should see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks.
Connect with the IRS
Taxpayers can use social media to get the latest tax and filing tips from the IRS. The IRS shares information on things like tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, tax products and taxpayer services. These social media tools are available in different languages, including English, Spanish and American Sign Language.
Think about tax refunds
Taxpayers should be careful not to expect getting a refund by a certain date. This is especially true for those who plan to use their refund to make major purchases or pay bills. Just as each tax return is unique to the individual, so is each taxpayer’s refund. Taxpayers can take steps now to Get Ready to file their federal tax return in 2022.

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IRS Sex workers taxes

Here’s how businesses can deduct startup costs from their federal taxes

When starting a business, owners should treat all eligible costs incurred before beginning to operate the business as capital expenditures that are part of their basis in the business. Generally, the business can recover costs for assets through depreciation deductions.

For costs paid or incurred after September 8, 2008, the business can deduct a limited amount of start-up and organizational costs. They can recover the costs they cannot deduct currently over a 180-month period. This recovery period starts with the month the business begins to operate active trade or as a business.
Business start-up costs
Start-up costs are amounts the business paid or incurred for creating an active trade or business, or investigating the creation or acquisition of an active trade or business. Start-up costs include amounts paid or incurred in connection with an existing activity engaged in for profit, and to produce income in anticipation of the activity becoming an active trade or business.
Qualifying costs
A start-up cost is recoverable if it meets both of the following requirements:
• It’s a cost a business could deduct if they paid or incurred it to operate an existing active trade or business, in the same field as the one the business entered into.
• It’s a cost a business pays or incurs before the day their active trade or business begins.
Start-up costs include amounts paid for the following:
• An analysis or survey of potential markets, products, labor supply, transportation facilities, etc.
• Advertisements for the opening of the business.
• Salaries and wages for employees who are being trained and their instructors.
• Travel and other necessary costs for securing prospective distributors, suppliers, or customers.
• Salaries and fees for executives and consultants, or for similar professional services.
Nonqualifying costs
Start-up costs don’t include deductible interest, taxes, or research and experimental costs.
Purchasing an active trade or business
Recoverable start-up costs for purchasing an active trade or business include only investigative costs incurred during a general search for or preliminary investigation of the business. These are costs that help in deciding whether to purchase a business. Costs incurred to purchase a specific business are capital expenses that can’t be amortized.

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IRS Sex workers taxes

Get a federal tax refund faster with direct deposit

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get their tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit.
Direct deposit is free, fast, simple, safe and secure. Taxpayers can even split their refund to have it deposited into one, two or three different accounts.
Eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using direct deposit. The IRS uses the same electronic transfer system to deposit tax refunds that is used by other federal agencies to deposit nearly 98% of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.
Direct deposit also avoids the possibility that a refund check could be lost or stolen or returned to the IRS as undeliverable. And it saves taxpayer money. It costs more than $1 for every paper refund issued, but only a dime for each direct deposit.
Easy to use
A taxpayer simply selects direct deposit as the refund method when using tax software or working with a tax preparer, and either they or their tax preparer type in their account and routing number. It’s important to double check entries to avoid errors.
The IRS reminds taxpayers they should only deposit refunds directly into U.S. affiliated accounts that are in their name, their spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account. Many people do not use checks and may find their routing and account numbers on their online bank account or mobile app.
Taxpayers may have a refund applied to their prepaid debit card. Many reloadable prepaid cards have account and routing numbers that could be provided to the IRS. But check with the financial institution to make sure the card can be used and verify the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.
There are mobile apps that may allow for direct deposit of tax refunds. They must have routing and account numbers associated with them that can be entered on a tax return. Check with the mobile app provider to confirm what numbers to use.
Have the bank routing and account number when having taxes prepared. The IRS does not have the ability to accept this information after a return is filed.
Don’t have a bank account?
Visit the FDIC website for information on where to find a bank that can open an account online and how to choose the right account. Veterans can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks. Tax return preparers may also offer electronic payment options.
Split refunds
By using direct deposit, a taxpayer can split their refund into up to three financial accounts, including a bank or Individual Retirement Account. Part of the refund can even be used to purchase up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds.
A taxpayer can split their refund by using tax software or by using Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases), if they file a paper return. Some people use split refunds as a convenient option for managing their money, sending some of their refund to an account for immediate use and some for future savings.
No more than three electronic tax refunds can be deposited into a single financial account or prepaid debit card. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will receive an IRS notice and a paper refund will be issued for the refunds exceeding that limit.
Combining Electronic Filing plus direct deposit yields fastest refunds
The safest and most accurate way to file a tax return is to file electronically. Many people may be eligible to file electronically for Free. Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days, but some returns may take longer. Taxpayers can track their refund using “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov or by downloading the IRS2Go mobile app.
“Where’s My Refund?” is updated once daily, usually overnight, so there’s no reason to check more than once per day or call the IRS to get information about a refund. Taxpayers can check “Where’s My Refund?” within 24 hours after the IRS has received their e-filed return or four weeks after mailing a paper return. “Where’s My Refund?” has a tracker that displays progress through three stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved, and (3) Refund Sent.

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IRS Sex workers taxes

IRS extends Economic Impact Payment registration deadline for non-filers to Nov. 21

The deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment using the Non-Filers tool is extended to November 21, 2020.

The IRS urges people who don’t typically file a tax return – and haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment – to register as quickly as possible using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov. The tool will not be available after November 21.
This additional time is solely for those who haven’t registered or received their EIP and don’t normally file a tax return. For taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return, that deadline is Thursday, October 15.
Most eligible U.S. taxpayers automatically received their Economic Impact Payment. Others who don’t have a filing obligation need to use the Non-Filers tool to register with the IRS to get up to $1,200. Typically, this includes people who receive little or no income.
The Non-Filers tool is secure. It is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed up the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.
Beginning two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.

 

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IRS Sex workers taxes

Here’s What Happens If You Don’t Do Your Taxes

You, yes you, can do your taxes this year. Many of you are done, most of you haven’t started, and a few of you are freaking out. Some of you are thinking: what if I just don’t file? What will happen if I don’t pay? What if I didn’t file last year or the year before that? What will they do to me and will I be in prison with Wesley Snipes?

I have some answers to those questions! You should note that I am not a tax professional, that this is definitely not professional advice and that every situation is unique. Also you should be doing your taxes right now probably, not reading the Internet. But here’s some experience, offered person-to-person, that is not professional counsel.

It is better to do a cruddy job and file than to not file.
When I say “cruddy job,” I don’t mean “making wild guesstimations” or being dishonest. I mean: If you can’t nail some stuff down, forget about it and move on. For instance: Do you not have receipts for some expenses? Big deal: cut them out and forget about it. (These small expense-deductions don’t generally have too much effect on your tax burden anyway.) Err on the side of “hurting” yourself and just plow through it. It’s just not worth making yourself crazy over fifteen bucks!

You can fix your return!
It is easy to amend a return. It’s also easy for the IRS to amend your return: “You do not need to file an amended return due to math errors. The IRS will automatically make that correction.” Intense, right?

It is better to file and not pay than to not file and not pay.
What happened, you spend all your money? That’s okay, pal! Do your taxes, send ’em in, if you have absolutely no money. You will incur not-totally-crazy penalties over time due to not paying, and they will want to talk to you about when you can pay. (Yup, it’s always the broke people that have to pay more in this world.) That’s not ideal, sure! But it’s a lot more ideal than not having filed.

Okay, but should I be scared of the IRS?
The IRS only wants to hear from you. The answer, surprisingly, is a very firm “no”! Not at all! The IRS has some of the nicest, most understanding people I have ever spoken with in my life. True fact.

There’s a lot of TV- and movie-propagated terror about the IRS. (As well, the whole idea of the government and money is anxiety-producing on its own, sure.) And the truth is… well, they kind of used to be a little mean? But that’s actually ancient history. The people at the IRS are some of the funnest people ever! I have had long hilarious conversations with them on the phone. (For real, there are some hilarious ladies down in Atlanta.) IRS employees are like most civil servants; they deal with confused, freaked out and sometimes very dingbatty people (not you, friend!) every day — the kind of people who do not follow directions, particularly. So if you are not a jerk, they will be delighted to speak to you, at length. They will sometimes be like, “Girl, how did you get into this trouble?” and you’ll be like “Oh, haha, I’m a mess! Mistakes happen!” and they’ll be like, “I hear you! I get it!” Do not be afraid. What they want is to hear from you.

Should I be scared of my state tax department?
Actually… well, maybe just a little. The same rules apply as above — they do want to hear from you! — but, for instance, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance seems to be a little cranky. They want their money, they want it now, and if you don’t give it to them, they will take it. I’m sure there are some wonderful, caring people working in all of America’s fine state tax departments!

What happens if you don’t file?
Have I mentioned that the IRS only wants to hear from you?

No really, what happens if you don’t file and don’t pay?
Great news! Eventually the IRS will do your taxes for you. This is called a substitute return. Doesn’t that sound nice? Well it’s not particularly. For an agency that’s devoted to taxes, they don’t do a very good job at it. (Kidding.) So the good news is that your taxes will be done! The bad news is that they will take your reported income, slot it into the appropriate tax bracket, and say you owe that percentage. So if you made $85,000, bam, you owe 28%.

Also? Lots of people can’t deal with taxes when they’re even going to get money back! People are funny. But you should know that your refund disappears in three years if you don’t file.

What happens if, like, I ignore the IRS?
Well, you’ll get a ton of mail. And the problem with being “in trouble” is that your sense of being in trouble fades really fast. That’s how people are built. Most people pay taxes because they’re scared of the consequences. So, you don’t file one year, and then… nothing that terrible happens! So you’re off to the races. And then you get a scary piece of mail from the IRS, and you ignore it, and… nothing terrible happens again! It’s very easy for the human mind to acclimate to this.

And then, they will make it so that you can’t ignore them. (For instance, your debit card will stop working! Heh.) You should head that off at the pass. The moral being: even if you aren’t scared of the consequences now, you will be later.

Ugh, they sent a letter to everyone I’ve ever worked for! How humiliating!
Nah, it’s not. Years ago, the IRS sent out a letter to people who’d paid me money, informing them they had an interest in having that money for themselves. And half the people who got these letters — caring, decent, professional, adult-type people! — were like “Ha, I got one of these letters last year!” It was a moment of bonding. To be fair, one person was a little judgmental, but you are by no means alone in these issues.

So how do I work out paying if I haven’t paid?
You know how GE and Bank of America don’t pay any taxes? That happens because they’re well-advised. You too should be well-advised. Down the road, if you end up in debt with the IRS, you will likely have a couple of options — usually Offer in Compromise or Payment Plan. These are actually not terribly straightforward. For instance, you can work out a payment plan with the IRS, after filling out quite a lot of paperwork, and having your financial life pretty well-surveilled by them, but the IRS is actually required to ensure that you have enough money and income to meet the payment plan. (They can’t agree to a payment plan that’s onerous.) But that doesn’t mean that, even if you are on an installment plan, that penalties don’t continue to accrue! So, many people find that they’re often better off getting a bank loan. And Offer in Compromise is extremely complicated. With those, for instance, you cannot miss a yearly tax payment for at least the next five years, or the deal is off. So you are going to need to become an expert — but more importantly, you’re also going to need to consult with a real expert.

Ugh, I don’t know what to do!
Guess what? The IRS only wants to hear from you. Also? These things are never as bad as you think. Now go off to your quiet place and do your taxes. I can promise you’ll be happy you did.

HELP I’M PANICKING!
Lots of online tax products are free to use to file an extension. If you can’t do ANYTHING else at all, do that.

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IRS Sex workers taxes

Five Reasons Sex Workers File Their Damn Taxes

1) Tax returns are the only proof of income you have if you’re self-employed and paid mostly, if not entirely, in cash.

2) It’s far better for the IRS to have your numbers to start with than to let them come up with their own.

3) If you get caught after not paying taxes for a number of years and get hit with a five-figure bill, it really sucks.

4) You become another person contradicting the stereotype of sex workers as tax cheats who don’t contribute to society.

5) It makes you (even more) morally superior to GE.

Things you need to file if you are an independent contractor stripper/model/performer/camgirl, an escort, sensual touch provider, etc:

Form 1040
Schedule C for income from a business (you are a business)
Form 8829 for home office deduction (you have a computer in your home where you’re doing business, yes?)
Your receipts for work-related supplies, travel, and other expenses
Records of your income

Even if you lack accurate records, give it your best shot and file. Even if you can’t pay right now, file. Even if what you do is illegal, file (you don’t have to write down what you do. We are all “entertainers”). Read this piece over at the Awl for some good reasons why you should file no matter what. It’s so, so much better to have YOUR realistic numbers than to have the IRS say, “Hey, we have this 1099 from your club, where you sold $1500 in VIP rooms, so we’re assuming that was a normal night for you, so we’re calculating your tax debt based on that,” or “Well, we saw on this 20/20 special about escorts that $2000/hour is a rate people pay in New York, so let’s start there.”

I don’t care if you’re gonna fudge it! Don’t tell me about it. Don’t tell anyone about it, for that matter. I’m not telling you to file because I think we owe it to the country or because I’m a bleeding-heart liberal or because I think the Tea Party is supremely misguided because they aren’t storming the gates of GE and Bank of America to demand they bear their burden of the tax load. I’m telling you to do this because it COVERS YOUR PRETTY PROFESSIONALLY SEXY ASS. Having personally fucked up with taxes before and knowing several dancers and escorts who’ve been in deep shit with the revenuers, I speak from experience when I say it’s to your advantage to stay on top of your taxes.

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