Nobody likes tax season, but for freelance workers, it can be a particularly brutal experience. All the state, federal, and local payments employers normally take out of paychecks have to be made up out of the freelancer's own pocket. If you haven't been filing quarterly, the sum you owe on your return can be a real knockout.
One way to ease the pain has always been stacking up deductions. The right business-related expenses can reduce your taxes by no small margin. Unfortunately, thanks to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed in December 2017, you can say goodbye to some of your most reliable line items.
Jonathan Medows, a certified public accountant based in freelancer-rich New York City, has shared a list of deductions that won't apply to your 2018 return. Despite some increases to the standard deduction, this year you'll no longer be able to claim expenses from moving for a job out of state, dues from professional organizations, fees from tax preparation or investment services, and employee education expenses for which you haven't been reimbursed.
Despite all that, it may be worth getting your returns filed sooner rather than later. Political uncertainty in Washington, D.C., means that another federal shutdown like the one that partially closed the government for 35 days recently could poleaxe the Internal Revenue Service and delay the processing of refunds. If you have strong feelings about the possibility of a shutdown or how these deductions affect your bottom line, there's no time like the present to let your elected officials know.