One thing you learn very quickly as a freelancer is that unlike working for someone else, there really aren't any sick days when you're your own boss. That can be a grind during the best of times, but during a global pandemic, it can be downright existential. Luckily, if your business has taken a hit due to COVID, Uncle Sam might actually be able to help you out.
CPA Jonathan Medows, writing for the Freelancers Union Blog, alerts us to a new federal filing form that should help any self-employed taxpayers who got sick with COVID or had to care for someone who did. It's called IRS Form 7202, "Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals," and it came with last spring's Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
"The credits can offset your federal freelance income tax and are equal to either your qualified sick leave or family leave equivalent amount, depending on your specific situation," Medows writes. You do have to meet some qualifications and provide documentation when you file, but the IRS, your tax preparer, or your software of choice should have tools to help you calculate how much you can write off.
Read more: Self-Employed Tax Deductions, Benefits & More
If this doesn't apply to you for your 2020 taxes but you've lost work due to COVID since the start of the new year, this form will also be in your 2021 taxes, to be filed in 2022. Hopefully, with robust vaccine coverage, that will also be the last year this tax credit is needed.