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Considering freelancing? Trump’s tax changes might convince you to take the leap.

3.14.17

The freedom that comes with being an independent contractor often comes at a price. Being in the driver’s seat means managing your own schedule, finances, and a lot of other complex aspects of your career. Independent contractors must pay their own self-employment tax, pay for health insurance out of pocket, and don’t have paid time off or employer matching on retirement contributions. In addition, while there are multiple opportunities for deductions and credits on the tax front, keeping careful records is essential to being able to take advantage of them.  

While many people enjoy the relative stability of a full-time job, some crave the freedom and control of being an independent contractor. President Trump’s proposals for tax changes are far from guaranteed, but they may be enough to push some people off the fence and into freelance. 

So what do small business owners and potential small business owners need to know?

 

Trump’s plan includes lower tax rates for small business

Under Trump’s proposed tax code overhaul, some businesses would be subject to lower tax rates topping out at 15 percent instead of the current 35 percent. Such businesses include Subchapter S corporations and, in some cases, limited liability companies or partnerships. According to this New York Times article, that includes “those in which income and deductions accrue directly to the owners and are reported on their personal tax returns.” Lower tax rates increase the incentive for full-time employees to approach employers about working as an independent contractor instead. 

 

It’s still hypothetical

Like everything in government, this tax code overhaul will be up for debate. One major concern includes that such a reduction in tax revenues could mean an increase in national debt. Legislators will be sure to contribute their own opinions and carry out negotiations before anything actually changes. According to Trump, though, the plan is “very well finalized” and will become a focus after the ACA repeal efforts. One way or another, we’ll have some time before we see how things play out. 

 

The bottom line:

Don’t quit your day job. Well, at least not yet. Tax laws are always subject to change (so much so that even the original link on the Trump Administration’s website now leads to an error page). As such, tax considerations alone shouldn’t be the foundation for a decision as big as becoming an independent contractor. The bigger question is whether freelancing is the right fit for your life. If it is, then go ahead and get behind the driver’s seat. Enjoy the ride and be sure to track those business miles—they’re deductible!

 


 

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