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Taxes: The Dangleberrys of Online Freelancing

Estimated reading time: 3 mins


Fact: Taxes Are A Pain In The Ass, But They’re  Part Of Business

Any business, whether online or not, really has to pay its due taxes. Some people would resort to starting an online business thinking that they can evade tax payments if they do so but the truth is, the tax dues will surely catch up with them one way or another.

Is it Fair?

Righteous as this may sound, but any business that does not pay its taxes cannot be considered as a business. The tax system, in whatever country you operate from, should be a level playing field. Sure, there are differences across international boundaries, but that is something you will have to deal with rather than fight against.

So, You Want To Start Your Online Freelancing Business?

Trying to start an online business is pretty much the same as starting any business in the world. Some people who are involved with online businesses usually use their ignorance as an excuse not to pay taxes.

They would say that they didn’t really know where to go or what government department to approach so they just went ahead with their online business without actually referring to the government or the state that they are under.

The first thing that you should do if you want to start your online business is to go to your local town hall and try to list down the requirements needed to form a business in your location.

You should also ask what is required at both state and federal levels. Most communities would actually require you to register a trade name. If you wish or choose to operate from your home, you should ask about the local zoning laws.

Learn About The Sales Tax Requirements

Your online business may more or less fall under the category of a mail order business (that is if you are also planning to sell productsonline). You will need to learn about the sales tax requirements that come along with your online business so that you will not encounter any problems in the future.

If for example you don’t have a nexus in another state, you can still sell and ship your merchandise to costumers residing in another state without actually charging Sales Tax. However, sales to the residents in the same state that you are living in will definitely require a collection of Sales Tax and remittance to the Sales Tax Department of your state.

Operate Your Business Honestly

If you want to have a successful business, you  should try to keep it as clean and honest as possible. Don’t even try to pull off any illegal or mischievous tricks in your business or it may jeopardize your success. Freelancers TOTALLY depend on their reputation, as you will, so don’t even think about fudging the system.

Make sure that you abide by the Truth in Advertising requirements; do not give customers misleading ads because they will only end up being disappointed or unsatisfied with your services which could lead to more trouble.

In a nutshell, trying to start and operate an online business requires ample time, effort, honest and sincerity. It’s a sad fact that a lot of people use the Internet for scamming others and earning money illegally.

However, it does not mean that it should be a trend that should be followed. It is greatly possible to have an online business that is clean, honest and legal. If you really want to pursue your online business, the tips mentioned here will be truly of help to you and if you still need more help and assistance, a visit to a lawyer will surely be of greater help.

Remember, taxes and your online freelancing business go hand in hand for success.


 
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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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2 Comments

  1. Freelance Web Developer UK

    Hi Simon,

    I’d have loved to have had a leaflet from the tax office on what money to keep back for annual returns and how to plan my monthly outgoings.

    As a technical person, I found it difficult to save and plan my monthly income / outgoings. I found some good accounting software, a crm, and an honest business advisor – and things are looking up – I’m planning and investing for the future 😉

     
    • Simon

      It’s always a good idea to get advice before drawing cash from your freelance business! No matter how much you think you know the rates and rules. Thanks for your comment.

       

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