What freelancers should know about coronavirus

With the thousands of cases in over 100 countries taking over the headlines, the coronavirus outbreak seems to be the only thing people are talking about right now. For us freelancers, things might actually not be so bad. Let’s dig in.

How will my freelancing income be impacted? 

If you already work from home, the coronavirus outbreak is likely just business-as-usual. You’ll just want to limit the number of excursions (meals with clients, in-person business meetings, supply runs, and so on).

However, for many types of freelancing working from home isn’t an option. Rideshare, real estate, retail, hospitality, sales, construction and others are getting hit hard by diminished demand, and this will likely worsen over the coming weeks. If you work in one of these industries, you may want to consider picking up some remote freelancing work. 

If your budget can handle it, use the time to invest in a home office setup (plus, you’ll save money on taxes!) and maybe even pick up a few new books or online courses on topics you’ve been meaning to study up on (add this to your expense tracker!). 

Getting tax breaks from a new home office

If you’re a freelance workspace at home for the first time, please remember to toggle the “I have a home office” option in your Tax Profile. This will let your bookkeeper know that I should look out for common home office tax deductions, such as:

🏠 Part of your rent

Whether you pay rent or own your home and pay a mortgage, a portion of those expenses are tax deductible.

🛋️ Furniture & electronics

A new monitor, desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.

🌐 Wifi bill

Part of your comcast bill is a tax write off since you need the internet to do your freelancing work from home!

🌪️ Property insurance

Whether you have rental or homeowner insurance, you can write off a portion of it as part of your home office.

🔌 Power bill

Gotta keep the lights on in your home office! A portion of your electricity bill is a tax write-off.

🚰 Water bill

It'd be hard to work in an office without running water, huh? Your water bill is partially tax deductible if you worked from home.

Stay safe

Overall, it’s important to practice “social distancing” and hygienic practices to reduce the spread of the virus. Skip the handshake, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, and avoid crowded spaces. The virus can be contagious even if there are no visible symptoms.


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Paul Koullick

Paul Koullick

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Paul is the co-founder and CEO of Keeper. He has been in the tax and financial industry for more than half a decade. In his free time, he loves to go jogging, playing chess, and helping people find tax write offs.

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Note: at Keeper Tax, we're on a mission to help freelancers overcome the complexity of their taxes. That sometimes leads us to generalize tax advice. Please reach out via email if you have questions.