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. Especially after receiving the coronavirus relief money. 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).
A lot of freelancers were forced to work from home and can claim a deduction. 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. It should also be noted that the Small Business Association (SBA) has opened up unemployment for freelancers. So if you lost income, you may receive a forgivable 1099 PPP loan to help yourself financially.
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 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.
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. If you received the PPP loan, you can get it forgiven.
If you find yourself with a lot of spare time, you can always use it to review your 2019 purchases for extra write-offs or file taxes with Keeper Tax 🙌