- Find our how to qualify for the pass-through or QBI deduction.
- Learn more about your reporting responsibilities as a sole proprietor.
- Get the scoop on self employment taxes.
- Discover the due dates for quarterly estimated taxes in 2021.
- Learn how to qualify for home office deductions.
- Did you know that you can deduct 100% of your health insurance costs?
- Find out which expenses are subject to special recordkeeping or deductibility rules.
- Learn why you should consider establishing a qualified retirement plan.
While many businesses have had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some entrepreneurs have started new small businesses. Many of these people start out operating as sole proprietors. Fiducial has some of the tax rules and considerations involved in running your small business as a sole proprietor.
The pass-through deduction
To the extent your business generates qualified business income (QBI), you’re eligible to claim the pass-through or QBI deduction, subject to limitations. For tax years through 2025, the deduction can be up to 20% of a pass-through entity owner’s QBI. You can take the deduction even if you don’t itemize deductions on your tax return and instead claim the standard deduction.
Reporting responsibilities as a sole proprietor
As a sole proprietor, you’ll file Schedule C with your Form 1040. Your business expenses are deductible against gross income. If you have losses, they’ll generally be deductible against your other income, subject to special rules related to hobby losses, passive activity losses and losses in activities in which you weren’t “at risk.”
If you hire employees, you need to get a taxpayer identification number and withhold and pay employment taxes.
For 2021, you pay Social Security on your net self-employment earnings up to $142,800, and Medicare tax on all earnings. An additional 0.9% Medicare tax is imposed on self-employment income in excess of $250,000 on joint returns; $125,000 for married taxpayers filing separate returns; and $200,000 in all other cases. You should also know that self-employment tax is imposed in addition to income tax, but you can deduct half of your self-employment tax as an adjustment to income.
Quarterly estimated payments for the sole proprietor
As a sole proprietor, you generally have to make estimated tax payments. For 2021, these are due on April 15, June 15, September 15 and January 17, 2022.
Home office deductions
If you work from a home office, perform management or administrative tasks there, or store product samples or inventory at home, tax deductions exist on an allocable portion of some costs of maintaining your home. Ask your Fiducial representative if you qualify.
Health insurance expenses
You can deduct 100% of your health insurance costs as a business expense. This means your deduction for medical care insurance won’t be subject to the rule that limits medical expense deductions.
Retain complete records of your income and expenses so you can claim all the tax breaks to which you’re entitled. Certain expenses, such as automobile, travel, meals, and office-at-home expenses, require special attention because they’re subject to special recordkeeping rules or deductibility limits.
Saving for retirement
Consider establishing a qualified retirement plan. The advantage is that amounts contributed to the plan are deductible at the time of the contribution and aren’t taken into income until they’re withdrawn. An SEP plan requires less paperwork than many qualified plans. A SIMPLE plan is also available to the sole proprietor and offers tax advantages with fewer restrictions and administrative requirements. If you don’t establish a retirement plan, you may still be able to contribute to an IRA.
If you’re a sole proprietor, we can help.
Want additional information about the tax aspects of your new business? Have questions about reporting or recordkeeping requirements? Call Fiducial at 1-866-FIDUCIAL or make an appointment at one of our office locations to discuss your situation.
For more small business COVID-19 resources, visit Fiducial’s Coronavirus Update Center to find information on SBA loans, tax updates, the Paycheck Protection Program, paid sick and family leave, and more.