I'm filing my taxes with TurboTax and will probably get one of my smallest refunds ever, and I'm happy about it
- With a full-time job and freelance income, filing taxes can be complicated.
- For the second year in a row, I'm using TurboTax to file my tax return. So far, I've found the site helpful and fairly easy to use - especially in tandem with other online tools and apps.
- Although I won't be getting a huge refund, there's a positive side: I don't owe money at the moment on my freelance income, especially not a huge lump sum like I have in the past, because I prepaid my taxes every quarter.
As someone with both a full-time job and freelance income, filing my taxes takes a little longer than your average process.
As a first-time freelance writer in graduate school in 2014, I didn't know anything about quarterly payments. I got my taxes done at a free tax clinic and at the end, they hesitantly let me know I owed a little more than $1,000 in taxes for my freelance writing income.They explained quarterly payments and sent me home with the 1040ES forms marked with the due dates for each quarterly payment. After that first very stressful experience, I vowed never end up owing that much again.
After graduate school, I continued to freelance but made sure to send in quarterly payments. In 2017, I worked a full time job while freelance writing. I started doing my own taxes on TurboTax in 2018, figuring that I could do it on my own now that I knew more about payments and deductions.
That year, I sent in large amounts of quarterly payments and after going through all my deductions, ended up with a considerable refund.
Since I used TurboTax that year, the site kept my information on file for my taxes this year.
In 2018, I sent considerably less quarterly tax payments because I could tell I would make less income from freelance writing. With those quarterly payments and deductions, TurboTax predicts that at the time of writing I should get a refund that amounts to approximately $166 ($157 for federal and $9 for California taxes).I am still looking at other deductions I might've missed, so those final amounts could change. I'm also not taking into account the final TurboTax total for using the service. It's not a huge refund in the end but there's a positive side, for me: I don't owe money at the moment, especially not a huge lump sum like I have in the past.
Here's what it's like to use TurboTax as a single filer with a W-2 and freelance income.