how to deal with side work expenses

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:24 pm

how to deal with side work expenses

Post by Sairam » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:20 am

Hi, I have a full time job which withholds my income tax and social security / medicare tax.
I am doing some locums work on the side starting this year and trying to educate myself as to how to deal with paying taxes.
My options are estimating and paying taxes quarterly which seems very confusing.
The other option I came across even on irs side gig work is that if you already have a full time job to increase withholding at current full time job via updating W4 form.
Can anyone shed light on what will be the best option for a person with full time job, doing some side gig with regards to tax situation.
I am also planning on investing some of this side gig work income into solo 401k in addition to my full time work 401 k.

Posts: 1020
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Re: how to deal with side work expenses

Post by soccerrules » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:29 am

I would consult with a CPA for best results
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

Posts: 2768
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Re: how to deal with side work expenses

Post by Admiral » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:02 am

Depends on the amounts we're talking about. If it's a few thousand in tax owed, you can have it withheld. Note if you under-withhold there can be a penalty.

If it's more than that, quarterlies are really not a big deal. A CPA can help. Note that you will owe estimates going forward based on the previous tax year. So, if your 1099 income drops you'll overpay and then get a refund (typically).

The biggest mistake 1099 income recipients make is not putting aside enough for taxes. Also, track your Sked C business expenses carefully.

Spirit Rider
Posts: 12449
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: how to deal with side work expenses

Post by Spirit Rider » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:48 am

  • W-2 withholding by default is treated as withheld equally throughout the year.
  • Quarterly estimated tax payments are treated timely of as the quarter (or day if late) they are made. Unless the payments are equal you have to file Form 2210 to account for all income, deductions, credits and taxes for the quarter.
  • There are three (3) safe harbors:
    1. The tax liability due by the tax filing deadline after withholding and estimated payments is < $1,000.
    2. Your current year (tax withholding + estimated tax payments) is >= 100% (110% if AGI is > $150K) of the prior year's tax liability.
    3. Your current year (tax withholding + estimated tax payments) is >= 90% of your current year tax liability.
No matter how you choose to pay the extra taxes during the year. It is going to require you calculate the additional income taxes, self-employment taxes and if applicable the ACA Medicare surtax. Then apply the applicable safe harbor.

If you can estimate the entire year's business profit from the locums with some degree of accuracy. You should be able to calculate the additional tax liability under the safe harbor. If this is true you can make equal quarterly estimated tax payments. That is likely the easiest path.

If you are unsure if you can accurately estimate the locum work, but can estimate a baseline. You can increase W-2 tax withholding immediately and adust on 4/1, 7/1, 10/1 and later if necessary.

The other option is to use Form 1040-ES and instructions to calculate your estimated tax for each IRS "quarter" and pay on 4/15, 6/15, 9/15 and 1/15. Then you will have to file Form 2210 and use the annualized method.

I would not attempt the last option without a tax professional the first time.

Post Reply