It has been seven weeks now since I stopped working for the man and started working for the woman. (That’s me!) My boss is pretty good, tough but fair, and she has cute hair, though she could dress up a bit more. Capris at the office? Really? I haven’t had to take money out of savings yet, but I haven’t paid my quarterly freelancer taxes either, so that might change. Last night I found a program called Outright which not only builds reports of my income and expenses, but also calculates my estimated taxes. Whee! It also integrates with FreshBooks, the program I use for invoicing, which makes it extra close to my bookkeeping heart. (Did you know “bookkeeping” is the only word in the English language to have three pairs of double letters in a row? I learned that from Encyclopedia Brown.)
I know many freelancers have accountants, and I think that is a wise decision. However, I’ve been paying my own self-employment taxes for years and haven’t been audited yet, so I prefer to do it on my own. My business is simple enough and I keep good enough records to handle it myself. I also like to look at all the numbers and know how much is coming in and how much is going out. I went a little spreadsheet-crazy last night and entered all my numbers into Outright to determine how much I have to send off to the IRS by September 15th. It’s a sad number, though I suppose I should be happy that it is so big because it means I’m doing ok.
I am not against paying taxes. I like driving on roads and having running water and living in a generally peaceful society policed by cops where I can go about my life without having to fight off roaming marauders or looters or mutant rhinoceros. I am willing to pay for that. I just wish I got to designate where my tax money went, just like I choose which funds to invest my money in my Roth IRA. I would put some of my taxes towards roads and hand some of it to the cops and firemen. I’d save a little bit to fund the arts and put a lot more towards education. A big chunk would go towards health insurance. Wars wouldn’t get any money, nor would corn subsidies. (Get your high fructose corn syrup elsewhere!)
I guess that’s not how it works though. I’ll write my check in a few weeks, but I wish I knew where it was really going.