Question

I have a small business through which I host at-home parties, catalog parties and online parties to sell products to friends, family and other acquaintances. Because I am new to running a business of this nature, I need to know about the tax reporting ramifications of income I earn from my venture. How much can you sell before paying tax on your earnings — How much do I have to make by selling products at these home parties and similar channels before it is mandatory to file taxes and report the income?

Answer

Generally, you are considered to be self-employed if any of the following apply to your situation: you carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, you are a member of a partnership that does or you are otherwise in business for yourself, this includes part-time business pursuits as well. Regarding you question, how much can you sell before paying tax on your earnings, as a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly. You must file a return if you earn $400 or more in net earnings from your business. Net earnings equal taxable business income minus allowable business deductions.

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