Question

I am an independent contractor without my own business and I have a question about filing my independent contractor taxes. When filing taxes as an independent contractor, where do I enter my expenses? And can you clarify the difference between being an independent contractor and being self-employed?

Answer

An independent contractor is generally considered self-employed and is typically defined as a business owner or contractor who provides services to other businesses. According to the IRS, the general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor (self-employed) if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

Additionally, the IRS views an independent contractor as a self-employed person. Therefore, earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax.

If you are filing taxes as an independent contractor you are treated like you have your own business – even if you did not formally start your own business. As a sole proprietor of that business, you should file your independent contractor taxes on a Schedule C to properly claim your income and related expenses.

Related Resources

Direct Sellers and Taxes – How Does it Work?

Many are surprised to learn that even side gigs come with a tax price. H&R Block Tax pro's have arranged expert tips for those who owe direct sales taxes.

A Guide to Small Business Taxes

Small business taxes can be overwhelming as an entrepreneur. Learn more about small business taxes 101 with the experts at H&R Block.

Tax Implications of Starting a New Business

The startup tax or new business tax is a topic many new business owners shy away from. Don't get caught off-guard. Review these tips provided by our tax pros.

Taxes in the Gig Economy

The gig economy and taxes go hand-in-hand. If gig work is your primary form of income, review these important tax tips from our H&R Block tax professionals.