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FAQ

Can I drive for Uber with my H1-B work visa or F1 student visa in the US?
I am asked this question several times a week.  The answer is always the same: No.  It is work, you are displacing someone who has the lawful right to do that work.I am then asked, "Can I buy a house and rent out the spare room via AirBNB?"  Now THAT is a good question.  The safe answer to that is "No".  For example, you wouldn't be allowed to operate a traditional BNB.  However, you could potentially sublet a room for longer periods of time as that isn't so much work as passive income.  Crazy case:  I had a client who used to travel to the U.S. to write books.  The last time, before she came to me, she tried to enter the U.S. she encountered a CBP officer who knew her books.  The officer knew that she wrote on subject matter that she could only know by being intimately familiar with a location in the U.S.  The officer asked how she managed to do it, she explained that she came to the U.S., researched the place, wrote the book while here, and then left.  The officer asked who her publisher was, she had changed to a big name U.S. publisher for her last two books.  The officer concluded that she was working in the U.S. and turned my client around.Yes, we fixed the case eventually, but it was a nightmare.
Can someone recommend good tax accountants in the Bay Area?
For your U.S. income you will get a W-2, for your consulting income you will get a 1099-MISC and the foreign income you are receiving in NZ is not taxable in the U.S. (my understanding). Having equity in U.S. companies doesn't trigger tax unless you are receiving dividends in which case you will get 1099-DIV and report the income as dividends.For your consulting income, you will need to file Schedule C where you can deduct expenses associated with the income. My response to your question is mostly to help you understand things. I agree that you need someone who can help you sort things out. I used to work with someone who had a lot of knowledge about personal income tax. His name is Manuel Gonzalez and he is San Jose. MCC Financial Services, Inc.
Do I need to use 1099-MISC forms to report my income as an independent contractor, or can I report solely based on my own records?
If your reported income on all of your C/C-EZ forms (put together) doesn’t add up to at least as much as what was reported to the IRS on 1099-MISC, the IRS will send you a matchup letter or correct your return.If you use cash-basis accounting (most independent contractors providing services only use cash-basis accounting, since it’s way simpler), you report money when you receive it. There’s one catch: the IRS considers a check to be constructively received by your cash-basis business when it is sent to you, not on the date you receive it. Thus, if a customer cuts you a check on December 31, 2021. and you get it on January 5, 2021. that income is considered to be constructively received in 2021. I got a matchup letter for this once before I learned my lesson. Of course, if you use accrual-basis accounting, you realize the income (and pay tax on it) in the accounting period when it’s invoiced, not when it’s received.I would suggest that you to base your business tax return on your own records, rather than on the 1099-MISC forms. However, you should reconcile the 1099-MISC forms you receive with your own records, and if there are any discrepancies, you should contact the customer who sent you the 1099-MISC to resolve the discrepancy.
Who gets a 1099?
A whole lot of people get 1099's for a whole lot of reasons. "1099" covers a lot of ground. I assume that you are referring to a Form 1099-MISC, which is one of many "1099's". Even the 1099-MISC, however, is used for reporting many different things, from "non-employee compensation" (such as independent contractors), to proceeds of the sale of fish froma commercial fishing boat, to prizes and awards, to rents, to book royalties, to certain amounts paid to an attorney or to a healthcare provider, to many other things. But there are 18 other "1099" forms, too, all relating to different types of payments to different types of payees. I won't list them all, but they range from the 1099-INT reporting interest over $10, or the 1099-DIV for $10 in dividends, 1099-R for $10 in distributions from retirement plans, insurance contracts, or IRAs, 1099-B for any amount of proceeds from a broker or barter transaction, 1099-S for proceeds of a real estate transaction over $600, to a 1099-CAP for changes in corporate capital structure, or corporate change of control, involving over $100 million. And others.
I am a self-employed manufacturing contract engineer, who gets paid by 1099-MISC income by other companies. How do I report my expenses on a Schedule C?
This sounds pretty simple, but I recommend either a sophisticated program like Turbotax to help you (along with Quickbooks or one of its newer, online counterparts) or an accountant - most will give you a free consultation to get you started in the right direction so that you go to them later on when your bookkeeping requirements become more complicated.Contract labor typically goes in box 11 (Contract labor).Parts going into a product you are selling can possibly go into box 22 (Supplies) as you are not re-selling inventory acquired from a supplier. Parts or equipment used for operations that aren't going into an item you're selling can be depreciated assets, Section 179 deductions, or office expenses - depending on the scale. This can be a complex question, but it boils down to:- printer paper is an office expense - even a lot of printer paper- A laptop is an asset that must be recorded- a Section 179 deduction makes it easy to manage for small businesses - this lets you write off the whole amount up front rather than doing annual depreciationShipping and mailing go in box 18.Sounds like this may be worth a read: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040sc.pdf
Are startup founders scared of incurring risk by hiring contractors that should be on W2 but save time/money by having them on 1099?
Employers probably should be weary of incurring this risk. Accountants and payroll advisors have advised me there's usually some leeway during the first year of operation, however the risks can be real and substantial:In CA, as of Jan 1, 2021. your corporation can be held liable for penalities for willful Worker Misclassification (including $5,000 to $25,000 penalties per account -- Senate Bill 459).You should be especially careful if you are contracting people who work on premise / are required to report to a specific workplace, or are given "titles" as these are typically indicators of someone who should be on W2. If you're genuinely unclear about differentiating people, refer to IRS form SS-8: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f...Ideally, you should speak with your accountant to determine/inform what degree of risk you should willing to absorb (and an accountant I am not).
When a game show contestant wins a non cash taxable prize, are there firms ready to purchase the prize to pay the taxes? Doesn't game show provide a 1099 by the end of quarter given the contestant time to find a buyer?
Before you ever get selected to appear on camera, you have already signed a contract. A long contract. The one that I signed was 8 or 9 pages long, printed on legal size paper with a fairly small font. A fair chunk is devoted to taxes.If you win a cash prize, income taxes will be withheld. You will get a 1099-MISC showing the amount won and the amount of tax withheld.If you win a merchandise prize you agree to pay the production company an amount equal to the required tax withholding. That was 25% for federal and 6% for California if memory serves correctly. You agree to the producer's valuation of any prizes and that there are no cash substitutions. You will receive a 1099-MISC showing the value of the prize(s) won. The amount that you paid towards the tax liability is shown as tax withheld. You have a limited amount of time to hand over the taxes or you forfeit the prize. I believe that it was 20 days in my case.So, you can sell your prize to pay the taxes, but you have to pay them up front.Oh, and if the prize is a trip, you can't sell your seat. If it's for more than one person, you have to designate who else is going before you get your travel documents. Most folks never take the trip.And no, I didn't win anything. I was in the military at the time and caught a no-notice tour to Kunsan, Korea. The letter notifying me that I made the cut arrived about a week after the taping date.
As an independent contractor, what happens to me if someone who payed me fails to use the Form 1099-MISC?
You are responsible for paying taxes on your income, regardless of how your employer pays you. I assume you have kept track. You can send your employer a certified letter to tell them that they have used the wrong form or not sent in any form, but pay the tax owed in either case.You are not responsible for their mistake, but you are responsible for paying the tax.
How can I file a form 1099-misc and a 1099B together, if the 1099-misc is due by January 31st and 1099B won't arrive until February?
I’m guessing that you are the person who is receiving those forms. If that is the case, why are you concerned about filing them? The people (or companies) who made the payments to you are the ones who have to file them ‡ what you get is a copy of what was filed by them. They are “information returns”, filed with the IRS and provided to you to furnish information.The only time you would have to file one of those is if there was tax withheld is a reported transaction, and you need to furnish the proof of withholding with your 1040. But that’s kind of unusual with those forms.Worst case, if you had withholding shown on both a 1099-MISC and a 1099-B, and you had to attach them both to your return, you would just have to wait to file your return. Not a problem unless you make it a problem.