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I am self-employed with low income

I am self-employed in two manners I suppose. One as a seminarian in which at the end of the Year I receive a 1099 and the other (the one I am often more confused about) as an Author. I filed last year as a Seminarian owing much more than I liked. And this is my first year as an Author. Thus far this year for being an Author (and I receive payments from Kindle Direct Publishing and any direct sales I make). But thus far my Gross Income for being an Author has not exceeded $200. In fact, that is just with sales, not taking into account professional services such as editors, marketers, designers, etc. 

Do I still have to do quarterly filing? None of the other seminarians or priests I know do so for themselves, so my question is more oriented toward my Authorship. I have an LLC for my self-employment as an Author as well if that is relevant. 

3 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

I am self-employed with low income

Hello @zeus043!

Congratulations on being an Author! Quarterly estimated taxes are a tool to help you avoid owing when you file, and if you owe, having penalties and interest added to the amount you owe.  If the amount you are earning is not going to increase your taxes (especially after expenses are deducted), there is not a requirement to send quarterly payments.

A great tool to help estimate your tax liability is the taxcaster:  https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/  You can estimate your profits and determine if you will owe, then make estimated payments if needed. 

You mentioned that you owed taxes last year – have you made changes to avoid that?

I hope this helps!

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I am self-employed with low income

I have been doing my darndest to make sure I owe as little as possible this coming year, keeping close track of expenses and travel done for this seminarian work (and less as an Author, I travel less as an Author) as, as filed by those who pay me, I am a self-employed independent contractor, so I have been keeping track of my milage and any meal expenses or resource expenses for the sake of my duties (educating, learning, forming others). I do not know everything I can do to minimize owing beyond what I am already doing. 

Employee Tax Expert

I am self-employed with low income

Great job, @zeus043!  Sounds like you are keeping good track of your expenses!  If you would like more assistance in monitoring your expenses, this could help:  https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/expense-monitor/


If you have to pay for your own health insurance, perhaps that would be an additional deduction.  Or, you could being saving for retirement and receive a deduction for that.  There is information about SEP (Simplified Employee Pension IRA)at this link:


I hope these tips spark some ideas!

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