According to a recent survey 45% of Americans have a side hustle in addition to their full-time job.  In Maricopa County the formation of businesses rose from 4.7% to 31.9% between 2019-2020. Whether out of necessity or passion, these side jobs will have important tax consequences come April 15.

“1099 contractor income is self-employment income. It is extremely important to seek guidance from a tax professional when you have any kind of business,” says Enrolled Agent Mary L. Reha, co-founder of Arete Financial Solutions, a one-stop firm in the West Valley for all financial, tax and estate planning needs. “Working with a professional who knows and understands the tax laws in this constantly changing area can save you lots of money.”

READ ALSO: Transforming your side hustle into your main moneymaker

According to Reha, those who started a side business last year need to carefully consider key items that are critical in properly and lawfully filing their 2021 taxes.

Paperwork needed: As a 1099 contractor, you need to bring documentation of your income, expenses, bank statements, P&L or revenue statements, balance sheets, vehicle mileage or actual expenses and receipts for any asset over $2,500 to your tax preparer.

Overlooked expenses: Individuals accustomed to being a W2 employee often don’t realize the many things that can be deducted as business owners. Your tax professional can help uncover expenses incurred that might qualify as business deductions.

Estimated taxes: Self-employed individuals who expect to owe more than $1,000 in federal tax need to pay estimated taxes throughout the year to avoid underpayment penalties. A tax professional can ensure that you make the right estimated payments moving forward.

Retirement accounts: W2 employees often have a 401K, but side hustle owners could also start a SEP IRA where they can contribute up to 25% of their solo business income to a retirement fund.  Arete Financial Solutions, in addition to their tax professionals, has a financial planning team that can assist in creating the fund and investing your hard-earned money in a way that will help you meet your financial goals.

Legal Structure: In addition to tax consequences, it’s equally important for anyone with a side business to have the proper legal structure to support it. “Although it is a ‘side hustle,’ it is important that people take the necessary steps to protect themselves from a legal standpoint,” said Ted Ashton, Esq., co-founder and director of the Arete Financial Solutions legal team.  “Proper formation, insurance and accounting are all critical to the success and protection of you and your business.”

The Arete team can help small business owners with side jobs in:

• Selecting the best business structure for the business

• Making sure that all necessary licenses and insurance are obtained

• Determining if your business needs to be collecting sales tax

• Ensuring that you have strong contracts and agreements between the business and clients

• Maximizing your deductions and appropriate business expenses

• Planning for and meeting tax deadlines and obligations

• Maximizing the amount of money that stays with you and helping invest that money for optimal future growth and to prepare for retirement

With 70 million Americans involved with a side business, knowing how to prepare for Tax Day and beyond is imperative. Even though a side hustle might be more of a hobby than a real job for many, it is still a legitimate business in the eyes of the IRS and the law. The Arete Financial Solutions team is here to help people with a side hustle maximize the tax deductions for April 15, structure their business for an even more profitable upcoming year, and put in place a strategy for maximizing profitability and growth of your future retirement funds.